The early returns on this NHL season -- and they are very early returns -- are pretty interesting. Here are some numbers (through the games of Oct. 21) that have stood out for me. • The defending-champion Ducks already have played 10 games, more than any team in the league. That's a pretty heavy load for a team that battled into June to win the Cup. Plus, it had to make the long road trip to London to start the season. Oddly enough, not counting the All-Star break, the Ducks' longest break between games -- five days -- doesn't come until the beginning of April. That doesn't seem fair, does it?