Patrick Kane and Team USA will begin their guest for Olympic gold tomorrow night in Sochi (6:30 a.m. in Chicago), and the Blackhawks' right wing says getting used to the larger ice rinks is still tough.
Whereas NHL rinks are 200 feet long, 85 feet wide and have 11 feet between the goal line and end board, Olympic-sized rinks in Sochi are 210 feet long, 98 feet wide and have 13 feet in between the goal line and end boards. That extra space makes a real difference, and it's something Team USA knows they'll need to get used to.
"You can't really run around too much. I played in Switzerland during the lockout, and you almost find yourself losing energy quicker because of the big ice and going up and down," Kane said, "and you almost have to conserve your energy until you feel you really need it."
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Kane also said he's a much different player than the one who competed as a 21-year-old in Vancouver, and he hopes to use that added maturity to his advantage.
"I think any time you give a player time and space, he should be able to use that to advantage," he said. "That's what I'm looking to do and hopefully it works out."