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KHL: The calm before the storm



It seems to be quiet around the lakes Ladoga and Onega and the rivers Lena and Jenisej. Volga and Neva seem to flow peacefully this time of the year.

Probably one or two you might be seen drilling holes in the ice for fishing, packing up your coffee, tea and stronger contents and just sitting there for hours until it gets dark enough to call it a day and go home.

More or less 50 games have been played so far, which means of course that it is not far to the playoffs, but we have the Olympic Games that comes in the meantime and before the knockout rounds starting in the KHL.

If we look at both Conferences, you can see clearly which teams have clinched the playoff spots already and those who have not.

Western Conference

In the West, Severstal Cherepovets and Spartak Moscow still have the playoff spot in their hands but Dynamo Moscow is chasing from behind indeed. That’s the only exciting thing ongoing in that part of the league.

Eastern Conference

If some mentioned that the rivers above were flowing quietly, well, the current is a bit stronger in the River Amur, so watch out so you won’t fall in and be dragged by the excitement that is going on there and the battle between Amur Khabarovsk and Sibir.

Those teams are settling up between them who is going to take the last playoff spot for the moment, and I think the battle will keep going on the rest of the regular season.

And, it is hard to predict who is going to win that fight, as it can go either way.

For the moment, I think most of the players are thinking more about the Olympic Games in Pyongyang, South Korea.

Most of the players would normally never have had a chance to reach one of the biggest hockey scenes and show themselves for a far bigger audience than the KHL or any other league.

For some it is the first and last big tournament at the same time; for some others, it is the biggest window of opportunity to reach the NHL.

So, one can understand the excitement before the biggest adventure ever in their hockey lives no matter which direction they go after the Olympics.

No need to mention it really because it is quite old news and expected as well but the Russian players will attend the games under the Olympic flag, which is a good thing for the Olympic Games itself and for the game of hockey of course.

So, I suppose that there is no need to be too emotional and rush things through, just lean the chair on the wall, feel the smell of the spring and wait until all is settling down.

We all belong to an ancient identity. Stories are the rivers that take us there.

Frank Delaney, Irish novelist born 1942.

Arto Palovaara, Sunday Chronicler for Sports Rants Europe. Previously, he contributed for the betting company Betsafe, Svenska fans, Get real hockey and Ice nation UK. He is also an educated archaeologist and life coach who loves literature and history. Not to forget: probably he is the only sportswriter that plays the banjo.