Canada/USA, Russia/Czech Republic, Sweden/Finland. What a great day of hockey this promises to be.
The pressure people put on themselves and the rivalry between the teams is much more marked.
And I think that's a good thing. As long as that rivalry remains within the spirit of competition, it can only spur everyone on.
Yesterday in Vancouver...
Norway 4 - 5 Switzerland. A real ding dong at Gene...sorry, Canada Hockey Place with the Swiss finally prevailing in overtime.
Latvia 0 - 6 Slovakia. A bit of a drubbing for boys from (mainly) Dinamo Riga. Stumpel, Zednik, Handzus, Hossa, Baranka and Visnovsky with the goals for the Slovaks.
Germany 3 - 5 Belarus. Leafs prospect Korbinian Holzer had three shots but was held pointless for ze Germans as they lost out to Belarus. Mickey Grabs was at home and had an early night. What? Oh. More to follow on that, perhaps...
- Making alleged fist talk on the mean streets of Vancouver, Mikhail Grabovsky spent a night behind bars in a maximum security stockade. Thoughts from Toronto Sports Media, Bone's Corner, Kukla's and The Omen.
- "Grabovski was apparently released to his parents". Oh, Mikhail.
- Marlies win two in two days, with future Olympic goal medalist and Pulitzer prize winner James Reimer recording a shutout - final score, 2 - 0 over the Manitoba Moose.
- Maple Leaf Hot Stove puts Phil the Thrill under the microscope.
- Mr Burke has been chatting with the good folk of the fourth estate, with Mr Wyshynski in attendance.
- Vintage Leaf Memories profiles Fran Huck - and let's not forget the Vintage Leaf Survey also.
- Behind The Net tries to construct a roster from the 'best-of-the-rest' countries. Doesn't exactly set your heart racing.
- Who has been wearing the best jersey in the 2010 games? The Hockey News investigates...