Grueling schedule takes toll on Jets, Caps
Winnipeg fans packed the MTS Centre Thursday to see their team suffer the embarrassing loss, and they’ll be back Friday night to see the Jets try to redeem themselves.
The back-to-back games come as part of an abbreviated NHL season due to a lockout that had teams on ice until a new collective bargaining agreement was inked in January.
NHL teams are playing 48 games in less than 100 days, giving some teams back-to-back games and others unforgiving travel schedules.
The Winnipeg Jets traveled close to 14,000 kilometres in March alone, visiting six cities in three weeks.
And the Jets aren’t the only ones in the crunch of a tight schedule.
"Well right now I just want to go take a nap and get ready for the game," said Washington Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin, following Thursday’s game.
The team’s coach, Adam Oates, said Caps are having a tough time.
"It’s been ruthless for these guys and everybody," said Oates.
"I mean, look, we’re playing two games in a row in the same barn because they can’t find times."
Leisha Strachan is a sport psychologist at the University of Manitoba. She said fatigue can take a toll on players both physically and mentally.
"When you do get tired, there are some cues that you might miss," said Strachan.
Olympic trainers Kyle Turcotte and Daryl Hurrie said the teams that manage fatigue the best are going to come out on top.
"You need to learn how to manage and cope and develop processes for recovering quicker than your opponents," said Hurrie.
Who managed their fatigue better will be determined on the MTS Centre ice Friday night.The Washington Capitals and the Winnipeg Jets are set to hit the ice at 6 p.m.. You can watch the game on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada.