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Shark-Infested Blogger


June 4, 2010 1:19 PM

Interview With Randy Hahn, Continued

There were a couple questions that led to some tense moments in the interview. It was a learning experience for a novice interviewer.

For one, I did let my own viewpoint bleed through with a couple poorly-chosen words. For instance, I said the Sharks were "outworked" in front of the net, something I do believe and that is corroborated by Todd McLellan and Doug Wilson talking about needing players to have the will to get six inches closer to the goalie.

Nevertheless, a question should be neutral, and the choice of that word was not. Unintentionally, I had called on him to agree with something not factual, but my opinion. While I have enough substantiation to make that opinion credible, it is the interviewer's job to be impartial.

Because of the complications in Mr. Hahn's answer stemming from this mistake, I am presenting this segment of the article completely unedited, including the words we use in conversation when we are considering a response. (My part of the conversation is in italics.) From it, you can see how the mistake caused more of those words, especially as I scrambled to rephrase the question through his objection to it:

Um, one consistent deficiency of every Sharks playoffs post-lockout has been diminished scoring--scoring less than they scored during the regular season. Um, this year in the Western Conference, scoring was actually up, uh for--from the regular season averages for every team except the Sharks and the Avalanche, who of course only played the Sharks.

Um, the team continues to talk about screening the opposing goalie, getting close to the net, um, yet continually gets outworked in front of the nets. For instance, Chicago scored three screened goals to the Sharks' one, uh, in the conference finals...how much do you contribute to a lack of execution, how much of it is a gameplan issue, how much of it might be having the wrong personnel, including, uh, one of the things I've heard mentioned is Nabokov being a smaller-than-average goalie, that perhaps the Sharks don't want to try to fight with the screens in front because it'll screen him all the more...

Hello?

I'm here--so I'm just wondering how much of it is--

3533949136_c25c16b250.jpgWell, number one you're asking me to agree with some suppositions at the beginning of your question--you're kinda puttin' words in my mouth, and--and--and, one of those is that the Sharks continually get outworked and I'm not going to agree with that.

Okay.

I--I--I think that's an unfair generalisation.

Okay.

Is that what you're asking me? Do the Sharks continually get outworked? If that's what you're asking me then I would say no.

Um, no what I'm asking is um, with--

That was a pretty loaded question.

Alright. Okay, fair enough. Um, what I'm saying is um--

Are you asking me why do I think the Sharks scoring went down in the playoff this year compared to everybody else?

Well, specifically I am looking at the Chicago series in which the Sharks had one goal in which (Antti) Niemi was screened and Chicago had three. So, um, perhaps instead of the term outworked I should have used out-performed. Um--

I'll make it a lot simpler for you: The Blackhawks got better goaltending than the San Jose Sharks did in the series. That's--the Sharks were beaten by a better team. They weren't a lot better than the Sharks, but they were better--scored more, were better defensively, and their goaltending was better.

So you know, their scorers were better than ours, and you know who our scorers are: they're (Dany)Heatley and (Patrick) Marleau and (Devin) Setoguchi and--and (Joe) Pavelski and (Ryane) Clowe. Uh, with--with the one exception of Marleau, that group didn't score. And, uh, defensively, uh, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook and Brian Campbell outplayed Dan Boyle, Rob Blake, and whoever you wanna pick as the third defenceman in that group that needs to be in that group--Marc-Edouard Vlasic, for example.

Right, that would be my choice, too.

I don't think that they outplayed them by a lot, but they outplayed them by enough to beat them by a goal in every game with the exception of Game Two. And Niemi was the difference as he's been now in the Finals, especially (Monday) night--he was a little bit better than Nabokov. Uh, now I'm not gonna say anyone worked any harder.

You know another one of those things I hate is "They wanted it more." No they didn't. We wanted it just as much as the Blackhawks wanted it. Every guy there wants it. They wanna win the Stanley Cup--most of them have never won it. So it's not about wanting it or being unprepared to do the work to get it.

It's just that sometimes the people you play are a little bit better. And better can be faster uh, and younger--that can equal better. And in today's NHL, you're finding that if you're a team that's fast, and fast usually is equated to youth, uh, that's a big edge to have now in the NHL, 'cause the Blackhawks are the fastest team in the league. Not just that they skate fast, they play fast.

They--they--they--you know if you watch them, when they initiate a play that they sometimes--they're--they're too fast. They get screwed up because they're trying to play so fast all the time. You can execute that game by playing really fast, you can get a team that can't handle that in a lotta trouble.

The Blackhawks played really fast, and I--I think the combination of them playing really fast led to them being a little bit better offensively and defensively. And then when you talk about goaltending, Niemi just played a little bit better than Nabokov.


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