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A disappointing performance against Canada has Russia fighting for their lives against the upstart Swiss.
Russia really turned in a stinker against Canada on New Years Eve. As the home team in the tournament and with mounting pressure to win, Russia now faces a do or die situation against the startlingly good Swiss.
Although they only went 1-0-3-0, no win against Switzerland is easy. Not even Sweden, winner of Group A and serious contender for gold, could beat the Swiss in regulation.
Bruce Peter previewed the Swiss team for SB Nation here.
Some things are clearly in Russia's favour going into this game. At 2-1-0-1 in the tougher group, with stellar goaltending to back them up, an argument could be made that only Canada has outplayed Russia in the World Juniors so far.
They also have a star player in Mikhail Grigorenko who has yet to break out, Grigorenko is tied for 3rd in shots in the WJC with 18, but is yet to score. Being a high percentage scorer in junior hockey, it seems inevitable that he will find the back of the net.
Russia once again gets the prime time slot, with game time at 8:00AM EST.