Ten Blackhawks boarded a plane in Sochi on Sunday — six with medals around their necks — to fly back to Chicago following the closing ceremonies at the Winter Olympics. During their flight, the remaining Blackhawks took the ice in their first practice since the start of the Olympic break.
Now it's back to business for the NHL.
The defending champions will face off against the New York Rangers on Thursday before hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins in the highly-anticipated Stadium Series game at Soldier Field.
With the rink at Soldier Field already well under construction, plenty of hockey fans are anxiously awaiting the March 1 matchup. Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville is one of them.
"It's as good as it gets," he said. "I mean, this is what you live for, it's a great stage, a great event, nothing better than playing hockey outside. You did it everyday as a kid and now you get to do it on a big stage. For the guys that get to play, it's a thrill of a lifetime. It'll be one of your most memorable games or events you'll have ever been at. So [I'm] looking forward to it.
"You're playing a game, it's a game you want to win. It'll be a fun game playing against the top guys in the league in Pittsburgh. It's another top team as well so it'll be a great test in that regard. So it will be a very memorable game but at the end of the day, it'll be fun to participate in such a game but let's make sure we're playing the right way and have some intensity."