It's a sprint to the finish. Condensed schedule. Playing on no rest. Every game counts.

We've heard all of the cliches, rolled out for us by each an every pundit. While I'm a little sick of hearing about the scheduling that has resulted from the lockout, you can certainly see that fatigue is playing its part around the league. Games are sloppier, and on certain nights, teams just look bagged. Injuries are up around the league, and you gotta wonder how all of this will affect teams by the time we get to the playoffs.

With that in mind, I hereby want to be the guy that says: I'm worried about Erik Karlsson. Yes, he's the best player on our team. Yes, with Jason Spezza out, he's our best (and only) offensive playmaker/difference maker. Yes, even when he plays crazy minutes and has absurdly long shifts and gets tired, he's still the best player on the ice. But you cannot tell me he looks as good as he can look. You can't tell me he doesn't look tired. You cannot tell me he is isn't missing that burst we are so used to seeing. Because he is.