January 4, 2005
How they match up
By TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun
If Canada can shut down Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin tonight, it should not have a problem winning its first gold since 1997. The thinking is the defence pair of Dion Phaneuf and Shea Weber will get the task of trying to limit Ovechkin, but Malkin is a concern as well. Brent Seabrook's shoulder is not 100%, so it likely will be up to Braydon Coburn and Shawn Belle to handle Malkin.
The general talk here is that the Russians' defence and goaltending, provided by Anton Khudobin, remains suspect. Canada, on the other hand, has a solid defence corps led by Phaneuf. And there are questions surrounding Canada goalie Jeff Glass, who has not been tested once during this tournament.
The Russians have been good on the power play and giving Ovechkin and Malkin one less man to contend with would be foolish. But Canada has been a disciplined group so far and there is no reason to believe it will go for a fall tonight.
Maple Leafs pick Dimitri Vorobiev is second among defencemen in scoring at the world junior, recording one goal and five assists in five games.
Coach Brent Sutter couldn't have more respect in the Canadian dressing room and that is a large reason why this club is so good. No one has gone off his beaten path, and Canada has shown no tendencies of letting up.