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Players make adjustments to avoid sophomore slump

Aug 31, 2013, 10:00 PM EDT

New York Rangers v Montreal Canadiens Getty Images

It seems inevitable, the dreaded sophomore slump.

In loose terms, it’s when a previous first-year player – doesn’t matter what sport or league, but we’ll stick with hockey on this one – struggles to play up to the expectations set for them in their second year.

The standard is often based on the bottom line: goal production for forwards, perhaps plus-minus ratings for defensemen and wins or losses for goalies.

Perhaps the biggest adjustment to be made for the upcoming 2013-2014 season is it’s a full 82-game schedule, as opposed to the 48 games from last season, which was cut drastically short due to the lockout.

That’s a point Brendan Gallagher, the Montreal Canadiens diminutive forward who had 15 goals and 28 points in 44 regular season games, discussed recently with NHL.com.

“You make sure your body is going to withstand that,” Gallagher told NHL.com.

“A big part of my game is bringing energy to my teammates and bringing energy to how they play and what they can do. It’s just something to focus on every game. I try to be the hardest-working player.

“I try to focus on the things I can control and not worry about the things that you can’t.”

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