We begin today's missive with truth in advertising: This space witnessed more Cardinals games in person last September and October than it has attended Blues games in a decade.

Reason No. 1 • I was paid to watch, report on and scribe about the Cardinals for 12 seasons, eight postseasons and three World Series.

Reason No. 2 • I love good hockey, the kind that flows freely and offers urgency. Olympic hockey is a fantastic spectacle because of larger ice and the obvious sense of pride. And I buy into the belief that few things in sport are more dramatic than Game 7 of an NHL playoff series.

But bad NBA and a Kip Wells start are the only things worse than bad NHL. And, folks, all of us know there's been way too much bad hockey locally for much of the past decade. Who can forget the 57-point Blues of 2005-06, the franchise garage sale or the Kitchen-to-Murray-to-Payne coaching carousel that followed Joel Quenneville's ouster?