One of the happiest moments of my life came in 2010, when the Chicago Blackhawks won their first Stanley Cup since 1961, beating the Philadelphia Flyers in six games, with the sixth becoming an instant classic. In that game a player scored from an impossible angle through Michael Leighton‘s five-hole, ending decades of frustration for the fan base.
Another great moment was last season, when the Hawks played a Los Angeles Kings team that had one of the hottest players on the planet in Jonathan Quick. The team had a chance to win the series, but gave up a goal to tie the game with less than 10 seconds remaining. In Double Overtime, the Hawks got a one-timer goal that went top shelf on a sprawling Quick to win the series, and advance them to the Stanley Cup Finals, which they also won.
Yesterday, with the Hawks down two games to one in a series against their biggest divisional rival, the St. Louis Blues, the team tied the game late in regulation, before a lucky bounce gave them a 3-on-2 break-out, in which the puck-handler did a toe drag to give himself space and fired a snap shot near side on a goalie who is considered one of the best in the world, Ryan Miller.
All of these seem like epic, clutch goals that helped the team win crucial playoff games. Even throughout the regular season, we see clutch shoot-out goals, that involve stopping on a dime and deking goalies out so bad that they lie helpless on the wrong side of the net.
In case you weren’t aware, everything mentioned above comes from one player: Patrick Kane. Kane has become one of the most clutch players that Chicago fans have ever had the pleasure of watching, and yes that includes every sport Mr. Michael Jordan. While he may not be the most clutch athlete of all-time, he is definitely becoming the most clutch NHL player in the league today, one outstanding goal at a time.
Considering the fact that there are 18 skaters on each team for a game, barring injury, Kane having a knack for getting huge goals like the ones mentioned above is highly unlikely. But Kane is a special player, who seems to put a little bit more power and accuracy on his shots when the game is on the line, something that clutch players can do. While nobody will say he’s the best player in the world, saying he’s the most clutch is a definite possibility. His abilities in crucial moments makes him a key for the rest of the playoffs, as you can never count out the Hawks, and especially Kane.