Un exemple de surcouche législative et étatique est survenu dans les derniers jours au Québec.
Pour mettre en contexte, la Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux légifère sur les concours se déroulant en sol québécois depuis 1978. Cette loi, dans un contexte de mondialisation de plus en plus poussée, prive de nombreux Québécois de concours pouvant survenir à une plus grande échelle que celle de notre État.
National Geographic a organisé un concours mondial de photos et le Québec en est exclu en raison des règles superflues que le Québec impose à tout organisateur d'un concours. À la base, cette loi visait à protéger les participants pour qu'ils soient assurés d'obtenir le prix publicisé, mais dans les faits, plusieurs organisateurs excluent tout simplement le Québec afin de ne pas devoir accumuler une paperasse administrative inutile.
Le plus troublant, c'est la réaction de la porte-parole de la Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux:
«Ce concours n'était pas soumis à nos règles. Malheureusement, ils ont décidé d'exclure le Québec sans vérifier les faits parce qu'ils avaient peur de devoir payer. [...] C'est un peu triste. Mais c'est National Geographic qui en a décidé ainsi, parce qu'ils n'auraient rien eu à payer.»
À mon avis, ce qui est triste, c'est que le Québec soit associé à des listes d'exclusion comme l'est Cuba, l'Iran et la Corée du Nord. Évidemment, comme le Québec est meilleur que les autres provinces canadiennes, elle est la seule à avoir de telles règles surprotectrices et empêche, par extension, des millions de Québécois de pouvoir participer à des concours intéressants.
L'attitude de la Régie des alcools, des courses et des jeux est aussi répréhensible. Au lieu de voir le tout comme un problème, on accuse les organisateurs d'avoir peur de nos règles superflues. Il faut comprendre que même si c'était simple pour les organisateurs d'inclure le Québec, nous ne sommes qu'une petite partie du monde. Le simple fait d'avoir une loi qui régit tous les concours fait en sorte que la perception laissée aux organisateurs est qu'au Québec, c'est compliqué.
Comme le dit le proverbe, pourquoi faire simple quand on peut faire compliqué ? Ça semble être la devise de notre gouvernement hautement étatique du Québec.
I correctly predicted the two winners of the conference finals so my stats are now at 12 good predictions out of 14 rounds (85,71%). That will easily be my best score since I started to make predictions of the NHL playoffs.
For the Stanley Cup finals, I must go with the Boston Bruins. They proved in the earlier rounds that nobody can match their physicality, two-way play and goaltending prowess. The Maple Leafs gave them quite a ride but the Bruins got better and better afterwards. A sweep of the Pittsburgh Penguins is no easy feat and they did it almost without a sweat. I also like the Chicago Blackhawks and that original six matchup will be a joy to watch. However, the Hawks do have holes in their play and they will be exposed against a well coached Claude Julien's team. My final choice goes with the bears in six.
Chicago vs Boston
With 4 good predictions out of 4 in the second round, I now sit at a good 83,33% ratio. The West and East finals will be epic. They involve the last 4 Stanley Cup champions.
In the East, the Pittsburgh Penguins are obviously where they belong. They have an outstanding hockey club with an even more impressive firepower upfront. On the other side of the spectrum, you have a well balanced Boston Bruins team that roll 4 lines night in and night out. I think that the Penguins are the favorites but my choice is with the Bruins. I like their physical play, they have players that know their roles and they have the better goaltender in my mind.
In the West, I'm torn between the well oiled LA Kings and the good defensive team that are the Chicago Blackhawks. Mike Richards, Dustin Brown and Drew Doughty are real warriors for the Kings. However, I believe that the Blackhawks will use their home-ice advantage quite well and win in 7.
Pittsburgh vs Boston
Chicago vs Los Angeles
It's time for my 2nd round predictions. In the 1st round, I had 6 good predictions out of 8 (75%). It's the exact same result as last year. I'm on pace to beat the 50% mark, but it's obviously not done.
The 2nd round is tougher to predict. You have to look at the surprises, the number of matches each team played to come trough, the injuries and how each team played in their first matchup. I'll do my best, as always!
In the East, we have David vs Goliath in it's purest form. The Pittsburgh Penguins should easily beat the Ottawa Senators. However, the Sens surprised everyone this year and were able to beat the number two seed in the East. Craig Anderson did miracles against Montreal. On the other end, Pittsburgh had all the difficulties in the world to beat a young New York Islanders squad. Tomas Vokoun stabilised the situation in net when Marc-André Fleury was clearly not in his zone for the start of the series. The Cinderella story behind the Sens will end in this round but it will probably be longer than expected.
We have the chance to have two Original-6 matchups in the 2nd round this year. Both the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers played 7 games in the first round. However, the Rangers victory was a lot more surprising than the Bruins one. I think that the Bruins will face a much better defensive core and goaltender this time around. Even if it will be tougher for the Bruins, they do have a playoff type of team and their late comeback against the Leafs will give them the momentum to take the lead in the first match and never look back after that.
In the West, the Chicago Blackhawks will square off against the Detroit Red Wings. The Hawks are more rested than the Wings. It might bite them tought, since the Wings had to play very well to beat the Ducks while the Blackhawks had it relatively easy. I believe the Red Wings could win the first match but the Blackhawks will come back in the series and win it. Jonathan Toews must provide more offense for it to happen however.
Finally in an all Californian matchup, the Los Angeles King will meet the San Jose Sharks. Even if the Kings are the number 5 seed, they will have home-ice advantage since three surprises came off the West this year. That might be the difference in the end. I love the Kings dynamic and overall toughness. The Sharks are well rested but as always, they might disappoint.
Pittsburgh vs Ottawa
Boston vs New York Rangers
Chicago vs Detroit
Los Angeles vs San Jose
That time of the year is great: summer is finally starting to show itself, ice cream is a must and the NHL playoffs are one day away. As always, I'll predict each matchup. While my ultimate goal is to be better than 50%, I will have a hard time being better than last year when I predicted 11 good results out of 15 (73,33%). I will try to beat that, that's for sure.
I'll star with the East with an obvious choice. I like the young guns of the Islanders (Tavares, Grabner and all) but they are not a trendy choice around here. The Pittsburgh Penguins have a much more balanced hockey club and even thought they are quite vulnerable to injuries, it's the first round so they start their playoff push with almost everyone healthy. My choice goes with the Penguins but I'll cheer for the underdogs.
Next series is a Canadian one between Ottawa and Montreal. I hope it will galvanize these two geographical rivals since it's the first playoff matchup between these two clubs. I don't like the Canadiens. I'm a Nordiques fan for life. However, I must pick them since they have a healthy club while Ottawa has been overachieving all year long with AHL caliber players. Ottawa do have the best defenseman in the league, but it won't be enough. Carey Price and Craig Anderson are two outstanding goaltenders but the overall edge goes to Montreal.
The Washington Capitals are on a roll. They seem unbeatable and Alex Ovechkin was bitten with the rage. However, I like risk and I'll take the Rangers in this series. New York was a disappointment this year since they have all that firepower up-front (Brad Richards, Rick Nash and the now traded Marian Gaborik, to name a few). Obviously I'm a fool in this one but I'll take that risk for one reason and one reason only: Henrik Lundqvist.
The final matchup is a classic between Boston and Toronto. Well, not so classic since the Leafs were not a playoff contender for the last century. Kidding aside, I like the Maple Leafs chances in this one. They may be the only team in the playoffs who cannot be intimidated with the Bruins physicality. However, I'm not that dump. The Bruins won 3 of the 4 matches between the two clubs this year and that will be about how they'll win against the Leafs: in 5 or 6 games.
In the West, if the Chicago Blackhawks had the chance, I'm sure they would not have taken the Wild as a first round opponent. If you look at the points total this year, it's a no brainer with the Blackhawks winning in 4. However, its way more complicated. The Wild has a good playoff system and a lot of good players. Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Ryan Suter can match Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith. If you look at the other pieces, the Blackhawks do have the edge, but not by a great margin. I predict a long series. The Blackhawks will win it, but they will be tired at the end of it.
Next is a clash between the Ducks and the Red Wings. Normally, the Red Wings would have had the home-ice advantage but we're not in 2007 anymore. The Ducks surprised everyone and had one hell of a regular season. However, that fluke has to stop and the eternal playoff performer will beat the Ducks. In my mind, it takes a lot of guts to bet against the Red Wings in the first round, even if they're kind of the underdogs this year.
Then you have two underachieving teams. Each and every year for the last couple of years had been about how it's the year of the San Jose Sharks and the Vancouver Canucks. Each time, they did not deliver to the ultimate goal. That will be an interesting series. On paper, a fan of both sides can sort this out for their favorite team. Each team has a good bunch of players and each team has a lot of pressure to win it all this year. I'll take the Canucks, but I could have flip a coin on this one.
Finally, two teams that I really like will face each other: the St. Louis Blues and the Los Angeles Kings. I love the way the Blues were built with Jarmo Kekäläinen as one of the master mind behind that. They have a young core that will develops in the next decade. On the other end, you have the defending Stanley Cup champions who are pretty much the same team that won it last year. They were a playoff type of team last year and they sure are still that today. I must take the Kings since they have a better goaltender and more physicality overall.
Pittsburgh vs New York Islanders
Montreal vs Ottawa
Washington vs New York Rangers
Boston vs Toronto
Chicago vs Minnesota
Anaheim vs Detroit
Vancouver vs San Jose
St. Louis vs Los Angeles