Back to back
I could be commenting here on the win last night at Times Palace, where the Lightning played on edge again against the high-flying Pittsburgh Penguins and came out with a win. I could rave over and over again about Vincent Lecavalier's double-spin in the first (that didn't result in a score but was still incredible none-the-less) or Johan Holmqvist (every time Johan makes a save I think, in a Marge Simpson voice, "Oh, Holmie..." ) and an amiable effort against Kid Sid and Mr. Malkin...
But instead I wanted to focus on a comment Rick Peckham and Bobby Taylor re-iterated from John Tortorella during the telecast. It was a comment about back-to-back series with teams (two games in a row) and how Tortorella was in favor of more of them because it builds more of an edge in players (the rivalry edge) for the next game.
You know, logical scheduling.
Frankly I am with Torts on this with some reservations. While home-and-home series tax players (especially out west) by having to jump from one city to another, while incurring traveling expenses for the franchise in general, back-to-back games against the same opponent do add a little more juice to things. If the first game was a laugher in one teams favor, the second game would likely be played as a make-up game by the losers, looking for a chance to make up for a poor showing. If game #1 between two teams is close and intense, game #2 (from a fan perspective) is more anticipated.
This is compared to the current "thrown up against a wall to see what sticks" scheduling that has teams jumping all over the place night after night.
Of course there is the downside to all this -- arena scheduling is a bitch to work with to begin with, add the downtime players will have between games and the questionable availability of ice for practices if there are off-days between games and things get fuzzy real quick.
I still think it's something that should be explored more (though the immediate drawback would likely be further reduction of inter-conference games, unless two-game series' were only played against in-conference opponents). It may even garner more interest... And the NHL can use as much additional interest as possible.