It's the rubber match.
In the modern WJHC era (conveniently described as the period since Canada started sending all-star teams as opposed to an entire junior club) Canada or Russia/USSR have won 30 of 37 titles. That's right, an even 15 each. Everyone else just borrows the trophy: Canada and Russia own this tournament.
So what I'm saying is that this game will determine, once and for all time, which country and its people are superior.
So let the smack talk begin.
The Historic Rivalry: USA / Canada is the biggest international hockey rivalry based on last year's WJHC and Olympics. The Russians just aren't that much of a threat anymore. (Oh, snap.)
Domestic Leagues: Yeah, the Russians have finally set up their own "rival" league. Ask Nabokov how much it really rivals the NHL. So what if half the number of Russians are in the NHL as compared to pre-lockout? They want to stay home in the KHL, fine. Enjoy the borscht and lack of basic live-saving equipment at your arenas.
Playing Style: the point of the game isn't exclusively to put an opponent through the end boards? That's wussy-Euro talk. (Okay, I may have some grudging respect for their puck skills.) Canadian players know what their goalies look like, unlike most of their Russian counterparts. (Ouch - backchecking burn.)
Marquee Players: really it's no contest: Ovie has won nyet as a teammate. Crosby has a Cup and a couple of Gold medals (WJHC and Olympic). Anyone who would build a team around Ovie and not Crosby hates defence and winning. Plus Ovie is seriously scary looking (to be fair, that passes for "sexy" in St. Petersburg).
Politics: We're a constitutional monarchy run by a nice old lady in a funny hat. They're run by a shirtless, tone-deaf oligarch in a not-so-quasi-authoritarian state. (If I die suspiciously of, say, poisoning in the near future, Putin did it.)
WJHC: Canada already beat the Ruskies once in this tournament, and that was with their fantastically un-Roy like goalie and before starting to pay attention to defence. Russia won two playoff games by playing about 7 total minutes of hockey, and those against other wussy-Euro trash teams. There will be no such epic chokes for Team Canada (jinx).
Louis Leblanc: That's right Habs fans, a Canadian Habs' pick at forward who actually contributes at a WJHC (fuck you again Terry Ryan, Eric Chouinard and Little Fuckity Fuck). Hopefully LOUUUUU is more TFS/Subbanator and less Ribiero. If this tournament is any indication, he looks like a Turtleplek clone: does everything better than average at both ends of the rink and works his butt off. And he's not Russian (prove me wrong, Mr. 'healthy scratch' Avtsin.)
Fearless prediction: Visentin outplays Shikin, Johanson schools Tarasenko and the Canucks skate off with our 6th WJHC gold in 7 years. Russians head back to Russia wishing they were Canadian.
*So what if none of the players can legally attend a gentlemen's club? If they bring back gold tonight, they can get in anywhere along Ste Catherine that their little (horny) hearts desire.