Monday, September 19, 2016
Stunning U.S. loss to Europe shows need for Patrick Kane to take control
The Team Canada hockey roster for the World Cup is so stacked that it has six time NHL All-Star and former Hart Trophy winner Joe Thornton on the fourth line.
The Olympic gold medalists twice in title are the favorites to capture the World Cup which started Saturday at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto and just happen to be the next opponent for the United States, which is reeling after a surprise 3-0 defeat in Europe team in the opening match of the two-week tournament.
The United States itself in peril of an early exit with slow effort against Europe and will need someone to take control if it has grandiose ideas to make a run at the tournament championship.
Someone, for example, a # 88.
"I'm going as far as to say that our team has a good chance because Patrick Kane is at its peak," Team USA Max Pacioretty said Blackhawks Jersey winger. "I feel like he's the best player in the game (and) ... this tournament sets up perfectly for him.
"A guy like that can change a game in one shift so for the rest of the team of our identity is to be hard to play against and make life difficult for them. But 'Kaner,' let him his thing, let him play offense. he is the best in the world and it will be fun to watch. "
It was especially hard to watch the Americans against Europe as a rag-tag group of eight players game controlled countries throughout withdraw stunning.
Jaroslav Halak made 35 saves to record the shutout while Marian Gaborik, leon draisaitl and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare scored to provide the offense for Team Europe.
"We go after the tournament - this is a place we did not want to be," said US coach John Tortorella. "It is a very dangerous place, but we're here. So we just need to stay together, not blow here and have a couple of good days of practice and prepare for our next opponent and try to do better. "
Kane, who led the NHL in scoring last season with 46 goals and 60 assists, will need a better effort against Canadians. The native of Buffalo had four shots on goal in 18 minutes, 48 seconds of ice time and also a turnover while trying to control the puck that led to the second period of the objective of which Draisaitl made it 2-0.
"On a couple of our mistakes, slippers, toe, giving them odd man breaks, they were able to capitalize," said Kane. "On the second goal, I will certainly take the blame on that one. It's a piece I've done a million times in my career. I just kind of lost the puck and the next thing you know they go down on two -0. It is unacceptable to me. "
The consensus is that Kane is the type of player who can change the outcome of a game - and therefore the timing of compressed tournaments - with his offensive talents and will be needed more than ever after Saturday's defeat.
"There are a lot of guys here that can have this great game, but it is certainly at the top of the list," said Sidney Crosby, who later scored the first goal in the 6-0 win for Canada on Czech republic. "Ultimately you try to help each other as a group, but I think Patrick Kane has shown time and again that he can do these big games. They go looking for him to do that in this tournament."
Six players scored for Canada, including the Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews Jersey, who made it 5-0.
Crosby & Co. will have a first-hand look at Kane Tuesday night when Canada and the United States renewing their rivalry.
"(Kane) is a game changer," Canada forward Matt Duchene said. "He's a guy who just did better and better. It makes them very dangerous."