The father of Blackhawks right-winger Patrick Kane says his son can handle the pressure, but the Staley Cup Finals still feel different than any other game.
Patrick Kane is easy to spot on the ice. The flowing, golden locks peek out from under his hockey helmet, while he's wearing a number that reflects the year he was born -- 88.
Patrick Kane, Sr. usually isn't far behind. He can be found sitting in the United Center stands for practices and nearly every game.
NBCChicago.com caught up with the elder Kane before Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals and talked about how his son thrives under pressure.
"I've learned not to be nervous ... but this is different. Throughout all the playoff series, me and my wife have been very calm, and very confident they would get the job done. But from Game 1 of this series, its been very nerve wracking," he said.
It's not easy for parents to watch when they can't control the outcome. But for Patrick Kane, Jr., this is the time he thrives. In just three short NHL seasons, he had gained a reputation for being a big game player, despite not scoring a goal until Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
"Growing up as a kid, the tournaments up in Toronto, Sunday was a big day. If you got to Sunday, the pressure was unbelievable. and it was important even at a young age -- 14,15,16 -- to be able to win those games," Kane said. "Pat always found a way to come though and win those big games."
Patrick Jr. has a distinct ability to adapt to whatever is thrown the 21-year-old's way. When he moved to Chicago from Buffalo, N.Y. at 18, he spent a few months in a downtown hotel before moving in with then-Assistant GM Stan Bowman. It was a relief to Patrick Sr. and his wife.
"It was a great situation ... Pat's got a good head on his shoulders. I think as a family, we were overwhelmed with the city of Chicago when we first came -- the traffic, the people -- for all of us, it was a new thing. But you learn to get used to it, driving around is nothing now. But when we first came here, it was wild," he said.
And if Patrick Kane, Jr. could adapt to the Bowman's young sons waking him up from his game-day hockey naps to "play in the basement," then he should be able to adapt to the pressures of a Stanley Cup series that is tied, two games apiece.