I’ve recently become obsessed with work to rest ratio in the NHL. Rest is important to working folks of all levels. Heck, Santa Claus takes a 1/364 work to rest ratio every year. All bodies need the proper rest or you won’t get the maximum effort. NHL players even more so.
NHL games are extremely physical and tiring, we all know that. Add in the fact that there’s 82 of them, ten-game road trips, cross country trips and back-to-backs. It all adds up to a very tired team come April. For Vegas there are obvious ways to track a players stamina; average time on ice, average games per year, production on the road and back to backs. Being located in the Southwest, the Golden Knights will have a tough travel schedule. The Kings, Sharks and Canucks all have 16 back-to-backs this season, so Vegas can expect something similar next year.
Targeting players with endurance would be a nice addition to the Golden Knights. To compare two potential expansion players; Andrew Cogliano’s 741 game iron man streak, whereas Nino Niederreiter has struggled on back-to-backs. In the end, my guess is George McPhee will point his focus more on overall talent than endurance, but it definitely shouldn’t be something that’s simply overlooked like it often is in free agency.
Most NHL players have incredible stamina and are among the best athletes in the world. But you’ve seen it, every NHL team throws up a stinker from time to time.
The last thing an expansion team needs is a tough schedule. The Knights are going to need enough energy as it is. It’d be nice if the league took care of their new team as best it can when it comes to schedule making, but as fans, we should hope the GM does his best to build a team ready to combat the rigors of the current NHL schedule.
And hopefully, opposing players really do gamble and get drunk on the Strip the night before a game. That’d be nice too.