When Team USA general manager Brian Burke
used his line about only 10 guys pulling on the rope, Patrick Kane
figured he was being targeted. Kane scored only one goal in the preliminary round and at times looked like a non-factor.
Kane knows he can be better. More important, he knows he must be better if the Americans are going to win a gold medal (or, really, any medal at all) here. The Chicago Blackhawks
star addressed that topic with NHL.com Tuesday.
Here's what he had to say:
Brutal honesty here: Have you been good enough?
You know what, I don't think I have been great. But at the same time, I know there is another level I can get to and I'm excited about that. Our team is playing good, obviously, and I even think our team has another level in the tank. To be honest with you I have expected a lot more of myself and I feel I can be one of the best players in the League. I'd like to prove that in the next three games and hopefully bring a gold medal back to the country.
When (Brian) Burke said Monday there are only 10 guys pulling on the rope, did you think he was targeting you and saying you need to pick it up?
Obviously what he said is probably all in good intention, but at the same time I knew that myself that I have another level. It's not that he needs to say it. I know myself I can do it. I'm not worried about it. I love playing hockey, being part of the game and doing good things on the ice. I know I'll be better."
Do these games compare to NHL games?
It's different. It's probably more of a playoff atmosphere, but it's still different because it's only one game. To be honest with you, it's like nothing else. The intensity is high and the level of hockey is high. You can be in and out of the experience so quick.
The other night I saw you bang your stick on the ice at least once. Were you getting frustrated?
I don't remember that, but sometimes during the game, like I said, you want to do good out there, you love playing the game and that's what happens sometimes. You get frustrated on the ice when you're not playing up to your level, the level you are supposed to play at.
But you guys still did win without you or Zach Parise
or Phil Kessel
scoring a goal. Is that the silver lining?
Yes, yes. Absolutely. People are saying we're not playing that well, but we finished first in the group and first in the round robin and we still have a chance to win a gold medal. We're excited about that. I'm excited to get myself going here. I kind of know what to expect now. It was like this in the NHL, too. You feel out the first couple of games and then you kind of take over and do your thing. I think it'll definitely get better.
Contact Dan Rosen at email@example.com