Heading out to Regina's Brandt Centre later Monday to take in the Finland-Russia game, a tilt that should go a long way towards determining the pecking order in Group B. Just giving Russia's roster another once over, and it looks like the Great Canadian Hockey Rival will be hard pressed to beat Sweden in this pool.
Left winger Kirill Kabanov, a potential top-10 pick in the 2010 NHL entry draft, will miss the tournament with a wrist injury.
A more curious omission is right wing Dmitry Kugryshev, who has 47 points in 35 games with the Quebec Remparts, and is one of the hottest players in the Canadian Hockey League. Kugryshev had two points in seven games for Russia at last year's tournament, and the Washington Capitals second-rounder has 121 points in 92 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League games.
Also missing from Russia are four players not released by their NHL clubs. Defenceman Dmitri Kulikov plays 16 minutes per night for the Florida Panthers. He and a pair of American Hockey League players - forwards Evgeni Grachev (Rangers) and defenceman Vyacheslav Voinov (Kings) - were contributors on the 2009 bronze medal-winning team. Voinov and Centre Andrei Loktionov (Kings) have 17 points apiece for the AHL's Manchester Monarchs.