It’s unfortunate for Patrick Kane that he and Team USA were unable to medal, in the 2014 Winter Olympics, in Sochi. It is extremely disappointing, considering the expectations for Team USA, and Kane, himself, that were not reached.
Is there a silver lining?
Yes, and it’s great news, for the Chicago Blackhawks.
Patrick Kane WILL have a huge post-Olympics/finish to the NHL season.
Kane is already having a career year, in 2013-2014, which has so far topped his previous career-year, in 2009-2010, when he also played in the Olympics, and dealt with frustration and disappointment.
Here’s a look at how Kane fared, in the 21 games, remaining, of the 2010 season, after the Olympics.
Not bad at all, other than the -3 rating, but a point per game pace type of player is hard to come by, in the NHL. You’ll more than take this, but when considering the expectations, that come with Kane, this doesn’t exactly blow your mind.
Kane has always been known to rise to the occasion, in big games, when the spot-light is at it’s brightest, so let’s take a look at how he fared, in his 22 games played, in the 2010 playoffs.
Now, that’s more like it. A fantastic playoff run, that lead to a Stanley Cup. Notice that the plus/minus was still a minus. Remember, this was the less mature Patrick Kane, of almost 4 years ago. Maturity, growth, and experience go a long ways, and while he will never win a Selke, Kane’s defensive game has improved, since then, as has his plus/minus ratings, along with it.
This season, however, is different. Like I said, Kane is more mature, and he is, once again, having the best season, of his career. In 2010, he was a vital cog, in Team USA’s silver medal winning team. He finished the NHL season strong, being a key component, of the Blackhawks Stanley Cup Championship, after going through the disappointment of just narrowly missing out on the gold medal, with Team USA.
Okay, so, I guess this season and 2010, are very similar, so far(which is a great thing), but when looking at the differences, especially when considering Patrick Kane, there is even more reason for optimism.
The massive disappointment of Team USA, leaving Sochi without any hardware, is even more motivation than the let-down of 2010. To add to that, Kane has been a bit of a lightening rod, for criticism, for his less than stellar production(even though that’s more on Dan Bylsma’s choice of strategy, in how he used Kane, but we won’t dig into that, right now) during the Sochi games.
It’s simple, bigger disappointment + an abundance of (unfair) criticism = a new and improved Patrick Kane.
This scenario is dangerously similar to the one in 2010, just more enhanced, in just about every way.
We will have to wait and see if the results of the 2013-2014 season, can top result of the results in 2009-2010, but a more mature, and more motivated Patrick Kane make it significantly more possible.