Obviously, Patrick Kane is clutch. The Chicago Blackhawks‘ superstar taught that to the Los Angeles Kings once again in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals. If there is any player on any team that can be considered a “big game” player, Kane showed just how good he can be when he needs to be. But it’s not just Kane who’s the only clutch player on the team.
Indeed, this is also a team effort. Down 3-1 in a playoff series for the second-straight year, the Hawks had nothing to lose. So they started playing their game. With an aggressive, fast-paced style, they’ve dictated much of the past two games after the Kings dictated Games 2 through 4. With some much-needed lineup changes (that started in Game 4), the Hawks were able to pull off the two victories that have sent this series to Game 7.
But Patrick Kane? The man’s stepped up his game to a whole other level. Four assists in Game 5, and followed that up with a goal and assist in Game 6. That was all that Kane needed to remind the rest of the league that there may be no one else better than him when it comes to clutch performances. You can argue all you want, but there’s a reason Kane won the Conn Smythe Trophy last season. And thanks to him being set up with Brandon Saad and Andrew Shaw, he’s only gotten better. Heck, that whole line deserves its own nickname!
The piece de la resistance, however, has to be Kane’s second goal of the game. Very few players can skate from one side of the rink to the other like he did and score through traffic. Clutch players always find ways to get the big goal at the right time. Kane had been doubted for much of the 2014 calendar year after suffering from a bad slump and very bad Olympics where he was unjustifiably blamed for Team USA‘s collapse. Boy, his critics must be feeling proud of themselves now.
Thanks to Kane’s performances in these past two games, the Hawks have a chance to give the Kings a taste of what they did to their California rivals. It won’t be easy, of course. But if Kane can pull of that showtime magic, then the Hawks will have a very good chance.