I had a great, candid interview with Port Huron goaltender Larry Sterling -- look out for it in Thursday's special section previewing the IHL semifinals -- but there was something that I just couldn't save.
I asked Sterling about the harsh words he had for Fort Wayne goalie Tim Haun, after that midseason game in which Haun took a baseball-like swing of the stick at Derek Patrosso, prompting Sterling to basically call Haun a glorified Single-A goalie.
Has Sterling changed his tune in light of Haun winning IHL Goaltender of the Year honors?
"Absolutely not," Sterling said. "You can just give that award to Fort Wayne, to be honest, if you want. Look at the stats. The last three years, Fort Wayne has had different goalies (get the award). I don't think Fort Wayne's necessarily a Mecca for great goalies.
"I do have a lot of respect for Nick Boucher, let's put it that way."
Kevin Reiter won Goaltender of the Year in 2008, followed by Boucher last season.
"It's not that I don't have any respect for Tim Haun, I just don't have any respect for what he did that night," said Sterling, adding the great defensive play of the entire team benefits Fort Wayne's netminders. "That whole team just plays a great defensive style. We could go three or four games in a row against them and not get an odd-man rush."
It's unclear whether Boucher, who won a Cup against the Icehawks in the 2008 Finals, or Haun will get the start in Game 1 on Thursday. Clearly, though, Sterling seemed to think the Komets would be best served by going with Boucher.
"It's not like if you didn't have Tim Haun this year you wouldn't have finished in the spot that you did," Sterling said. "But my focus isn't on them. It's on us."
Look out for the upcoming story on Sterling. He's one of the best talkers I've come across in years.
- Don't forget to listen to this week's episode of "We've got Game," with Justin Cohn and Ben Smith. We talked a lot of hockey with some pretty good hockey writers -- Paul Costanzo of the Port Huron Times-Herald and Greg Rajan of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times -- as well as NFL Draft and some other great sports topics. You can just use the button on the right to listen whenever is convenient. You can even download it to your iPod.