World Cup Of Hockey: Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane Facing Pressure

Sep 7, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; Team USA F Patrick Kane (88) takes a shot on goal during practice for the World Cup of Hockey at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 7, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; Team USA F Patrick Kane (88) takes a shot on goal during practice for the World Cup of Hockey at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports /

No other Chicago Blackhawk is facing more pressure than Patrick Kane at the World Cup of Hockey

While the preliminary matchups are already underway, the official start of the World Cup of Hockey is still a week away. Already the games are providing excitement and buzz around the tournament with a surprisingly dominant performance from Team North America against Team Europe, Team USA and Team Canada living up to its billing already and some injury scares for the Chicago Blackhawks.

All told, when the real tournament gets underway, it’ll get cranked up to 11.

One of the biggest storylines to follow heading into the tournament is where Team USA will find its consistent scoring. Other than Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane, only captain Joe Pavelski and Blake Wheeler topped the 70-point mark last season.

While Kane, in the interview below, says every player on Team USA is a superstar, he really will be the biggest star on the ice for the Red, White and Blue and will be looked toward to produce the most offense.

So with the amount of pressure that Kane will face in the World Cup of Hockey Tournament, will he be able to live up to the standard of being the face of American hockey, not to mention the reigning NHL MVP?

Check it out: Injuries Will Be A Risk At World Cup

Team USA: firepower lacking

As mentioned before, Kane is going to be THE player for Team USA who will be looked at to be the offense-starter. While there are still plenty of players on the roster who can produce at a high level, Kane will undoubtedly be looked at as the primary go-to.

Take a look at the lines that USA head coach John Tortorella has run out so far:

Now compare to the tournament favorite, Team Canada:

Corey Perry is rotating in on the fourth line, and Jonathan Toews is a third-line center. Let that sink in.

Team USA can’t compare firepower for firepower against the likes of Canada, but with Kane at the helm of the offensive production, the States could still find themselves within striking distance of being in the final matchup at the end of the month.

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Kane becoming USA Hockey’s ‘golden boy’?

While this is not Kane’s first rodeo on the international stage for Team USA, this is his biggest spotlight. After missing out on being named to the leadership group for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Kane was awarded an alternate captain role along with Ryan Suter, and Pavelski being named Team USA Captain.

With Team USA’s management group feeling confident in Kane’s ability to be an out-front leader for the States and his standing as the reigning NHL MVP, Kane is primed to finally take the next step for USA hockey and become the face of the sport in America.

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Kane is all over the preseason NHL media coverage, for the right reasons, this summer after being named the top player in the NHL in numerous preseason rankings.

Have him on your fantasy team? Pencil yourself into the finals.

Already, Kane has proven a tremendous amount as far as skill and determination go. He has shown resiliency and ability to overcome a lot of distractions to produce on the highest level. Kane has the hardware to prove he is at the top of the elites in the game today.

Now can he perform when the lights are brightest on the international stage? One more week and we’ll find out.

Next: World Cup Injuries Are Going To Happen

So, what do you think about the pressure on Patrick Kane? Will he step up to the plate and solidify himself as the face of USA Hockey? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!