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San Jose Sharks: Interview with Play-by-Play Announcer Randy Hahn, Continued

MJ Kasprzak@BayAreaCheezhedSenior Writer IIJune 4, 2010

SAN JOSE, CA - APRIL 25:  The San Jose Sharks logo is illuminated at center ice before game one of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Dallas Stars of the 2008 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at HP Pavilion on April 25, 2008 in San Jose, California. The Stars defeated the Sharks 3-2 in overtime to take a 1-0 series lead.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

I have presented this portion of the interview unedited, even to the degree that words spoken while one considers a point, such as "um," "you know," etc., are included. I want the reader get the genuine feel of the interview itself.

In order to get the context, see the first part of this segment on Shark-Infested Blogger. As always, my statements and questions are made in italics, and his responses are in regular type...

Yeah, and that sorta relates to my um, my next question, which, you know, uh, in a recent article I did, I outlined how Nabokov’s performance has generally been better in the post-season than in the regular season. But he’s generally been out-dueled by opposing goaltenders. Uh, such as uh, uh, what happened with Jonas Hiller last year, and with Craig Anderson in the first round, at least through the first four games, um, and uh, a lot of them don’t have uh, a better body of work—in fact most of them have a lesser body of work—

But if you uh, be fair, I would—I would argue with you that you could make the argument that he was the Sharks' best player against Detroit. Really. Now there was Game Four—that was one of those nights where everything Johan Franzen shot was going to go in whether it was off Doug Murray’s toe or whether it was him flying over Nabokov and getting to a rebound. He had a magical period, you know, five goals, and it was one of those things. But you take that out and Nabokov was probably the Sharks' best player in the four wins.

Colorado series, came on late, then uh, but won. Then had a great series against Detroit and won. Uh, then had an okay series against um, Chicago but was beaten by a goalie that had a great series. You know, so that fine line is there, and uh, (that’s how) I see Nabokov through this year’s playoffs.

Yeah, I mean, I uh, I pointed out uh, also, that Nabokov won every single game in which we scored three or more goals for him—

And how many times did we score three goals against Chicago?

None.

Right, none. We got swept and we failed to score three goals. And any—you’ve watched the NHL long enough to know three’s the magic number: You score three, you’ve got a great chance to win; if you don’t, it’s awfully tough to win unless on a regular basis you’ve got Brodeur.

To me there’s only two elite goalies in the last twenty years; he’s one of them, and Patrick Roy’s the other. There’s a—there’s a whole group after that, some of whom are better than others, but nobody who you can put in that category of a world-class, elite goalie on a game-by-game basis.

With Brodeur, if you score two a lot of nights you’re gonna win, ‘cause they adapt their system defensively—I mean, uh, they—they play a defensive system. The Sharks don’t have that luxury because Nabokov is not as—as good—he’s not in the same category as Brodeur. He’s just not. And I’m not saying anything bad about Nabby—he’s a great goalie, but he’s not Brodeur.

Right. Well, and my question on this was gonna be does this mean that he is unable to rise to the occasion as well as the opposing goalie or that our offence is letting him down? Which do you think is more uh, the case for us?

Well, I don’t—you know, uh, the ability to rise to the occasion, you know, as I said, I really think he rose to the occasion against Detroit. And um, you know I—I think Nabby, he didn’t try any less against Chicago.

He had a lot of confidence coming out of the Detroit series, and it just—you know, we—we didn’t have the offence and did he have a couple goals that he’d probably like back, like Andrew Ladd’s wrist shot in Game (Two)? I mean, yeah, he’d probably like to make that save, but he didn’t.

But in other games in the playoffs when that happened, we backed him up with scoring. Uh, uh, you know the nature of the position is that too much credit is going to go your way when you win and too much blame is gonna go on you when you lose.

It’s awfully hard to win in the NHL without scoring. The Sharks' secondary scoring against Chicago dried up. Didn’t have any. After Patrick Marleau, I mean, who scored?

We had two other goals.

Demers scored a goal.

I don’t even remember who the other one was—oh, it was (Logan) Couture. Couture.

Had two, and I think those are the only three players that scored in the whole series, and Marleau. So, when (Dany) Heatley, (Joe) Thornton, (Joe) Pavelski, (Ryane) Clowe, (Devin) Setoguchi, (Rob) Blake, (Dan) Boyle—all those guys don’t score in a series, you’re not gonna win. So you know, Nabby would have had to have been—you know I know what you’re trying to say: I guess what you’re trying to say is he has yet to steal a series for the Sharks. Is that—

Well actually, it—it’s not. Um, in my opinion—um, my opinion is that it’s been a lack of scoring that has hurt us in every uh, postseason. But to be fair, you know, some scrutiny has to go on the goaltender as well, so—

Absolutely, absolutely, and—and—and I’m not trying to make excuses for him. I’m just saying he’s a really good goalie that continues to try and push himself to be elite in the sense that elite meaning, carrying his team on his back in the playoffs.

And he’s not all the way there yet because he hasn’t won yet. You know the Sharks haven’t won the Stanley Cup with Nabokov, or they haven’t been to the Stanley Cup with Nabokov.

And I think until you—uh, until you do that, until you get your team there, then you’re not going to be looked at as an elite goalie. You’re looked on—you might be looked upon as an elite regular season goalie—that—that’s the asterisk: regular season. The best reputations are made in the playoffs, and that goes for goaltenders, too. His body of work in the playoffs is—is good, not great.

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