No slowing down as Hawks celebration continues
Sometimes, the long, hard road to winning the Stanley Cup is nothing in comparison to the 48-72 hours that follow.
"I've felt better, for sure," said a smiling, exhausted Patrick Kane on Wednesday at the United Center as all of the Hawks met the media for the first time since eliminating the Lightning in six games. "But it's all part of what comes with winning the Stanley Cup, right?
"It's been a fun couple of days, not much sleep but a lot of good moments and memories that will always be remembered."
Most of the players stayed at the United Center until at least 4 a.m. Tuesday -- spraying champagne, drinking beer, eating pizzas -- before finally jumping into one of over a dozen stretch limos and taking the Cup downtown.
Meanwhile, at Joel Quenneville's house in the western suburbs, about 150-200 people continued the tradition of tee-peeing the coach's house, taking pictures and even climbing into one of the paper-filled trees.
So how did it look as of Wednesday?
"They cleaned up the bottom of the front lawn," Quenneville said, "but the trees are well decorated. They did an outstanding job this time."
This is the third go-round for the Hawks' core, made up of Kane, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Niklas Hjalmarsson.
So have the celebrations -- which included a lap around Wrigley Field before the Cubs game Tuesday night -- been more muted than those of 2010 and 2013? Some Stanley Cup fatigue?
Not even close. "You'd think that by now they'd be sick of us spraying champagne and hoisting the Cup," Sharp said, "but it seems like it's been picking up steam. The fan support last night (at Wrigley) was unbelievable. Being on Wrigley Field was crazy." Said Brad Richards: "Yesterday going to Wrigley was pretty amazing. I can't wait to see the parade."
That's coming Thursday when a fleet of buses carry the team, their families, team management and, of course, the Cup from the United Center to Soldier Field. The streets will be a sea of red as a throng of over a million fans of all ages cheer their heroes.
"It's so fun to see how excited people are and generally just happy for us," Corey Crawford said. "The people here are great. I love Chicago and I love the city. The people are awesome."
The two-time Cup-winning goalie made some of the biggest news in 2013 when he let a few expletives fly at Grant Park.
"Keep an eye on Crawford," Sharp said. "Put a muzzle on him or something like that."
Crawford, though, said he would try and refrain from any R-rated language this time.
"I think this time I'll try to be a little more professional," he said. "I think I owe it to all the mothers out there."