I for one totally get it if Patrick doesn't want to do the free. I'm sure he's trained well enough that if he needs to he can skate the free and still deliver in the rest of the event, but for what it's worth a good deal of Patrick's skating seems to be a mental game.
Sometimes it's about allowing yourself the space to "no" to something so you can take care of what really matters to you. With his short program, he's already struck lightning twice with it and I can see why he'd be more comfortable throwing it down twice in Sochi. But he spends a lot of time talking about "saving" his good skates for the Olympics and while I'm sure if he was able to mentally decide to deliver 4 amazing skates here he could... it doesn't always work like that.
The mind is an elusive thing to understand, and some stuff even a sport psychologist can't just help you through. Not to mention, I can only imagine what sorts of things can play at his mind with the whole Canadian Mens legacy at the Olympics. By not skating the free, it probably does make it a lot harder for Canada to win the team gold, but I understand it.