A. No, nothing like that. I said to myself, "Look, you're only nervous because you're afraid, and what are you afraid of? Losing, and looking bad, right? Well, why should you lose and look bad? You've played six games against the Bruins now, and you haven't been looking bad. Things have been going well. Why should they change now? You've shown you can do the job. All you have left is one bloody game, and if you stay nervous you're gonna blow the bloody game."
Q. That solved your nervousness problem?
A. Nope. It didn't solve a thing. What solved my problem was the face-off at the beginning of the game. For some reason, all my nervousness ended when the game began. So my worrying had been for nothing.
Q. It usually is. You won the final game 4-2.
A. The Canadiens won the game 4-2.
Q. And then you went up and beat the Minnesota North Stars in the second series, which was kind of predictable, and then you beat the Chicago Black Hawks, which was much less predictable?
A. The Black Hawks were trouble. They are a different team from Boston, and they present entirely different problems. Against the Bruins you don't worry if you let in a goal or two, because the Bruins are very offensive-minded. You know that in any game involving them there are gonna be a lot of goals for both teams. The best proof of that is the game where we got down 5-1 and won.
Q. You'd never do that against the Black Hawks.
A. Right. The Hawks have a few fine players—the Hulls, Mikita, maybe one or two others—but essentially they are a balanced team at both ends. They don't present those waves of attackers like the Bruins, so that pressure is relieved, but in its place there is a steady kind of pressure that comes from knowing you don't dare give them a goal. A single goal becomes far more important. If you give them one, you're at a big disadvantage. If you give them two, you have a good chance of losing, and if you give them three, you're in really bad shape.
Q. Which makes it all the more amazing that you won the seventh game on Chicago ice after getting behind. When Danny O'Shea scored on you in the second period to make it 2-0 Chicago, I said to myself, "Bye-bye, Canadiens." Were you thinking similar thoughts?