Jonathan Toews smirked a bit, discussing the Red Wings and Blackhawks rivalry in the past tense.
Detroit moved to the Eastern Conference before the 2013-14 season, just as the hostility between the two teams was peaking.
"I think there's still a level of competition and rivalry there that is left over," Toews said on Wednesday.
The Blackhawks visit Joe Louis Arena for the first of two matchups with the Red Wings this week. They are the only two times the teams are scheduled to play this year.
Toews said the success his team has experienced is due largely in part to getting over the hump and beating the Red Wings in the 2013 Western Conference semifinals. The Blackhawks came back from a 3-1 series deficit, and went on to win the Stanley Cup two rounds later.
Toews admitted Joe Louis Arena is still the toughest place for his team to visit.
"Oh for sure," he said. "These fans want to see us lose."
After these two games, the only hope for more hockey between the Red Wings and Blackhawks would be in the Stanley Cup Final.
"Unbelievable. If you could ever have an Original Six Final like that, it's pretty crazy. There's obviously a lot of history between the two franchises, so to get to that level doesn't get any better than that. That would be a lot of fun."
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Brad Galli is a sports anchor and reporter at WXYZ Detroit. Follow Brad on Twitter @BradGalli