Did you hit the nail on the head with your predictions for the Stanley Cup first-round playoffs? If so, do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? Raise your right hand and say "I swear". And no fooling around with the puck. We're watching you! Take it for granted.
Maybe I forget with age, but I don't recall seeing a first-round series as thrilling and thrilling as this year's.
Yes, there were one-sided games, but the turkeys of the stuffing found a way to bounce back in the next meeting.
We got goals and more goals!
And to mass penalties too, a novelty in the playoffs.
I don't know about you, but I liked it.
Although I was on vacation last week, the weather was splendid, I remained glued to my television.
five in eight
I hear you asking me for my predictions.
I predicted in exact number of games the victories of the Florida Panthers (in six against Washington), the Tampa Bay Lightning (in seven against the Leafs) and the Edmonton Oilers (in seven against the Los Angeles Kings ).
The Calgary Flames needed seven games, instead of six, to eliminate the Dallas Stars.
As for the Colorado Avalanche, they buried the Predators in four games, while I had conceded a victory to the Nashville team.
The Avalanche is on a mission, let it be said.
For the second year in a row, it's my choice for the cup in the final against the Lightning.
Finally, I messed up with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins and Minnesota Wild.
I was anticipating a seven-game Penguins win over the Rangers. It was a tiny overtime goal that tipped the scales in favor of New York in the ultimate game.
The Wild, which I picked to beat the St. Louis Blues in seven games, slipped out after six games.
Pay attention to the numbers!
We can get all the statistics we want, it's not always the best team on paper that wins the Stanley Cup.
I will always remember a statement by Wayne Gretzky when the National League invited fans to identify the 10 greatest Stanley Cup champion teams as part of its centennial celebrations.
Like any ballot of its kind, the exercise was subjective.
The results went as follows:
Fans of the big Oilers teams that Gretzky captained had voted in large numbers, it seems.
The Canadian of 1971
Gretzky, who was the NHL's 100th anniversary spokesperson, did say something interesting about the Canadiens when the ballot was announced.
It was during a press conference before a game in the 2017 Finals in Nashville, a series that pitted the Predators against the Penguins
He had spoken of the 1970-1971 edition of the Canadiens, which had thwarted the odds by eliminating the Big Bad Bruins of my scorer Jean-Claude Grenier in the first round with a rookie in front of the net called Ken Dryden, to eventually go up to to conquer the big cup.
What was so special about this team? I asked Gretzky.
"It wasn't the best team, but it was the most united," he replied.
"That's the thing I wanted to put in place at the Oilers when I became captain. »
It is probably the most beautiful tribute ever paid to this CH team, of which Jean Béliveau was captain.
Mr. Béliveau must have been happy to hear him where he is, he who wanted to be remembered as having been a good teammate.
No question of betting!
But make no mistake about the eight teams that will bear the brunt of the second-round playoffs. They have not stolen their place and should still hold us on the edge of our seats.
My picks: the Lightning in seven against the Panthers; the Hurricanes in six against the Rangers; the Avalanche in six against the Blues; and the Flames in seven against the Oilers.
Don't count on me, however, to put a dime on it.
Apart from the Avalanche, maybe...