CHICAGO â€“ The festivities will begin here Tuesday night around 6:45 p.m. CDT as the Blackhawks reminisce about their 2013 Stanley Cup championship and raise another banner to the rafters at United Center.
But as the celebration ensues, delaying puck drop to roughly 7:25 p.m., the Washington Capitals expect to be in their dressing room, rather than watching the defending champs relish in their glory one more time.
â€śIn my mind, itâ€™s a long ceremony so I think weâ€™ll be in the locker room, chillin,â€ť Coach Adam Oates said. â€śNot that itâ€™s not a cool thing to watch — it can be a long ceremony, and a half hour sitting in your skates doesnâ€™t make sense.â€ť
Troy Brouwer won the Cup with the Blackhawks in 2010, the season before he was traded to the Capitals. He still owns a home in Chicago and his family spends his summers there, but this offseason he couldnâ€™t avoid the city enough.
â€śWhen they were in the finals I got out of the city,â€ť Brouwer said early in training camp. â€śThe worst thing that could happen to me this summer was having to play them opening night and see the banner.
â€śIâ€™m happy for the city because Iâ€™m still a resident there,â€ť Brouwer added. â€śBut a lot of the guys I played with got traded away. Itâ€™s a completely different team. I knew [Blackhawks Owner] Rocky [Wirtz] really well and Iâ€™m happy for him and his franchise. But beyond that Iâ€™m happy to be here, Iâ€™m glad to be here and I want to help this team get a win on opening night.â€ť
The Cup will be in the building tonight, offering a reminder of the ultimate goal the Capitals still seek. Perhaps it doesnâ€™t mean much — after all, every teamâ€™s objective is to win the Stanley Cup — but the Capitals will have a front row seat as bystanders in todayâ€™s hoopla
â€śIâ€™m sure itâ€™s going to [tick] me off watching it,â€ť Brooks Laich said. â€śIâ€™m not going to sit there and clap for them. Iâ€™m sure itâ€™s going to start some fires around here but weâ€™re not going to pay much attention to that, weâ€™re just going to focus on the game.â€ť
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