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Patrick Kane wins the 2013 Conn Smythe Trophy, keeps USA’s streak alive

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The Chicago Blackhawks are the 2013 Stanley Cup champions. And Patrick Kane is the most valuable player of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Kane won the Conn Smythe trophy, his first (and the fourth by a Patrick, if you're into history), by virtue of his strong finish in this postseason.

The Blackhawks winger started the NHL's second season slowly. While he picked up a handful of assists versus Minnesota, he didn't score his first goal of the playoffs until Game 2 versus Detroit -- seven games in. He'd score another in the following game, but then he went cold again. After 15 games, Kane had just two.

But Kane, like Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, serves as evidence that it's not about the start. The finish is what matters, and his mirrored his team's stunning, late game turnaround in the way he poured it on at the end.

Kane scored 7 times in his final 8 games. He helped the Blackhawks over the Los Angeles Kings by scoring 4 times in the last two games of the Western Conference Final, including a hat trick in an elimination Game 5.

Versus Boston, he came up big in a pivotal Game 4, with a goal and an assist on the overtime winner as the Blackhawks tied the series. In Game 5, he scored twice, sending the Blackhawks back to Boston with a chance to hoist the Cup.

That they did, and Kane's contributions along the way were a major reason why.

A little more history before we go: Kane became just the fourth American ever to win Conn Smythe -- and the third in a row -- joining Jonathan Quick, Tim Thomas & Brian Leetch. Will Canada ever win one of these again?

Kane is also the shortest Conn Smythe winner since Mike Vernon, which had to make a presenting Gary Bettman happy.

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