The Sochi Network

American Kane hoping for Sochi redemption

The Sochi Network

View photo


Canada celebrate their Vancouver success, an image which haunts America and Patrick Kane.

It has been four years since the United States men's ice hockey was left heartbroken, a silver medal hung around their necks after a crushing overtime loss to Canada in the final at the Vancouver Olympics.

Such was the sting of that defeat that until four weeks ago, American sniper Patrick Kane had not watched a tape of the gold medal final, but with the Sochi Olympics a month away he figured it was time.

"The first time I watched it was this year, probably three or four weeks ago," Kane told Reuters on Tuesday. "It took me a couple of days to watch it all.

"At the time you don't realise what a big game it was, how many people were watching, how much coverage there was, how big it was for the game of hockey in general.

"From that sense you are happy to have been a part of it but it still stings that we couldn't pull off the victory. Really it was awesome to watch. It was kind of like watching the game not knowing what the result is going be."

That result, a 3-2 Canada win decided by Sidney Crosby's overtime winner, cannot be changed but the outcome of the Sochi Winter Games is still to be decided.

Despite reaching the gold medal game at two of the last three Olympics, the Americans will open the tournament on Thursday against Slovakia as underdogs.

While Russia, Canada and Sweden are expected to battle for top spot on the podium just like Vancouver, the United States is largely being overlooked as a gold medal threat and that suits Kane and his team mates just fine.

"One of our greatest strengths was the media and other teams didn't really think we had what it took to win a gold medal and going into the tournament I think we might have been ranked fifth or sixth," recalled Kane.

"Now you look at it and there has been a lot of talk about Russia and Canada and Sweden so you almost feel like an underdog again.

"We've thrived in that role before so it's not something we're not use to."

Where Kane has excelled, is coming up big when it matters most.

He scored the game-winning overtime goal in the Chicago Blackhawks' first Stanley Cup win in 49 years in 2010 and picked up a Conn Smythe trophy as the Stanley Cup playoffs' most valuable player last season when Chicago hoisted the Cup again.

"You always want to prove yourself as a big time player in big games," said Kane. "Just try to prove yourself at the highest levels of hockey.

"They are great opportunities, opportunities that don't come along often, if at all, so you try to take advantage as much as you can.

"I don't think you go into a game putting too much pressure on yourself to shine in these moments just try to go out play hockey and do the right things.

Doing the right thing has not always come easy for Kane, whose reputation as a partygoer has irked the Blackhawks management.

But Kane has worked hard to rehabilitate his bad boy reputation and comes to Sochi as a thoughtful team leader.

"The thing with the Olympics is it only comes around every four years so you get one or two of these opportunities to be here so you really have to take advantage and fulfill the opportunity," said Kane.

"In 2010 it didn't happen, it's cool to say maybe that you went home with a silver medal but it's still bittersweet because you lost and you get a medal for losing.

"It would be nice to bring home a gold medal."


View comments (1)
  • Reuters Sports Schedule at 1530 GMT on Saturday, Aug 27

    Reuters sports schedule at 1530 GMT on Saturday (times GMT): SOCCER Premier League Chelsea v Burnley (1400) Crystal Palace v Bournemouth (1400) Everton v Stoke City (1400) Leicester City v Swansea City (1400) Southampton v Sunderland (1400) Watford v Arsenal (1400) Hull City v Manchester United (1630) United, Chelsea, Hull look to maintain 100 percent starts LONDON - Tottenham drew 1-1 with Liverpool in the early fixture before Manchester United, Chelsea and Hull look to maintain their 100 percent starts to the season later in the day. ... More »

    Reuters - 22 minutes ago
  • Colin Kaepernick picks worst time to take a stand on national anthem

    Colin Kaepernick picks worst time to take a stand on national anthem

    The controversial quarterback may have jeopardized his future with the 49ers after sitting during the national anthem. More »

    Sporting News - 33 minutes ago
  • U.S. Open 2016: Serena Williams' sore shoulder 'a little better'

    U.S. Open 2016: Serena Williams' sore shoulder 'a little better'

    Time off after losing at the Rio Olympics should help but Serena Williams begins a long, hard competition at Flushing Meadows. More »

    Sporting News - 42 minutes ago
  • U.S. Open 2016: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal nursing wrist injuries

    U.S. Open 2016: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal nursing wrist injuries

    Wrist injuries hamper two of the world's top-ranked players as they head into the first round at Flushing Meadows. More »

    Sporting News - 58 minutes ago
  • Brazil court frees Ireland's Mallon arrested in Rio Olympic ticket scam

    A Brazilian court said on Saturday it has authorized the release of Ireland's Kevin James Mallon, a director of international sports hospitality company THG who was arrested on Aug. 5 for the alleged illegal scalping of Olympic tickets. Mallon was being held along with the former head of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) Patrick Hickey, who is still detained in a Rio prison. On Friday, a source in the Rio state security services told Reuters that a Rio de Janeiro court will return the passports of three members of the OCI who will be allowed to leave Brazil. More »

    Reuters - 1 hour 42 minutes ago