By Dan KamalFOX Sports Ohio
Shortened NHL season?
You can look at it that way. But the way its going to feel to the players and coaches is more like a prolonged playoff season.
This is right around the time of a normal, 82-game NHL season that the intensity of games starts to ramp up and players start to pay attention to the standings. In that sense, theres no easing into this season, for any player.
Columbus Blue Jackets veteran forward Derek MacKenzie knows it should go without saying that every game is magnified in a 48-game season. But he also knows hes going to hear it anyway.
Were going to get tired of hearing about how important every game is, he laughed, because we know youre going to be facing teams youre chasing or being chased by every night.
And MacKenzie is well aware that getting off to a good start in an abbreviated season is paramount for any team that expects to be in playoff contention this spring.
I believe in the backs of our minds were going to be focused on ...