After taking two losses in Florida, the Chicago Blackhawks have been in Washington for four days, and it’s been a busy few days.
Thursday, the Blackhawks became the first team to bring the Stanley Cup to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. They spent a few hours at the WRAMC, meeting with soldiers all over the hospital, and the team was in awe of the spirit and determination of the wounded.
After the visit, team captain Jonathan Toews said, “You know, we think we make sacrifices. And then you come here and learn what real sacrifices are. These are such young people whose bodies have been changed forever. Yet their spirit is terrific. They don’t feel sorry for themselves. They just move on.”
Friday, the team was honored for their Stanley Cup championship by being hosted at the White House by President Obama, who took special pride in hosting one of his hometown teams for the first time. After the visit, a few of the Blackhawks and Mike Green of the Washington Capitals took part in a kids’ “Let’s Move!” hockey clinic hosted by first lady Michelle Obama.
Saturday may have been one of the real highlights of the weekend for the players, as their normal practice was instead a practice/scrimmage shared by the USA Warriors hockey team, a team consisting of soldiers who are all amputees. People who were at the practice reported that the team and soldiers alike were in great spirits and had a lot of fun. After the practice, the Warriors presented the team with a U.S. flag.
Today, the Blackhawks face off against the Washington Capitals – their first game together since last spring, when Alex Ovechkin’s boarding of Brian Campbell broke some of Campbell’s bones and made him miss part of the season leading up to the playoffs. Washington is riding a 7-game win streak, and prior to the two Florida games, Chicago had an 8-game streak. Chicago will look to end Washington’s run to take home 2 crucial points in the tight Western Conference playoff standings.
The game starts at 12:30pm ET on NBC.