Most hockey fans that I've talked to say they like what they see so far. And I'm not just talking about Sens fans either. Ottawa still has a fair contigent of Canadiens and Leafs fans and everybody likes the faster pace.
I was watching a pregame interview that was done with both the GM's for the Leafs and the Sens and John Muckler stated that the "New NHL" was like turning the clock back to the 80's. And I think that's the best way to put it.
During the lockout I watched a classic Stanley Cup game between the Flyers and the Oilers, I believe it was from 85, and Glen Anderson took the puck end to end and went around 3 Flyer players inside their own blue line and finished it off by deking Hextall. Not one guy grabbed him or hooked him in with a stick. After seeing that I thought, there was no way that could happen in today's 2004 brand of hockey.
But with these new rule changes, it can happen again. It's run and gun hockey. I do like to see the punishing hits and hope that the refs will get the scales worked out on calling such plays.
But overall, whether it's the opinions of the fans, or the players, or even the coaching staffs, the overwhelming majority agree that hockey is much better now than it was in 03-04. It's fun to watch again.