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Marleau admits lack of power plays for Canada is suprising

Feb 19, 2014, 4:03 AM EDT

Sochi Olympics Ice Hockey Men AP

SOCHI, Russia — Martin St. Louis will draw in for Matt Duchene, P.K. Subban will be scratched again, and Carey Price will be in goal for Team Canada tonight at the Bolshoy Ice Dome when the defending gold medalists play their quarterfinal match against the heavy underdogs from Latvia.

One thing coach Mike Babcock will be hoping for? More power plays. Somewhat incredibly, Canada — which has been dominant possession-wise, if not always on the scoreboard, in its first three games — has only played with the man advantage four times, by far the fewest opportunities of any of the teams here.

“I’m a big believer that if you spend a lot of time in the offensive zone, you’ll go on the power play,” Babcock said after the morning skate. “That hasn’t happened, but over time – it’s just like some of our players haven’t scored; over time they’ll score – over time, we’ll get our power plays.”

Forward Patrick Marleau admitted the lack of power plays has caught him by surprise.

“There’s only been, what, four?” he said. “Maybe we can do a better job of sustaining pressure and wearing them down, so it forces the other team to take some more penalties. Little bit surprising, but that’s the hand we’re dealt, so we’re going to go after them tonight.”

Neither Babcock nor Marleau mentioned the officiating, which was a hot topic among the Canadians after the Finland game.

“Obviously it seemed like the whistles were put away for the most part,” said John Tavares.

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  1. opattytheirishrover - Feb 19, 2014 at 4:12 AM

    O’Patty drinking game: every time that a players quote includes the word “obviously”, drown a pint a jig on a chair.

    Relying on the man advantage with such a deep roster I feel is disadvantageous to the Canadians, not that I feel as if they are relying on it…but I’ll be dog’gonned if it doesn’t help. Redundant I know….but ‘obviously’ a slow news story requires some chatter help.

  2. charlieconway96 - Feb 19, 2014 at 5:00 AM

    So far the officiating has been horrible. I know the rules are different from other pro leagues that the refs come from but its really been embarrassing throughout the tournament.

    Go USA!

    • gregman98 - Feb 19, 2014 at 6:53 AM

      About half of the referees in Sochi are from the NHL:

      http://espn.go.com/olympics/winter/2014/icehockey/story/_/id/10449201/how-olympics-hockey-different-the-nhl

  3. dutchman1350 - Feb 19, 2014 at 7:26 AM

    Amazing, considering Canada has a Gold Medal diver in Sidney Crosby.

    • hockey412 - Feb 19, 2014 at 8:03 AM

      Oh, where is patthehockey fan for this one…

      • dutchman1350 - Feb 19, 2014 at 9:36 AM

        Apparently you didn’t see Canada’s last game where Sid was knocked over by a stiff breeze (even Teemu Selanne was telling Sid about it). He is the greatest player in the world, but flops like a soccer player.

      • hockey412 - Feb 19, 2014 at 9:51 AM

        I actually did see that – Selanne was out of line and you really have no clue that it was a dive.

        However, that is NOT what I was referencing.

  4. puregreed - Feb 19, 2014 at 8:41 AM

    Duchene out is ridiculous.

    • jpelle82 - Feb 19, 2014 at 9:10 AM

      have you seen him play the last 2 months for colorado? he’s lucky to still have made the trip

      • puregreed - Feb 19, 2014 at 12:15 PM

        Have you seen him in this tourney? He has played great one of Canada’s best forwards.

  5. patshal - Feb 19, 2014 at 8:48 AM

    Even though I want the US to win, I want Canada to beat Latvia today. It would be awesome to see a rematch between the two hockey-crazy countries. The power play wools definitely help though.

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