No, the National Hockey League players are not taking part in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games right now in Seoul, South Korea. But there are many reasons to watch the action.
5 Reasons to watch 2018 Winter Olympic Men’s Hockey
1. There are still stars
You may not have the elite players of the world, but there are still many high quality players playing right now. For example, for New Jersey Devil and Atlanta Thrasher Ilya Kovalchuk is playing for the Russian squad. Many NHL fans want to see if he’s still got it. Then, you also have a few up and coming players who are bound to be stars one day in the NHL. Team USA’s Jordan Greenway is one example. He scored versus Slovenia this week and he played well last year at the World Junior Hockey Championships. Greenway is a Minnesota Wild prospect.
2. There are going to be some spectacular blowouts
Any time you have host countries who wouldn’t necessarily qualify for the Olympic Games, you’re going to see some lopsided, hilarious scores. Korea has a team competing in these games. Let’s just say that they’re not a medal favorite.
3. Bigger ice surface
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that NHLers play on a much smaller ice surface. International hockey is played on larger ice, leading to more creative, faster hockey.
The 1980 Miracle on Ice. The world loves an underdog success story. Who will it be at this tournament? You have to watch to find out.
5. It’s still hockey
What, are you going to watch two-man luge? Come on, people. It’s hockey, one of the best sports in the world. You can’t not watch your country take on the rest of the world. Here’s hoping that we have some competitive medal round games.
Matthew Ross is a sports commentator and a radio host on TSN 690 Radio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Follow him @MatthewWords.