Every team was locked out. No excuse. Some teams had more or less players play in Europe and together (i.e. Brunner and Zetterberg in Detroit). Either way, lock out excuses nothing. A team finds itself in the standings where it belongs based on their talent, effort, mentality, and character. We are a mid level team. A good, promising foundation that still has to improve and desperately needs deep playoff experience.
Our roster, coaching, etc is basically the same thing from Game 4 against LA.
Now, certainly we didn't expect to see an entire line go down and our scariest line at that. Depth has certainly helped fill some holes.
So what do you call all that sloppy play we sat down and watched the first 15+ games? I'd say it was a total lack of all those you listed. The bad part is not that this team doesn't have the skills or the ability, what is bad is that they've shown how good they are and decided to just lazy-play.
The only major difference between Jake Allen and Halak & Elliott, beyond being a rookie, is that his system in the AHL wasn't affected by the lockout. He played a normal season, he played syncd and when you play in the minors, you're waiting for The Call, so you're making sure you're ready and Allen hasn't skipped a beat.
Or, we could go with Option B on this: Elliott needs a solid starter in front of him and Halak has both sucked and been injured, which might be why he's sucked, which makes the most sense. When Elliott has to compete, he's top drawer. When he's won the position or is being weighed on as the only option, he looks like crap.
Anyone that says the lockout hasn't affected teams in unique ways needs to check the standings: When is the last time we've seen the Canadiens holding the #1 seed in the East, the Maple Leafs...the LEAFS...in a playoff spot? And that's just one thing to point out.