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“I think it’s more just being organized for the guys, that we can condense it and prepare them and keep their minds fresh,” Oates said.

Sunday, Oates said he and his assistants will prepare for two teams, as it’s likely the possibilities will be narrowed by then. Oates is used to that, from when he pre-scouted the Caps and Rangers for the East finals while on staff with the New Jersey Devils last season.

The timing is more of a challenge this time around.

“If Ottawa loses [Sunday] night, we could play Tuesday, right?” Oates said. “That gives us one day. One practice, one meeting.”

A lot of studying and preparation to cram into not a whole lot of time, similar to how the NHL lockout and condensed schedule made for a difficult start for a team with a rookie head coach.

“It’s just part of this season, isn’t it?” Oates said. “We’ll wait and see.”