The U.S. men’s hockey team started with a bang at the Winter Olympics in Sochi as the highest-scoring team through the first four games, but after being shutout in their final two games in losses to eventual gold medal winner Canada and getting trounced in the bronze medal game to Finland, the Americans went out with a whimper.
However, Chicago Blackhawks right winger and one of the standouts on the U.S. squad Patrick Kane doesn’t think the team took a step back from the 2010 team that took silver in Vancouver.
“Not at all,” said Kane. “I think we proved we were one the best teams in the tournament the first four games.”
If only they awarded medals halfway through the tournament there would be zero disagreement based on Kane’s comments, but alas that’s not the case and Kane admits that once the dreams of a gold were dashed after the 1-0 loss to Canada that the team was not able to come back to fight against the Fins.
“We had a tough game against Canada,” Kane said. “It’s tough to come back after a loss like that, to come back and play the next night. Obviously we knew it was for a bronze medal. I think our thoughts going into [the tournament] was kind of gold or nothing. When you get that ripped away from you, and you still have a chance to play for a medal, it’s still tough.
“We were playing against a team like Finland, who probably appreciate those bronze medals a little bit more than we could. It would have been nice to bring it home, but it obviously didn’t work out that way. But I still thought we had a good tournament and proved ourselves that we’re a good hockey country.”
The Americans has hopes of taking gold, but even if they were not successful in that goal, it seemed like a forgone conclusion that they would at least take bronze. However, Kane and the rest of Team U.S.A. will have to wait four more years for redemption.