This is a question that every columnist or blogger in the hockey hemisphere is going to be asking its readers. How will the abreviated hockey season affect their team?
Naturally the true answer is, "Nobody knows". But like with any bit of news in any major sport, journalists are going to be paid to ask these theoreticals and try their best to give an edjucated guess. Some will be right, most will be wrong. All we can really do is speculate based on their recent performances.
In my opinion, in terms of guess-work, the Dallas Stars are one of the teams that is easiest to project. Their last 2-3 seasons have seen the Stars soar to ridiculous starts to the season, holding first place through most of the season only to fall out of the race completely starting at about the half-way point of the season. So, if this pattern holds - theoretically - the shortened season would be hugely advantageous for the Stars. Ending right when their high-flying ways are coming back down to earth. Just in time for the play-off boost to kick in.
The biggest variable that we have to take into consideration at this point, however - is how many of the players have been taking advanatage of time in other leagues such as the AHL or a European league over-seas. Many have, including the likes of Jamie Benn who played for the Hamburgh Freezers in Germany up until Christmas and then took leavue saying he would return to the Freezers if the league canceled the remainder of the saason. To that point he was a point-per-game player.
Many of the lower-tiered players have spent ample time in the AHL and the Texas Stars as of late have shown just how skiled they are after a very slow and sluggish start to the season they have clawed tooth and nail back into the race with a huge boost in their scoring potential as their offensive players started playing to their tasks.
It is truly an exciting prospect for the stars aligning for this team (see what I did there?). I can't wait to find out. What about your team? How do you thinka 40-50 game season will affect your franchise if at all?