Early action includes Russia vs. Kazakhstan and the Czech Republic vs. Norway at 10:15 AM EST. The later games see Belarus take on Slovakia and Sweden play France (all at 2:15 PM EST).
The favourites are definitely Russia, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Sweden, but we've seen some upsets and some close calls in the early action so far, so you never know. Stop by with your thoughts on the action. As always, you can watch online at Universal Sports (at least in theory) and at the IIHF website.
Those sites require a fee, and I know the Universal Sports link has confused people before. Ask the webmasters at their site about any issues that you have experienced, I know I looked at the site and came out confused as well.
UPDATE: Russia's stars top Kazakhstan, Norway upsets Czechs
Russia 4, Kazakhstan 1: A three point game from Alexander Semin propels the Russians past a surprisingly competitive Kazakh team in Group A action. Russia has advnaced to the qualification round, while Kazakhstan will have to beat Slovakia on Wednesday in order to avoid going to the relegation round.
Norway 3, Czech Republic 2: An upset that was only possible through goaltending. Norwegian goaltender Pal Grotnes made 44 saves while Ondrej Pavelec of the Czech Republic only stopped 12 of 15 Norwegian shots. Jaromir Jagr scored two goals in a losing cause, while Patrick Thoresen got two assists in the victory. Both teams should avoid being put in the relegation round, unless France somehow pulls off an upset themselves.
UPDATE 2: Slovaks stage comeback to beat Belarus, Sweden survives late French surge
Slovakia 4, Belarus 2: After falling behind 2-0 after 1 period, Slovakia came out firing in the 2nd to get the game tied up. In the 3rd, they completed the comeback with two more goals. Milan Bartovic scored twice to lead the Slovaks in an evenly played contest. Both teams have yet to earn a spot in the qualification round, as Slovakia has to play Khazakstan on Thursday, while Belarus takes on Russia.
Sweden 3, France 2: After getting up 3-0 and being in full control after two periods, France came back strong in the third, but ultimately fell short, losing by one goal. The win puts Sweden into the qualification round, while France needs to beat Norway in regulation on Thursday, or else they will head to the relegation round.