The budding rivalry between the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning, born out of a Stanley Cup Final matchup last season, has a chance to be the new version of the old rivalry between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings.
The Penguins and Red Wings played each other in the Stanley Cup Final in 2008 and again in 2009. The veteran Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in a six-game series against the inexperienced Penguins in 2008, but the following season saw the playoff-savvy Penguins defeat the still-veteran but obviously vulnerable Red Wings in a seven-game series.
Fast forward to 2015 and the same sequence of events has a chance to repeat with the Blackhawks and Lightning, who play each other for the first time since the Cup Final on Saturday at United Center (8:30 p.m. ET; NHLN-US, SN1, SUN, WGN).
The comparisons make this too rich of a prospect to ignore, even if it requires conceding that the same two teams will meet in the Cup Final again (2008-09 was the first time it happened since 1983-84) and that the Blackhawks could lose in a Cup Final (they haven't in three trips since 2010).