"I hate to say may the best team win, but I am going to say may the best team win," Maddon said.
Maddon, who managed the Tampa Bay Rays for nine years, has exchanged text messages with Lightning coach Jon Cooper and got to know many of the Lightning players during his time in Tampa.
Still, Maddon said he is developing an allegiance to the Hawks as well. He said he watched their Game 7 victory against the Ducks on Saturday night.
I watched the game (7 of the Western Conference finals Saturday) night.
"Pretty incredible victory," he said. "You could see (the Hawks) did break the will of the other team. That was my takeaway, the way the game began, where the Ducks had a chance to do something and did not and then here come the Blackhawks. Then to finish it off the way they did. I just think to be a hockey fan you have got to be into this thing."
Maddon said he appreciates the skills of the Blackhawks players.
"Their athleticism and their agility and just their stamina ... that's what really stands out to me," Maddon said. "Tough too. There's toughness there and there is discipline there. It's a game I always wanted to play as a kid, but I never did. It is really interesting to watch. It may be the most entertaining game to watch in person."
Second opinion: The Cubs nearly won Sunday's game earlier in the 11th inning, but Dexter Fowler was thrown out at the plate on a close play following a base hit by Anthony Rizzo.
"Technology is wonderful but maybe not wonderful enough," Maddon said. "I really thought he was safe, even after I saw the review."
Extra innings: Rizzo hit his second triple of the season Sunday. ... Tsuyoshi Wada has allowed just 10 hits while striking out 19 in 152/3 innings to start the season. ... The Cubs and Royals wore throwback uniforms from 1915 in honor of the Federal League's Chicago Whales and Kansas City Packers. ... David Ross said his daughter painted his toenails so he could wear flip-flops on the road trip, a prerequisite established by Maddon.