Team USA is a great team because of players such as Patrick Kane. When he doesn’t score, it could lead to big problems. Team USA lost the bronze medal game to Finland Saturday. In the first four games of the tournament, the U.S. scored 20 goals. In the two games following, zero.
Patrick Kane netted a big goose egg.
Plenty of fans with little to no knowledge of hockey will place Team USA’s woes on Kane. Missed chances against Canada, two missed shootout attempts against Finland, and again no goals. Kane beat Finland goalie Tuukka Rask on both shootout attempts, but the post and uncertainty of a backhand shot led to disappointment.
Patrick Kane has been the driving force for America’s scoring chances in Sochi, especially against Canada and Finland. His saucer pass to San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski was one of the better efforts on a goal in the entire tournament. How many fans remember that?
What a number of ignorant fans may not know or choose to not remember is that Patrick Kane lost his grandfather shortly before the Olympics started. He missed the Chicago Blackhawks’ last game before the Olympic break to attend the funeral. It is well-documented that Kane viewed his grandfather as his best friend. No one is going to be 100% after a loss like that. Expecting Kane to be infallible regardless would be an egregious error on fans.
Expect Patrick Kane to come back to the U.S., get some home cooking, and play with a sense of urgency once the NHL resumes. If that happens, the rest of the league will quickly forget a lost tournament for one of America’s best.
Follow Jeff on Twitter @sckih_ffej for more sports and entertainment ramblings. Jeff also contributes fantasy advice for The Fantasy Fix.Powered by Sidelines Follow paulmbanks