WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Chicago Blackhawks left the White House and headed to the airport, bound back for Chicago.
Since June, the Stanley Cup has been lifted many a time; days with it have been enjoyed and chronicled. Rings have been received, banners have been raised and the White House day has been celebrated. Again.
So as wheels went up on the Blackhawks’ plane this evening, the book officially – we think – closed on their celebrations of their last season. Turn out the lights, the party’s over -- at least for now.
“We’ve said that a few times already,” Jonathan Toews said about the Blackhawks putting a bow on their 2012-13 Cup season. “We know this is a big part of our tradition and we look forward to that. Everyone’s busy, especially guys who aren’t with us. But to be together as a team, for a second, and remember what we accomplished last year, and enjoy this day, it’s a lot of fun.”
The Blackhawks entered this season knowing full well the potential effects of that “Cup hangover” that gets so much press after a team wins. You’re going to slog into the next season exhausted. You’re not going to start well. You’re going to be burnt out from all the celebrations.
Well, the Blackhawks learned a thing or two from when they won the Cup in 2010. They enjoyed their moments, and what little summer they had after their second Cup in the past four seasons. But when they had to shift the focus back to hockey, they did so just fine. A 9-2-4 start in the first month-plus of the new season is not too shabby for a team coming off a long summer.
Still, all good things must come to an end. The Blackhawks have enjoyed every minute of this Cup run, from winning it to hoisting it to celebrating it. They’ll move forward now, they’ll put those celebrations in the past. But they’ll never get too far separated from the memories.
“I guess you could say we’ve turned the page officially,” Toews said.
Yes, we guess you can.