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Malkin: Russian power play needs to be better

Feb 17, 2014, 4:19 PM EDT

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 13: Yevgeni Malkin #11 of Russia skates against Slovenia during the Men's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group A game on day six of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Bolshoy Ice Dome on February 13, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Getty Images

Russia hopes mixing up its lines will help kickstart a sagging offense, but knows it needs to start doing a better job with the man advantage.

“First and foremost our power play is the shortcoming we need to address,” Evgeni Malkin said, per Yahoo’s Puck Daddy. “We get a lot of power plays, but we just can’t convert.

“That’s why we were working on our power play for a very long time today in practice. We will see how it is going to work now.”

When the tournament started, Russia unveiled its intimidating top power-play unit, which included forwards Alex Ovechkin, Pavel Datsyuk, Ilya Kovalchuk, Alexander Radulov and defenseman Andrei Markov. Now Russia is going even more top-heavy by swapping out Radulov in favor of Malkin, according to Dmitry Chesnokov.

Russia has hit a rough patch between losing to the United States in a shootout and then narrowly beating Slovakia, but Canada followed a similar path in 2010 and it worked for them. In a way, the fact that Russia didn’t get a bye to the quarterfinals is a good thing for them because it will give them a game against Norway to work on these issues before the tougher matches start.

  1. illashell - Feb 17, 2014 at 5:28 PM

    Radulov over Malkin was a mistake from day 1.

  2. csilojohnson - Feb 17, 2014 at 7:18 PM

    That sounds good, but who plays on second unit? Semin and…..

  3. c9castine - Feb 17, 2014 at 8:24 PM

    ridiculous malkin has been on the first power play from the start. he plays on the best power play in the NHL and is way out of radulov’s league.

  4. jimw81 - Feb 17, 2014 at 9:47 PM

    Russia lives and dies on power play. it was obvious in the preliminary games.they arent going to reach the medal round if they can’t 5 on 5

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