Nathan Dennette / The Canadian Press
Look, this may not be the most glamourous game thread you've ever seen, but I'm awake, and if you're any kind of Canadian, you should be too. Perhaps we've been spoiled with the prime time New Years Eve games against the US over the years, but this is gonna be a damn fine way to end 2012. Canada played well against an undisciplined US team yesterday, but face a huge test against the home team and Nail Yakupov.
The Russians have speed, skill and a loud and energetic crowd behind them. They may also have the nervousness that comes from having the home town expectations upon them. Sure it may have been a while since a Canadian Junior team faced this kind of a hostile crowd, but the pressure's not nearly as intense as it is on the Russians in this situation, looking to send a message to the world in advance of the Sochi Games in 2014 that they are looking to reclaim a position of dominance over all, especially Canada when it comes to hockey.
Malcolm Subban was a rock yesterday against the Americans, and will have to be that way today, but Team Canada gets good news in Boone Jenner and JC Lipon returning from suspension for this morning's game. Suffice it to say it's even more crucial for Canada to play a disciplined game like they did against the USA, with the kind of scoring threats they have on the Russian side. Go Canada Go!!