BERLIN - Mere hours after landing in Germany, the Blackhawks hit the ice at Mercedes-Benz Arena and shook out their legs with a lighthearted 4-on-4 tournament. Competition was high and the 27-player group showed very few signs of a team that spent the overnight hours on a plane across the northern Atlantic.
"You have to get out after that type of trip and to try to adjust to the time change and just a way to get them going," head coach Jeremy Colliton said of the game. "(We) probably got more work ethic and energy out of that group with what we did today (than in a normal practice). They had some fun, it's a good atmosphere out there and they're competing and I think that's important."
"It felt pretty good the first 10 minutes, then the legs slowed down a little bit in the 4-on-4," Jonathan Toews said of the adjustment after the long night of travel. "It's not going to feel great getting off the plane, you just have to work through it."
The lighthearted session also served another purpose as the Blackhawks prepare to face Eisbären Berlin on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. CT.
"With the big ice, to play those types of games, those small-ice games, it helps you get used to the spacing," Colliton added. "There is some more room out there and they got a lot of reps in those situations, that'll help them."
Stay tuned to Blackhawks.com/Globalfor full coverage as the Blackhawks take part in the 2019 NHL Global Series in Berlin and Prague