There are few athletes in all of sports that take as much of a beating from the fans in their respective sport than Patrick Kane does. Not only does the Chicago Blackhawks forward hear about his past off the ice from opposing fans, fans in the Windy City have rooted for him to be traded at various points throughout the past few seasons.
The hope is that those folks who once rooted for the Blackhawks to trade Patrick Kane (in a deal that usually included a swap for Ryan Miller) can finally realize how absolutely absurd those wishes were. The Hawks are going back to the Western Conference Finals. And once again, they were able to rely on Kane for a key goal to get them to where they want to be.
Patrick Kane is already building a Hall of Fame resume for the Hawks. He’s a Stanley Cup champion, having scored the game winner to get them their first title in 61 years, an Olympic Silver Medalist, a perennial All Star, and is widely credited with leading the rebirth of the Blackhawks franchise.
Saturday night presented the latest chapter in the career of Patrick Kane. The criticism he’s drawn throughout these Stanley Cup Playoffs in particular has been pretty widespread. Even Kane called himself out prior to Game 4. We saw him elevate him in that tilt, and he reached an even higher level in Game 5.
Kane recorded a hat trick as the Blackhawks ousted the defending champion Los Angeles Kings in double overtime in Game 5. Kane scored early on to give the Hawks a 2-0 edge, before giving them a 3-2 lead in the waning minutes of the third period. Then, with both teams visibly exhausted, Kane rocketed a shot past Jonathan Quick that sent the series to its end.
It’s obviously not the first time Kane has come up huge in the playoffs. His hat trick in the ’08-’09 playoffs sent the Hawks on to the Western Conference Finals. And, of course, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards know plenty about that as well, as Kane won the Cup for the Hawks with his overtime goal in 2010.
Patrick Kane is a brilliant hockey player. His career in Chicago has been frustrating at times, but there’s no doubt that when it comes down to it, he’s going to rise to the occasion. We’ve seen him do it time and time again. If the Blackhawks pull this off and win a second Stanley Cup in four years, look for Kane to make a significant impact in the Finals.