As the 48-game NHL season debuts, there are five things to watch for this season,  Western Conference teams will feel the effects of the travel schedule, plus the latest on Duncan Keith, Mikko Koivu, Alex Kovalev and more.

The lockout shortened '12-'13 NHL season begins today.

The lockout shortened ’12-’13 NHL season begins today.

THE GLOBE & MAIL: David Shoalts lists five things to watch for during this shortened NHL season, including streaks, practice and health.

THE ATLANTIC: Henry D. Fetter feels the NHL’s “pretend inclusivity” post-lockout with its fans is difficult to stomach.

ASSOCIATED PRESS (via DETROIT FREE PRESS): Dan Gelston believes the shortened-season travel will be more of an issue for Western Conference teams.

WASHINGTON POST: Capitals owner Ted Leonsis doesn’t believe the recent NHL lockout damaged the relationship with Capitals players.

THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators may still be enjoying solid ticket sales post-lockout, but the club isn’t taking it for granted.

CSNBAYAREA.COM: Kevin Kurz wonders if the San Jose Sharks’ “window of opportunity” to win the Stanley Cup has closed.

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Defense once again remains the cornerstone for the Phoenix Coyotes in their quest for the Stanley Cup.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Duncan Keith works out to improve his game, not to look good in the mirror.

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry aren’t going to be distracted by their contract statuses. The pair are eligible for unrestricted free agency in July.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Zach Parise and Ryan Suter may be getting the headlines, but the Minnesota Wild are still Mikko Koivu’s team.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: The Carolina Hurricanes are more interested in Alexander Semin’s scoring prowess than his personality.

SUN-SENTINEL.COM: The Florida Panthers have signed free agent winger Alex Kovalev to a one-year contract worth around $1 million plus bonuses.