Patrick Kane heads home from World Cup empty-handed
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TORONTO — Patrick Kane isn’t exactly sure when he’ll join Blackhawks camp now that Team USA has been eliminated from the World Cup of Hockey. But when he does, he’s sure to have a sour taste in his mouth after the Americans lost 4-3 to the Czech Republic in Thursday’s pool-play finale, dropping them to 0-3 in the tournament.
The NHL did everything possible to set up a Canada-United States final by putting them in the same group with Europe and the Czechs, but only Canada held up its end of the bargain. The U.S. lost 3-0 to Europe, 4-2 to Canada, and then came up short again against the Czechs.
Neither team was still in contention for a semifinal spot, so it was a lackluster game in front of a small crowd. Kane had an assist, his second of the tournament.
Hawks training camp begins Friday morning at Johnny’s IceHouse West; the team held fitness testing on Thursday. Kane, along with nine other Hawks, have been training and playing for three weeks already, thanks to the World Cup. A few days to decompress seems like the logical choice.
“I’m not really sure what the plan [for camp] is yet,” Kane said before the game. “A lot of guys, at least the American guys anyway, have talked about taking a few days off and then joining their team. I’ll go back to Chicago, talk to Stan [Bowman] and Joel [Quenneville] and get a feel of what they want me to do and what’s best for me.”
Team North America — the sensational group of 23-and-under Americans and Canadians who took the World Cup by storm — needed Finland to beat Russia in order to advance. But the Russians won 3-0, as Finland finished the tournament 0-3, outscored 9-1. Teuvo Teravainen, a scratch for the first game, played two very strong games against North America and Russia, but will make a quick exit from the tournament.
“It’s disappointing,” the former Hawks forward said. “Feels like it’s over so quickly. I played two games and we didn’t even score a goal.”
Teravainen will now head to Raleigh, N.C., to join his new team, the Carolina Hurricanes. He was dealt along with Bryan Bickell over the summer in a salary dump.
“I feel like I’m all ready,” he said. “I think this tournament was a good start to the season, and I’m really looking forward to go to Carolina. Pretty excited.”
Ville Pokka was one of the few minor-leaguers in the World Cup, the Hawks prospect playing all three games for Finland. He looked overmatched at times — particularly when Connor McDavid turned him inside out on a blazing rush up the slot — but feels the experience will help him.
“I feel like I got three good games here and played with high-end, top-skill guys,” Pokka said. “It’s a good experience for me to play at a high level and see where I’m at.”
Pekka was generally pleased with his play, but knows he’ll have a hard time cracking the opening day roster after the Hawks added defensemen Brian Campbell and Michal Kempny over the summer. He’ll battle with Swedes Erik Gustafsson, Viktor Svedberg and Gustav Forsling for a top spot on the depth chart.
“Every year is a tough fight for one of the last spots,” Pokka said. “I’m just going to camp with an open mind, and will try to do my best to impress the coaches, [and show] that I can play at the NHL level.”