With the release of the Coyotes' schedule (and the rest of the NHL's), here are some thoughts on this lockout-abbreviated, 48-game slate.
We kept writing the words condensed schedule, throughout the lockout, but until you see it in front of you, you dont realize just how condensed it is.
The Coyotes get four days off between games on Feb. 18 (Calgary at home) and Feb. 23 (Edmonton on the road) and three days between games on March 21 (Vancouver) and March 24 (Detroit). Other than that, there are no greater gaps than two days in between games, and the Coyotes will play eight sets of back-to-back games (that's one-third of the schedule).
How will that impact the team? First, the glut of games over a short period of time will take a toll on the players bodies, raising the possibility of injuries and giving an advantage to the teams that have better depth.
Second, the condensed schedule cuts down on potential practice time to correct mistakes, bad trends and even install new ideas....