By Kim Dunning
The National Hockey League has implemented a new rule this season. They are requiring each team to take a five-day break from playing. This was so that the players would accept the new All-Star format.
The rules of the bye week are straight forward. Each team from January 1 to February 28 are required to have five consecutive days off. This means no team meetings, practices or team activities are allowed. If a said team has a game on the 6th day, the players may practice but only after 4pm.
This year, the bye came in handy. As much as fans have spoken their dislike of missing their favorite team for 5 days, the players deserve a much-needed break. Especially those players who had a shorter than normal off-season with making the playoffs and then playing in the World Cup tournament in September.
Some of the interesting aspects of the bye week is finding out which players took a rest and which players practiced on their own time to keep in shape.
Another thing fans want to watch out for is to see if their team is hot when they go into the bye week and come out the same way.
The Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins were the first to take this bye week. On Sunday, when they played, everyone was holding their breathe to see how this would affect the team.
The bye week did not seem to douse the momentum the Pens went into the bye week with before the New Year. The standings did not change much nor did Pittsburgh lose any ground on teams they had on their heels when they went into the bye week.
All that happened were other teams in the Metropolitan Division could catch up on their games in hand and the Penguins players could get a much-needed break.
As other teams begin to take their bye weeks, it will be interested to see who’s a legitimate team and who is pretending right now. The Bye week could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your team.
For right now, like or it not, it’s something we as NHL fans are going to have to get use too.