Why some Devils hate the NHL bye week

NEWARK -- The Devils began four straight days of no hockey activities on Tuesday, but not everyone is a fan of the newly implemented NHL bye week.

That includes Devils coach John Hynes, who said sandwiching a week of rest into the middle of February just added unnecessary strain to the other parts of the season.

"It just makes certain points in the schedule really overloaded," Hynes said. "If you look at us: we're playing a game, we have four days off, we practice at 4 (p.m. on Saturday), then play at 12:30 (p.m. on Sunday). Is that right for the players?"

Devils in ideal position entering bye

The bye week is meant to be five days, but since the Devils play on Sunday (the sixth day), they will hold a practice on Saturday to prepare. And per the bye-week rules, that practice must start after 4 p.m. on Saturday. The Devils likely won't hold a morning skate on Sunday because of the afternoon start.

"If you just look at the benefit, forget the win or the loss, for the players, of getting themselves back in," Hynes said. "And it would be one thing if you were playing a team that had the same schedule. If San Jose played the schedule. I just mean physically, the way the game could be played. I think some of the things make it hard to make sense of whether it's good or bad."

Forward Taylor Hall said in January that he certainly won't mind the rest. But even as a player who has dealt with a couple injuries this season, Hall said he might not need it without the condensed schedule.

"Mixed reaction (on the bye week). It's going to be nice to have a bye week, it'll be nice just to go away, especially me, playing in the All-Star Game," Hall said. "But the schedule this year has just been crazy. The amount of back-to-backs and the travel that we've had up to this point has been tough. I'd say I'd rather just keep the schedule the way it was before and have more days off throughout the season."

Other players shared Hall's perspective -- excitement for the break while questioning the loaded schedule to this point.

To put things in perspective, the Devils play 17 sets of back-to-back games this season over 180 days. In 2015-16, the Devils played 12 sets of back-to-back games over 186 days (the schedule was compressed by six days due to the World Cup in the preseason).

Chris Ryan may be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @ChrisRyan_NJ. Find NJ.com Devils on Facebook.

Source : http://www.nj.com/devils/index.ssf/2017/02/why_some_devils_hate_the_nhl_bye_week.html

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