The NHL pace is never leisurely, a typical season blending 30 teams into a 1,230-game schedule played across six months. Add on 7-8 weeks and twentysomething games for the clubs that reach the Stanley Cup Final, and you have what may be the most grueling schedule in pro sports.
Grueling gives way to gruesome Saturday when the NHL finally goes Game On! with the start of the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. This time around, it’s a 720-game slate, compressed into a 99-day stretch that ends April 27, all clubs to enter what amounts to about a game-every-other-night playoff-like pace from the first drop of the puck.