Like a lot of people, I’m pretty ready for the playoffs to begin. Sometimes the NHL season seems artificially long, like a movie that needs to be trimmed another 15 minutes.
You really see the length of the season in the way teams start strong, falter, and then regain their form. It’s almost like a record spinning.
Look at the Penguins. They started the season as a fast, offensive team. Then, everything went cold for them. They got a new coach, and now, suddenly they’re physical, and even gritty. Although, to be fair, Dave Molinari says we need to give credit to recent acquisitions Chris Kunitz, Bill Guerin and Craig Adams.
And obviously, players can get in on the redemption available in a season this long. Marian Gaborik was looking like a huge dud going into his free agency, but since he’s returned to the ice from hip surgery, he’s been gritty and offensive, with four points against the Isles last night. The more Gaborik plays, the more zeros you can see appearing on the end of his next contract.
And the real demonstration of the length of the season is the fact that the Blues continue to remain in the playoff race (even after last night’s loss to the Canucks). Although, I’m not sure if that doesn’t say more about the parity in the Western Conference than the length of the season.
Finally, speaking of long seasons, Tim Panaccio argues Mike Knuble is still effective for a player his age.