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Kings: Mandated bye week can be good, or not

By in Press Enterprise on January 7, 2018

By Robert Morales

LOS ANGELES – There are always going to be pros and cons any time a new directive is issued. Two schools of thought, if you will.

Such is the case in the NHL, which is in its second bye-week season. That means each team will have a mandated minimum of five days in which it does not play or practice.

In 2016-17, the inaugural season of this, those byes were scheduled for teams between Jan. 1 and Feb. 28. This season, those segments are much closer together, with bye weeks beginning Jan. 7 (Sunday) and no later than Jan. 15.

The NHL Players Association lobbied for this, citing the grind of the season. With theirs beginning Sunday, it was interesting to hear Kings players and their coach size up the situation.

“I think it’s good if you use it in the right way,” veteran defenseman Alec Martinez said at Saturday’s morning skate ahead of the team’s game against Nashville at Staples Center.

Martinez said it can be a good thing for teams battling injuries. To him, it’s more than that.

“I think it’s a good break physically to kind of get your body regenerated,” he said. “It’s always good to be able to step away mentally and gives you an opportunity to reflect on your own game and the team game.

“So I think if you’re just taking five days and you’re not taking care of your body, obviously, that’s not good.”
Third-year defenseman Kevin Gravel agrees this can be looked at two ways.

“Obviously, if you’re playing well and things are going good, sometimes it’s kind of nice just to stay in that rhythm and keep playing,” he said. “But it can be a long season at times and every now and then, it’s kind of good to take your foot off the gas there and just […]    

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