There are plenty of intriguing potential matchups for the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, but there is only one dream matchup: the Chicago Blackhawks versus the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Blackhawks (36-7-5) and Penguins (36-12-0) registered 77 points and 72 points, respectively, during the 2012-13 regular season, tops in the Western Conference and Eastern Conference.
Chicago also posted a goal differential of plus-53, while Pittsburgh posted a goal differential of plus-46. The Montreal Canadiens registered the third-best goal differential in the league...at plus-23.
Think about that gap for a minute. That's a considerable gap. It speaks to the dominance of both the Blackhawks and the Penguins this season.
But beyond the Blackhawks and Penguins being arguably the top two powerhouses in the league, it's about how their styles of hockey would clash.
The Penguins scored the most goals in the NHL this season (165). The Blackhawks allowed the fewest goals in the NHL (97).
Get my drift?
Would Chicago vs. Pittsburgh be the best matchup for the 2013 Stanley Cup Final?
Chicago's defense facing off with Pittsburgh's offense would be a joy to watch, especially if Penguins star Sidney Crosby is available. (He is currently practicing with the team after suffering a broken jaw, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.)
Crosby notched 56 points (15 goals, 41 assists) in just 36 games this season, tied for fourth most in the league. On the other hand, the entire Chicago defense has played well on the ice, from goalies Corey Crawford and Ray Emery to the surrounding squad.
The Blackhawks would figure to have the advantage on offense overall, but with Crosby in the mix, anything could happen. His playmaking ability is second to none.
There is no guarantee that the Blackhawks and Penguins will meet in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, but it would definitely be a joy to watch the two teams battle it out for the Stanley Cup.