Marleau admits lack of power plays for Canada is suprising

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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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