By Leonor Vivanco, @lvivanco
6:18 PM CDT, June 27, 2013
Next time you spot a Blackhawks player, pinch them.
Winning the Stanley Cup still doesn't feel quite real.
"It's a dream," goaltender Corey Crawford said. "It's everything you worked hard for."
Since hoisting the Cup on Monday night, the team has been on a whirlwind tour like rock stars with stops at bars all over Chicago. Whereever they go, screaming fans chase them, champagne is sprayed and a flurry of photos and videos are quickly posted to social media.
"It's been crazy really," Brandon Saad said. "I'm pretty tired but I'm running on adrenaline here. It's a pretty awesome experience."
Crazy, like seeing Patrick Kane wear a unicorn head and Jonathan Toews crowd-surf? Though both jokingly said "that wasn't me," in each case the proof is online.
All these guys seem to be running around like the Energizer Bunny, and Marian Hossa, 34, is having no problem keeping up with the younger guys.
"Believe it or not, I haven't slept today. But don't tell this to my wife please," he said at the United Center on Thursday.
Like Hossa, who battled a back injury, Andrew Shaw played through brutal pain with a broken rib during the Detroit series before getting a puck to the face. For them, winning it all is worth it.
"It looks pretty cool I guess," Shaw said of his swollen right cheek. "It's obviously painful but icing it down with some cold ones helps out."
Does it hurt to drink? "Oh no, it made it feel better actually," he said.
The wild ride continues after Friday's parade when each player gets to spend a day with the Cup. Some have no plans yet for their day and others are coming up with creative and charitable ideas.
Kane will show it off in Buffalo, N.Y. Shaw wants to fly the Cup into his hometown of Belleville, Ontario, via helicopter. Nick Leddy wants to take it to a children's hospital and have it on display during a family dinner.
Meanwhile, Toews plans to make the rounds with the Cup again in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
"Just maybe take a few more quiet moments to let it sink in this time," he said. "Last time I had the Cup back home, it was from one place to the next. It happened so fast that it was just a blur."
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