The Penguins had six players appear in every game of this shortened but compacted 48-game schedule. For the sake of comparison, they only had four players appear in every contest of the typical 82-game slate in 2011-12.
Which is tougher to accomplish? The sprint of 48 games in 99 days with little in the ways of extended multi-day breaks or the marathon of 82 games over 185 days with trips to the Western Conference included?
The six players who appeared in all 48 games this season for the Penguins as well as the team's head coach recently weighed in on the difference
Pascal Dupuis (above, with Matt Cooke), RW - "We played the last 48 (games) in 103 (days) last year. It wasn’t any different for me than any other season for me travel-wise or game-wise. That’s what we did down the stretch basically (last season)."
Chris Kunitz, LW - "They’re all tough. This one obviously, there was hockey every day for 99 or 100-some days. There wasn’t many breaks in between until the end of the year. It was hockey all the time. You get home, you prepare for the next game and there was another game coming. It was different."
Tanner Glass, LW - "I’d say the 82 just by the sheer number of games. I got to 78 last year and broke my foot so I’ll say 82."
Brandon Sutter (right), C - "I think 82 is definitely a grind. I think if you ask around the room, a few of the guys would say they wish every year was 48 games. Eight-two [games] is long. You forget how long it is when you play a short season. Obviously we played a lot of games in a short amount of time [this season] but I think still the 82 games is definitely more of a challenge."
Craig Adams, RW - "I don’t know. I think each year is different whether you’re battling injuries or having to play though things or you’re playing well or not as well as you like. This season I’ve had a few things here and there just like everybody. It seems like it’s gone by quickly. It’s been a smooth ride."
Matt Cooke, LW - "I think they’re equally as hard and probably for different reasons. It’s tough to put a full season together. It’s not an easy thing to do."
Dan Bylsma, head coach - "This season playing all the games I think is more impressive. The amount of training camp and the situation coming into a season starting in January were generally speaking in not as good of shape as they would be coming into a September camp. Camp was only really six days. Players didn’t leave camp in the shape they would leave a full three-week camp. So to be able to play all 48 games in a shorter period of time is a bigger accomplishment than a regular 82-game season."
(Photos: Cooke/Dupuis-Claus Andersen/Getty Images; Sutter-Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)