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11-09-2012, 01:07 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Vancouver
Country: Canada
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Russia should win this series this year handily. This is by far the best squad they have ever brought. Their roster is probably at least 60% of who will be playing at the WJC, and sometimes higher depending on which Major Junior players are with them.

Canada is icing squads from 3 separate leagues and in the OHL and WHL games, they are partially split squads. You might be getting 30% of an actual WJC roster on any given night. Also, Canada is auditioning about 9 goalies over 6 games. Vasilevski was the best goalie in the tournament last year and his backup isn't bad either.

For those ragging on Yakupov, he has looked pretty impressive to me for someone who is being targeted so much. He may be trying to do a little too much at times, but that is also on his coach. It's clear he wants Nail carrying the puck up every PP. I think having him play in this series is very smart for Russia. Malkin and Ovechkin were overwhelmed by Canada's physical tactics in Gold medal games and rendered ineffective. Nail gets 6 warmup games to figure out how to work around them.

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