There has been a debate raging in the sports world recently about whether or not what fans call "clutch play" actually exists. In the case of Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane, the argument in favor of "clutch" may have one of its strongest allies.
With less than three minutes left in the second period of the Hawks’ game Thursday evening against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Steven Stamkos silenced the numerous Hawks partisans in attendance when he ripped a wicked wrist shot past Nikolai Khabibulin to quell a Chicago rally by giving the Bolts a 3-2 lead.
Not to be outdone though, Kane stole the puck from Tampa defenseman Eric Brewer and skated it all the way up the ice and beat Bishop five-hole for a breakaway goal to tie the proceedings up with about a minute left in the frame.
In addition to the fabulous forecheck pressure that caused Brewer to cough the puck up in the first place, the ability Kane displayed in rising to the occasion with a big goal is one that Kane has shown quite a bit in his career, and actually has already shown this season. In the Hawks’ opening night game against the Washington Capitals, Alex Ovechkin ripped a similar wrist shot to the one Stamkos unleashed, beating Corey Crawford to tie the game at 1-1.
The goal helped silence a crowd whipped into a frenzy not only by the banner raising ceremony they had just witnessed, but also by the goal that Brandon Bollig scored just four minutes into the game to give the Hawk the lead.
Once again refusing to back down, Kane scored for the Hawks just 24 seconds later, scoring from just about the exact same spot in the offensive zone that the Great 8 had been standing in. It was a seminal moment for Kane, showing that he is capable of throwing down the gauntlet against a huge star in the league like Ovechkin, and the moment really had an air of “anything you can do I can do better” to it.
Obviously, Kane has had other clutch moments in his career, like this game-tying goal against the Nashville Predators during the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs:
Or like this one against the Los Angeles Kings during the 2013 Western Conference Finals:
Or like this goal that won the Cup in 2010:
Obviously, Kane's ability to one up an elite player like Stamkos like he did on Thursday night doesn't carry the same weight as these kinds of playoff tallies do, but it does once again remind fans of just how much of a flair for the dramatic Kane has shown in his career.