Man, what an opener for the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday. They played an overtime game against Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals (okay, Ovechkin didn't play, but the thought is nice!). There were 19,734 screaming fans at the United Center.
This all came after a rough offseason that included Patrick Kane's legal troubles, former Blackhawk Martin Havlat's weird verbal bashing of the organization, a demotion of a GM, a new free-agent that needed surgery, and a president getting booed at his own convention.
This was only a preseason game, but the capacity crowd showed that Blackhawks fans are still passionate about their team, and there are many Chicagoans that now call themselves fans of the Hawks. This was a franchise-record crowd for a preseason game.
The Blackhawks host Havlat's Minnesota Wild on Friday in the final home game during the preseason. Havlat scored a pair of goals in the Wild's 3-0 win over Chicago last Sunday. It may not have the same drama as Jay Cutler returning to Denver, but this will bring more passion to the United Center on Friday.
And this is just the preseason!