Stanley Cup Playoffs 2013: Did the Lockout Kill the Playoffs?


With the NHL playoffs kicking off tonight, many fans in the past would be scrambling to find tickets online to get into the game.  This season, the excitement seems to have died down, at least in certain markets.

Looking on StubHub, fans can find tickets for tonight’s matchup against the Los Angeles Kings for under $20, but is this just a sign that fans in St. Louis are uninterested?  After looking more closely, it doesn’t look like St. Louis is the problem at all.

Tickets for the Blues-Kings series, in particular Game 3 (the first taking place in L.A.) are available for as little as $12 this morning.  The city that won a Stanley Cup just a season ago is now selling their tickets off for less than the fans in St. Louis who are not nearly as optimistic as they were last season.

The problem doesn’t stop there though either.  The Anaheim Ducks finished with one of the best records in the regular season, but $20 will get you into a game during this series as well to see them faceoff against the Detroit Red Wings.

What about the Chicago Blackhawks?  Surely the fans that love their team more than God this season would be dying to catch some live playoff action, right?  Nope.  Again, for under $20 you could catch the Hawks taking on the Minnesota Wild.

So the question begs to be answered, did the lockout kill the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs?

Before the start of the season, the talk of winning the cup in a shortened season seemed to come with an asterisk  but once play actually began we all forgot about the little star that could come with a championship this year.  Fans who said they would protest the league upon its return did not.  Fans poured into NHL arenas around the league boosting the NHL back to the status that it had last season.  Records were being broken, stars were shining, and even Alex Ovechkin decided to join in on the fun.

While fans eagerly watched the season quickly unfold, there were ups and downs, but it all leads to the most exciting playoffs in professional sports, the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  Could your team have the chance to make the epic run and raise the cup at the end of the season?  Well, for many teams, it seems like their fans just don’t care.

Not every team in the league is having issues selling tickets.  Markets like New York, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Montreal, and other major hockey cities are seeing tickets sell out and prices rise, but who wouldn’t expect that to happen.  Playoff hockey is supposed to be the time of year where even fair weather fans come out to support their local team.  We saw the Phoenix Coyotes sell out their arena to the aging community in Glendale last season after making it to the part of the season that actually matters.  So where are the fans in these other hockey markets?

Hockey is not new to Los Angeles or Anaheim or especially Detroit, Chicago, or St. Louis, but fans seem to be much more complacent this year.  Was the excitement taken away somehow, did the league remove a certain flair by shortened the season?

Perhaps fans in Chicago and Anaheim are planning on a long playoff run and are saving their money for later, but then why did they even bother purchasing tickets for this round in the first place.  Season ticket holders are losing a TON of money on these seats and the teams that hoped to recoup some of their losses from cancelled games can’t appeal to fans when you can buy a ticket second hand for a fraction of the price.

Hopefully as the playoffs progress, fans will once again show their die-hard spirit, but for now it looks like the lockout may have taken a lot away from the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Tune in to watch the St. Louis Blues face off against the Kings tonight in St. Louis, or decide not to order a pizza and pick up tickets for less then the food would have been and see it live.


-Alex Hodschayan