5 Ways the Cancellation of NHL Preseason Games Will Affect Regular Season
With the NHL preseason officially canceled, hockey fans are going to have to wait even longer to watch the game they love.
The cancellation of the preseason will have its effects on the regular season, some positive and some negative. Teams that went far into the playoffs will have more time to rest. Meanwhile, teams that did not make the playoffs or had an early exit will be champing at the bit to get back on the ice.
Here are five ways that the cancellation of the NHL preseason affects the start of the 2012-13 season.
Less of a Stanley Cup Hangover for Los Angeles
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It has happened to many a Stanley Cup champion.
The Stanley Cup Hangover.
The Boston Bruins suffered it last year and the Los Angeles Kings are next in line to go through it. That is, if they get the opportunity.
When the regular season starts, if it ever does, there will be more than enough time for Los Angeles to get their hockey legs back. Unlike past champions, the Kings won't have to worry about being tired from their long run to the Finals.
All they will have to do is refocus on the road to getting back to where they were last season.
More Time for Rookies to Develop
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Rookies that would have been dropped right into their respective team's opening night lineups now get more time to develop.
A player like Nail Yakupov is getting a chance to play the pro game where he can make mistakes and it doesn't cost the Oilers anything. Even a short time playing in the KHL will make him a better rookie in the NHL.
Other smaller name rookies are getting shots to play in the American Hockey League to acclimate themselves to the pro game.
Slow Starts Get Slower
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Teams that traditionally get off to slow starts might get off to even worse starts, even with the extra time off. These teams will be in trouble when it comes to the playoff race later on in the season.
With less time to make up for a bad start, these teams will need to break tradition and get off to better starts.
Less Time to Develop Chemistry
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Teams that didn't make that many moves in the offseason won't have much to worry about in this category. It's the teams that have some vital new additions that might have a little trouble.
The Dallas Stars, whose entire top six was remade in the offseason, with the acquisitions of Jaromir Jagr, Ray Whitney and Derek Roy, and the trading away of Mike Ribeiro, will need time for their team to develop chemistry.
Other teams like Calgary, Minnesota and Toronto could also have problems.
More Time for Injuries To Heal
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A team like the Philadelphia Flyers has to be rejoicing about this lockout when thinking of their shattered defense.
While Chris Pronger's problems won't be going away anytime soon, players like Andreas Lilja and Andrej Meszaros will have more time to heal their injuries. If the lockout goes on long enough, they might be able to be in the lineup whenever opening night happens.