Pre-season challenge matches are not always a precise indicator of how a team is going to perform, in serious competition.
But there are ingredients we can be looking for at iceSheffield this weekend, as Sheffield Steelers entertain Leksands of Sweden in back-to-back challenge matches.
Here are my top five wishes.
(Let me know what you think, or what I've missed out, through the various digital channels, including on twitter at @westerdale10)
1: Passion. Yes, it's a friendly weekend series, but ice hockey matches aren't the best spectacle when players aren't finishing off their checks. Let's get the juices flowing. A mid-ice crunch early doors would be nice.
2: Goals: Oh yes, plenty, please. Preferably in the Swedes' net. Steelers weren't the best at this last year, the coming season will stand or fall on the ability to improve on this. A penetrating offence, built around pace.
3: Great goaltending. Coach Paul Thompson is happy and confident about his young duo of Jackson Whistle and Brad Day. Hopefully, they will get the year off to a good start.
4: Leadership. It's a new, younger-on-average group, so let's see which of the Steeler debutants are likely to be the go-to character guys for 2018-19.
5: Graft: Whatever the score, Sheffield loves its blue-collar sportsmen. Let's see some hard work out there. And that will surely mean stopping Leksands' Ben O'Connor coming over the half way line!
Best of luck to both teams.