The Pens certainly aren't getting a chance to ease into the new season. They open with 10 games in 17 days, they won't have consecutive days off until Oct. 23-24, and by the end of the first month, they'll have played a League-high 13 games. "I think that's too many, quite honestly," Pittsburgh General Manager Ray Shero
said. "But it's what we have."
The Penguins did themselves a big favor by taking five of a possible six points on a three-game swing through Western Canada. Defenseman Kris Letang
, who figures to be a serious Norris Trophy candidate this season, led the way with a goal and 4 assists while playing an average of 27:08 per game.
The Senators and Blue Jackets have the next busiest October schedules, each playing 12 games. Based on their respective starts, that scheduling isn't going to be very kind to their playoff aspirations.
At the other end of the spectrum, the Capitals, Islanders, Devils, Red Wings and Flames share the lightest opening month load, each playing nine games. You better rest up, boys, that schedule is going to catch up with you somewhere between November and mid-April.