The reduced post-lockout NHL schedule has kicked in and with all 30 teams having at least played 1 game apiece, perspective on just how crazy this mini season will be is only now starting to sink in. With a schedule that will demand teams to play one game every 1.75 days, this is far more a sprint than a marathon! With only 84 days in the regular season (Jan. 19 – Apr. 13), all 30 NHL clubs have to squeeze in 48 games. Given the minimal time between games, and with such little time until the playoffs, conditioning and endurance are going to prove to be the biggest factors. Players who have not maintained their conditioning during the lockout will fade faster than those who did, and that just might be the difference between which teams make the playoffs and which don’t. Pressure aside, the upside is that with less than two days between games, fans will be the true beneficiary as it is truly all hockey all the time until the summer!