Olympics end with a thud for Kane, U.S. loses to Finland 5-0 - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Olympics end with a thud for Kane, U.S. loses to Finland 5-0

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Finishing fourth in the Olympics shouldn't be compared to kissing your sister, it's more like not getting a handshake. Unfortunately finishing fourth will be the legacy of Team USA 2014 as they fell to Finland 5-0.

When Patrick Kane is awarded two penalty shots and misses the net both times it probably isn't going to end well for the United States. Kane missed wide on his first attempt and then hit iron on his next try in the second period. Kane's face was a picture of despair after the second miss.

To add insult to injury Finland scored their third goal while Kane was exiting the penalty box. He was then called for a slashing penalty late in the final period.

In the middle frame the life was probably leaving the U.S. squad after they surrendered two goals in 11 seconds. It would have taken a great deal of fortitude to come back with a great effort after falling to Canada less than 24 hours earlier. The uphill battle of falling behind 2-0 against a good team and an excellent goalie in Tuukka Rask, proved to be too much.

It looked as if the U.S. was mentally focused during much of the opening period. There were some signs of not being sharp as scoring chances were squandered by missing the net. The second period was their undoing as the U.S. didn't pay attention to details. That allowed the Finns to score two quick goals and they never could recover.

On the first goal the Finns turned a play and caught the U.S. flat footed as the "Finnish Flash" Teemu Selanne scored. Selanne is a freak of nature, as at 43 years of age he is still an elite player. Selanne made the most of his Olympic swan song by scoring two goals.

Selanne was playing in the NHL in 1992 and this will be his final season. There are three members of Team USA that weren't born until after Selanne made his NHL debut.

Jonathan Quick made some very good stops early and wasn't to be faulted in the loss. Whichever team scored first would have a decided edge and Finland took full control by scoring twice in 11 seconds.

My thinking before the Olympics began was if Russia failed to capture a medal the U.S. would have a good chance. That scenario played out but the U.S. still fell short. Against the top three teams they played - Russia, Canada and Finland - the U.S. was outplayed five on five. In each of those games the U.S. also had a lot of trouble scoring.

Maybe it was an easier schedule that padded some scoring stats and didn't expose some of the U.S. deficiencies until later. Overall the young players on defense played well and they will gain from this experience.

Where the U.S. falls short is in overall depth as some players were asked to do too much and slotted higher than they should be. Another scoring center would help the cause as well as a true power play specialist on the blue line. Those additions can happen in time.

Teams that have the most success in the Olympics need breaks but also have complete squads. Players aren't asked to play above their abilities.

Canada for example will be in a battle for a Gold Medal Sunday, but they have every base covered. Their only issue to start was goaltending but that hasn't been a problem. Goaltending is always important but when a team can play defense like the Canadians it makes things a lot easier for the net minder.

The good news for U.S. hockey is there are more kids playing the game than ever before. The NHL also has more media coverage than ever. It would be better if games could be televised on channels more available for most households. Maybe that will be addressed in the next TV contract but the way it is now is a lot better than in the past.

It remains to be seen if the USA will participate in South Korea in 2018. It also remains to be seen how long it will take Kane to shake the sour taste of the Bronze Medal game loss.

I will be back Sunday morning after the Gold Medal game and you can follow me on Twitter @AlCimaglia

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