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Monday, January 03, 2005

Canada, Russia to battle for Gold

Here we go again. Canada and Russia will square off tomorrow for the gold medal. I think we may have seen this somewhere before. The difference, in my opinion, is that the outcome will be completely different this time around. The Candian squad is too deep and has too much overall balance to not overcome the ghosts of the past.

However, that doesn't mean that it will be a cakewalk.
"They are a highly skilled team and a puck-possession type team and yet we can't get too caught up in what they do," Canadian head coach Brent Sutter said. "We've got to make sure we've got to continue to focus on our strengths and continue to play the type of game we want to play because if we don't do that, we don't give ourselves a chance."

As dominant as Canada was against the Czechs in their 3-1 victory - a game where the scoreboard did not accurately portray the one-sidedness of the play - the Russians will give them all they can handle.

As for the Russian squad, they defeated the U.S. team 7-2 (two empty net goals) on Sunday night. The thing that stands out in that contest was not who won or lost, it was the taunting by the two Russian stars - Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin - at the end of the game. These guys are supposed to be future NHL greats? In my books, players who are NHL ready don't show a complete lack of class as these two did. What a show of complete disrespect.

I always hoped that it would come down to Canada and Russia in the gold medal final, but now, considering the complete lack of common sense by the two Russian "stars", I really want the Russians to get blasted. And if Canada and the U.S. win their respective games on Tuesday, my predictions will have been spot on for the top four finishers.

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