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did anyone stay up to watch Russia-US last night

Davey Boy 2.0

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From what I've seen, Malkin is a man among boys out there.

That US team looked fantastic on paper, but really didn't impress after the shellacking they gave Norway. I can't understand how Keith Yandle (19 years old, top offensive D in the Q league, on the US junior team last year) was left off the team.

Edit to say: Luc Bourdon's going to look great playing alongside Yandle in Moncton after the WJHC.

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(Fromt he Globe&mail)

A scout says: "It goes without saying that Canada's primary challenge will be shutting down [Evgeni] Malkin. It's almost a little unfair. Malkin is physically more mature than just about every player in the tournament.

He's been playing against men in the Russian league and doing very well over there. He can be a little casual in certain situations, but you'd have to think that in a gold-medal game, and after that loss in Grand Forks last season, he'll bring his A game [today].

"Obviously, Canada will use the Marc Staal-Ryan Parent defence pairing against him. That's the more important matchup. It doesn't so much matter which forward line [coach Brent] Sutter uses against them, as long as his centre has a good night in the faceoff circle. Malkin was pretty effective on draws against the Americans. If the Canadians can dominate him in the faceoff circle and get possession of the puck, well, that's half the battle defensively against the Russians.

Of course, you need to deny them time and space when they have the puck, but if you can keep it away from them, well, your chances improve dramatically.

"The biggest trap that the Americans fell into the other night was they thought they could wheel and deal with the Russians. They're a talented team in their own right, but their overall team speed paled in comparison to the Russians'. A better tactic for them would have been to trap a little in the neutral zone, to keep the Russians from gaining speed between the bluelines. In all probability, that's what the Canadians will do -- fill the lanes on the backcheck, push things out of the middle and onto the boards and try to keep the Russians from hitting their blueline with speed. That, at least, should be the strategy 5-on-5.

"None of that will help them at all if they can't stay out of the penalty box. It looks like Benoit Pouliot is taking about one undisciplined penalty a game. Against the Finns, their penalty killing was excellent, but the Russians take the power play to another level.

They better stay out of the box, or hope that their penalty killers can do the job again. Otherwise, they're in trouble.

"Similarly, there is lots to like about Canada's power play, even though it's been criticized throughout the tournament. Somehow, they find a way of getting one or two on the board every game.

"Psychologically, they should have an edge in goal, the way Justin Pogge has been just so steady for them. I think they've only given up one even-strength goal in the tournament. [Russian goaltender Anton] Khubodin has been okay, too, but they lit him up in last year's tournament and then again in the exhibition season, so he might be a little fragile if they get one on him early.

"Can Canada win? "Sure they can. It's one game. It's not a best-of-seven series.

Malkin can be dazzling and he can be shut down, too. He's so important to them in a leadership role. If they keep him off the board, I like their chances."

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