If group play wasn't already simply a preseason tuneup for Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, it might be now.
What already was a top-heavy Group B became even more so when Finland was dealt a severe blow to its hopes with the injury withdrawals of Mikko Koivu of the Minnesota Wild and Valtteri Filppula of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Missing its top two centers, Finland's best hopes for an automatic bye to the quarterfinals most likely will be through the wild-card spot. It's unfortunate because a healthy Finnish squad featuring undoubtedly the best goaltending in the tournament could have had a chance to finish first in the group.
Now Group B is shaping up to be fodder for the Canadian machine to roll through on its way to the medal round.
Preliminary-round play in Group B begins Thursday and concludes Sunday, when Canada and Finland face each other in the final game of group play in the tournament.
Here is a preview of Group B: