Chicago Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane Needs to Break Through for Team USA
As the 2014 Winter Olympic Hockey Tournament rolls on, the United States looks to continue their streak towards the Gold Medal. Their offense is firing on all cylinders, their defense is holding up and their goaltending is superb. However, they’re going to need a little more out of a few players if they want to win gold. That includes Chicago Blackhawks superstar Patrick Kane. While he’s certainly contributing, the US would be better served if Kane turned up his scoring.
So far, Kane has only three assists–albeit one of them was an outstanding feed to Joe Pavelski against Russia–and no goals. It should be obvious that this is not enough. Kane was brought in to score goals, but it seems as if his goal-scoring drought from the NHL season has spread to his play in the Olympics. Contributing to the team with assists is most certainly important. But with some potentially dangerous opponents, Kane needs to turn it up.
The United States will face either Slovakia or Czech Republic in the quarterfinals, which should be easy. However, assuming they are able to get it together and beat Switzerland, Canada will be standing in their way in the semifinals. While there are certainly questions (such as whether or not they’re as good as the pundits said they were), Canada should be tough. That means that Kane will have to do more than providing assists. He needs to score goals.
Kane is just as, if not better than, many of the top players in these Olympics. His puck-handling skill is untouchable, and he has a knack for scoring goals. The United States would benefit if he found his scoring touch again, especially if it happens against Canada. For Kane, it could mean that his NHL slump could end and his contributions will help the American team. But as Herb Brooks said, “The name on the front is more important than the one on the back.” Any contribution he makes is good.
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