“…They were all united by a common dream — to one day stand on the ice with the greatest trophy in all of the world, the Stanley Cup.”
Eddie Olczyk, hockey announcer, former Blackhawk, and native Chicagoan, said those words as eight hockey youth dressed in their own gear with Hawks sweaters brought the 2013 Stanley Cup Championship Banner to the ice for the winning players to unfurl.
It would be hard to watch the banner ceremony as a hockey fan, let alone a Blackhawks fan, without getting a little weepy. Set aside any hostility that they’re and opposing team this year. Think of how hard these men work for this.
The quest for Lord Stanley is an emotional one. Every game is a wild, exciting ride. By the Stanley Cup finals, the talent on the ice is incredible. It’s a brutal fight–literally tooth and nail, limb for limb. To walk away with that trophy is an indescribable honor, hence the summer of celebration.
Once the names are etched onto the Cup and the banner is raised into the rafters, however, it’s time to look forward.
“So many teams are losing their home opener because they get caught in the moment,” right wing Marian Hossa told NHL.com. “You always try to say that after that you have to focus on the game, but those first couple of minutes you’re still caught. But it’s the first game and it’s time to close the book, focus on the new year.”
The Blackhawks had a fairly strong start against the Capitals, but the teams fought back and forth all night. Operation Raindrop stars Brandon Bollig and Patrick Kane scored for the Blackhawks. Brent Seabrook scored their lone Power Play goal.
It was give and take with Bollig scoring, then Alex Ovechkin; Kane then Mikhail Grabovski.
Grabovski then scored two more for the Capitals’ first-ever opening night hat trick, giving Washington the first lead of the night.
Brandon Saad came back to tie the game. And then, birthday boy Johnny Oduya continued their glory with this goal.
“I got lucky,” Oduya told the team Web site. “It went off his glove, but when it’s your birthday…”
Marian Hossa sealed the deal when he was tripped going for an empty net goal, making the final score 6-4.
They’ll continue fighting for that common dream, with a whole fresh season ahead of them.