Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Live Stream- WJC Quarterfinal Game, Team USA vs. Team Russia

01/02/2015 at 12:25pm EST

from Alan Muir of Sports Illustrrated,

• If the Russians have proved anything in this tournament it's their upsetting tendency to unravel at the slightest provocation. They barely held it together against a lightly talented Danish team, lost their composure after having a goal disallowed against Sweden, and were sabotaged by a slow start—just three first-period shots!—in a must-win New Year's Eve game against the Czechs. Much has been made of the coaching effort by Valeri Bragin, but this feels more like a personnel issue. The Russians are good, but they lack the swagger that's defined their recent teams. This group doesn't have a game breaker like Evgeny Kuznetsov or Mikhail Grigorenko who could exploit the slightest breakdowns by their opponents and take control of a contest, and that's removed Russia's margin for error. Get a goal on them early and this could become a blowout.

• Jack Eichel may be the poster boy for Team USA but I can't take my eyes off Auston Matthews, a player who seems to get a bit better with each passing game. The early favorite to go first in the 2016 NHL Draft has made a strong impression at the tournament, playing a solid 200-foot game and showing tremendous poise despite just having turned 17. He doesn't have the elite upside of Eichel or Connor McDavid but he plays a heavy game that will translate easily to the pros. Expect him to assert himself physically into this game early and be a handful even against Russia's big-bodied defense.

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Watch the stream below, puck drops just after 1:00pm ET...

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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