Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane lauds Team USA gold, Jocelyne Lamoureux game-winner
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Jocelyne Lamoureux’s game-winning shootout goal in Team USA’s thrilling victory over Canada in the gold-medal game at the Pyeongchang Olympics on Thursday — forehand-backhand-forehand — came on a move that Patrick Kane would be proud of. And sure enough, he was.
“That’s impressive. I think you’d score on an NHL goaltender with that one,” said Kane, who scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal in the 2010 playoffs and has a history of huge goals in big games. “A great move overall. Didn’t really know what she was going to do when she was coming down. She was kind of swerving a little bit.
“It kind of reminded me of a move that Sam Gagner would do where he throws it on his backhand and brings it to his forehand and the goalie’s on the other side of the net. And I know the goalie for Canada [Shannon Szabados] is one of the best, so that’s pretty impressive under those circumstances in that big of a game.”
There might not be a bigger hockey fan in the NHL than Kane, so it was no surprise that the Blackhawks’ star forward was captivated by the entertaining and riveting gold-medal game.
“It was just fun to watch,” Kane said. “I went back home after [the Blackhawks-Senators] game, turned it on and I was watching it with my girlfriend and she’s like, ‘Do you have money on this game?’ I was pretty into the game, and kind of up and down with every play that was happening. I felt like a true fan. It was fun to watch.”
Defenseman Jan Rutta, who returned from injured reserve after missing seven games with an injury, had a goal and an assist Friday. Rutta played only two of the Hawks’ previous 15 games.
“As a player you always want to do your best,” Rutta said. “It’s tough to know why it’s not going as well as it was. Maybe after the season I can think about it a little bit more. I’m just really happy to be back in the lineup and be playing again.”
Like just about everybody else, Rutta is searching for consistency. He had two goals and four points and was a plus-7 in the Hawks’ first three games this season. He’s a minus-14 since then.
“But there’s still some upside to his game,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “The way he began, he could be useful in a lot of ways.”
Monday’s trade deadline isn’t necessarily a distraction for players, but it can be an annoyance in this day and age.
“It almost gets worse every year with the social media,” defenseman Connor Murphy said. “I think the hardest thing are the rumors about players, things that can come from nothing. It’s a funny thing with Twitter — anyone can put something out there that can mean nothing.
“But it’s part of the business. I think everyone continues to play hard on the ice. And when it comes down to those last couple of days, you’re on the phone a little bit seeing if something happens. You try not to think about it.”
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