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01-06-2013, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by SillyRabbit View Post
Is anyone of the school of thought that players who didn't play during the lockout but instead just rested and worked out might be more fresh and therefore have better energy and performance down the stretch?
I think it will depend on each individual player. The players playing in Europe weren't playing such a rough and grinding schedule as they would have in the NHL and therefore they are not nearly as worn down as you think.

For instance the game in the Czech league was less aggressive than it is in the NHL and someone like Jagr returns healthier than he was at any point last season. He also returns in game shape. He doesn't have to play himself into shape. He will have a head start over someone who has been inactive. They only play about 2 games a week in the Czech league with only 8-10 games played a month. Far less grinding than the NHL schedule.

Maybe where the players who have rested might have the advantage is down the stretch but that is yet to be determined.

A few changes were made to all teams last season and I think it will take sometime for many players to develop chemistry with their linemates and teammates as the training scheduled will be condensed with possibly no pre-season games planned.

I say that guys like Tavares, Jagr, Malkin, Datsyuk, Kovalchuk, Ovechkin, Backstrom and Karlsson will come out of the gate flying. It wouldn't surprise that all 8 players I named end up in the top 10 scoring with possibly Crosby and Seguin added to the list.

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