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Felix’s Hockey Takes: San Jose Sharks Pre-Christmas Thoughts & Russia Banned From 2018 Winter Olympics

Felix’s Hockey Takes: San Jose Sharks Pre-Christmas Thoughts & Russia Banned From 2018 Winter Olympics

San Jose Sharks Pre-Christmas Musings

It’s been a while since I last posted something for Teal Town USA. With real life as well as my own sanity and mental health getting in the way of keeping up with the sport I love watching, I unfortunately have not been able to keep up with the Sharks as much as I’d been able to in the past. However, I will say this. The Sharks have been okay. They’ve sort of improved from when I last did a progress report on them. They’ve played good enough to win some games here and there, but consistency is still an issue. After dropping their last two games of this past road trip against the Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals, respectively, the Sharks will play host to the Carolina Hurricanes Thursday night to start a three-game homestand looking to regain momentum. As of now, they sit in third place in the Pacific with 30 points. The Vegas Golden Knights are in second with 33 points, and the Los Angeles Kings lead the Pacific with 37 points.

Russia Banned From 2018 Winter Olympics

This was breaking news from earlier today, via the TSN Twitter account:

That’s right. Following the doping scandal that’s been widespread throughout Russia, the International Olympics Committee has decided to ban Russia from the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeong Chang. This, of course, does have implications especially in the hockey world. Here are a few interesting tidbits from TSN’s Bob McKenzie, especially for the KHL:

With the NHL not going to the Olympics, Russia banned, and the KHL possibly not sending their players to the Olympics, that’s a huge blow to international hockey and just hockey altogether. I know the Olympics isn’t real popular with some hockey fans out there given the politics of the IOC and whatnot. But this is the Olympics. It’s an event where athletes from every sport, in this case winter sport, get to realize their dreams and compete for gold. It’s literally a once-in-a-few-years opportunity, and for some, a once-in-a-lifetime chance. It’s why NHL players despise the NHL’s decision to not go to South Korea for the Olympics. They love the experience, and playing for their country. It’s a chance for us fans to see the best players in the world play hockey.

With these announcements, that fun is taken away from us, and while I can understand the IOC decision, I also see why it’s such a drastic move to ban the whole country. Not every athlete doped, and even if they say clean athletes will be allowed to participate but only as an individual play under the OAR acronym (Olympic Athletes from Russia), what happens if they decide to boycott the Olympics for the IOC decision? I mean, honestly it’s not a good look all-around and it sucks for everybody. I’ve been on record for opposing the NHL’s decision to opt out of the 2018 Winter Olympics, and that still stands. But I’ll be curious to see what the mindset going into the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics is. We know the NHL may or may not be going to that one either. Russia’s status may be questionable as well. We’ll see what happens but, ladies and gentlemen, it is not looking good. What are you thoughts on the issue? Chime into the comments below!

Writer’s note: check back here soon for a poll on the Olympics as well, when I can finally find a poll that actually displays and works. 

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