The National Hockey League is getting back to business this week after breaking for the All-Star break. If you are wondering why teams have played so infrequently during the month of January, you are not the only one.
One of the reasons why the National Hockey League gave for not attending the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang was the fact the Olympics was too disruptive to their schedule. My question is this. Isn’t breaking for a week for the NHL All-Star Game and breaking for a league-wide mandatory break for a week in January more disruptive or as disruptive as breaking for two weeks in February for the most significant sporting event in the entire world?
The reasons why the NHL are not going to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang had more to do with economics, insurance factors and restrictions by the International Olympic Committee when it came to marketing, and clearly less to factors dealing with convenience. At the NHL All-Star Game, Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid was sensational in the first semi-final game as Pacific beat the Central 5-2. McDavid had four assists including two helpers on goals by James Neal of the Vegas Golden Knights. McDavid could also have recorded a hat trick if it was not for the brilliant goaltending by Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators.
In the final, Brock Boeser of the Vancouver Canucks and Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames had great chemistry as they each had one goal and one assist in a 5-2 Pacific win over the Atlantic. Once again, Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings was overlooked. Doughty was spectacular on Sunday and showed the world why he is not only the NHL’s top defenseman, but one of the very best players in the entire NHL. Doughty also had one goal and one assist for two points against Team Atlantic and also scored from McDavid in Team Pacific’s win over Team Central.
Doughty, of London, Ontario, is simply underrated. He should have won the 2014 Lou Marsh Award as Canada’s top athlete, but was beaten out by Canadian Olympic gold medal winning bobsledder Kaillie Humphries. That year, Doughty won the Stanley Cup for the Kings and the gold medal for Canada at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. If it was not for the great push starts for Heather Moyse in Sochi, then Humphries would not have stood on top of the Olympic podium.