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Hawks move on after banner ceremony

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks officially turned the page on their 2013 Stanley Cup championship season on Tuesday.

The Blackhawks soaked in every second of the nearly 30-minute banner-raising ceremony before Tuesday's game against the Washington Capitals, but then quickly got down to the business of the new season.

As special as winning the Stanley Cup was and all of the celebration that followed, Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa was happy for the team's concentration to be on something else finally.

"We had so many things around the Stanley Cup, so many presentations with the Cup, the rings, raising the banner," Hossa said after the Blackhawks' 6-4 win. "Now it's over. Now we can focus about a new beginning. Everything was great, but now we can just focus on game, which is great, too."

Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya had a similar feeling.

"I think it's been a tremendous summer where you have some memories that you'll never forget," Oduya said. "It's a good way to kind of finish it off and start the new year."

Blackhawks forward Brandon Bollig held onto the 2013 season until the banner reached its destination.

"You kind of watch it go up the entire time," Bollig said. "You don’t take your eyes off it. That was an unbelievable feeling knowing [what we did]. The type of year we had last season was a storybook year.

"With seeing the Cup and then seeing your name engraved on the Cup for the first time in person and then getting the rings and then finally seeing the banner going up in the rafters and knowing it'll be up there forever and you're a part of it, it was an amazing feeling. A lot of emotions run through your head. Obviously we had to switch the emotions off and get ready for the first period. Luckily, we came out hot."

Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford never doubted the Blackhawks would be able to avoid an emotional letdown after the ceremony.

"I think our guys as a team never get too high on our emotions," Crawford said. "We were excited about it and were ready to get going. I thought our start was really good and we came out flying. We did what we wanted to do."

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville thought the team's mentality has been that way ever since the players arrived at training camp last month.

"The guys have always been in a good place since Day 1 of the season," Quenneville said. "You have to commend them on how they prepared for the season. They took care of themselves. They're excited about the opportunity and challenge. Very emotional ceremony, beautiful ceremony as well, I thought it was spectacular. Thanks to the organization for putting on a great show. I thought the players responded."