The 82-game NHL campaign is always a grind, but it’s particularly challenging this season because the NHL has condensed the schedule to accommodate for the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics.
Fortunately, the new CBA has given the players a bit longer of a mandatory breather. This year they’re taking three straight days off rather than the old policy that afforded them two days of rest. That might not sound like a big change, but it makes a difference.
“When you talk about guys going home or [wherever], that’s one whole day where you don’t have to travel and you get to rest,” Penguins star Sidney Crosby explained to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Before, you had two days, but you were traveling for one, pretty much. It’s nice to get that extra day, especially this time of year. I think we can all appreciate that and be with our families.”
The change has to be particularly welcome for teams dealing with a full sickbay, like the Penguins. Pascal Dupuis joined the long list of hurt Penguins last night when he collided into Crosby during their 5-0 loss to Ottawa.