-- Patrick Kane
got the feeling back in his game Friday and the confidence he was searching for ever since arriving in Vancouver for his first Olympic tournament. He scored a pair of goals and had five shots in more than 17 minutes of ice time in Friday's 6-1 win over Finland.
Kane and his American teammates will go for gold on Sunday -- and there's a chance, depending on the outcome of the Canada-Slovakia nightcap -- that Kane will face Chicago teammates Jonathan Toews
, Brent Seabrook
and Duncan Keith
in the seminal game here.
The Blackhawks sniper stopped to talk about his breakout performance with NHL.com. Here's what he had to say:
-- How did it feel to finally break out in this tournament?
-- It was a good feeling. I thought our line was playing good from the beginning of the game. We were up 3-0 and we weren't a factor in any of the goals, but we drew two penalties that we scored on each power play. From that it was nice to get a couple more after that. Yeah, it was nice to breakout. It's always a good feeling.
-- Were you skating and handling the puck with more confidence today?
-- I think from the beginning of the game, from the outset I wanted to get the puck a lot and do some things with it. When I have the puck I am at my best so that's what I have to do, try to get the puck in any way I can, move my feet and skate a bit.
-- Did you hear the critics or know that people were talking about your play coming into this game, saying that if Patrick Kane
can't get going USA can't win gold?
-- Well, as far you guys, you're all over me. I mean, give me a break. No, no, no, I'm just kidding. I felt that way, too. I thought to myself, personally, that I had to get to another level and I thought today was a good starting point. It would have been nice to get one more -- but at the same time, you'll take two goals and a win any day.
-- You're going for gold now, and it could be against Canada and against Roberto Luongo
, a goalie you have fared well against in the past. Not a bad situation for you?
-- Yeah, I have had some success against him, but either way it doesn't matter to us. If it is U.S.-Canada, as far as a fan standpoint and I'm sure you guys and everybody wants to see that game. For us -- to be honest with you, as long as we win that gold that's all we want to do. We beat Canada once so far, so we know we have confidence against them. And to be honest with you, we didn't even play our best game today. I think we're getting better. It was a great start today and a good feeling going into the gold-medal game.
Contact Dan Rosen at email@example.com