This is why the NHL needs to ensure that NHL players continue to play in the Olympics. Hockey is the only major sport in the US that can field a competitive tournament where you really have 7 or 8 countries that are capable of fielding the best team any given tournament.
People loved the Olympic tournament in the US and it's clearly carrying over to the playoffs. The fact that marquee names people are used to hearing about from the Olympics like Ovechkin and Ryan Miller are out is unfortunate; but still.
There's no way that that pulling out of the Olympics can be "justified" by preserving the integrity of a regular season that is too long and borderline meaningless anyway.
But the season to 75 or even 70 games in Olympic years if you have to. But keep sending NHL players to the Olympics, folks. Please.