Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Shaone Morrisonn Stops By Part 1

Apparently, Shaone enjoyed his time so much last time, he decided to come back for more punishment. I had the opportunity to once again do a season follow up with the Caps defender.

Shaone Morrisonn had a pretty consistent year. His chemistry with Mike Green helped him to see quality ice time. As a stay-at-home defenseman, he finished the season with a goal and 10 points. Its a slight reduction from his 13 points a season ago, but his +/- ratio always eeked out to the + side for the last three seasons.

In the playoffs Morrisonn was involved in the game 7 controversy "interference" call when Patrick Thoresen checked him into Cristobal Huet. We touched on that a little bit in the interview.

For his first ever NHL playoff series, Morrisonn definitely experienced what it means to play injured after either Scottie Upshall or Scott Hartnell broke his jaw. Green stood up for his defensive partner in game 3, but also drew a bad penalty in the process. Morrisonn had his jaw wired for several weeks and was demoted to protein shakes and smoothies.

In a brief interview with Tarik on his blog: "It's terrible not being able to talk properly and watching people eat juicy burgers and sushi and all of the good stuff," Morrisonn said. "That's the hardest part."

Again, I have split the conversation into two parts: one today, and the other tomorrow. Enjoy!

Puckhead's Thoughts: Hey Shaone, thanks for answering some questions for me. The season started pretty well, three straight wins, but then it started to fall apart. What were your thoughts going through that tough stretch?

Shaone Morrisonn: Well going into training camp and then after I knew we had a great team and we had a great start but things were wrong and you could feel that in the room. Things were about to fall apart and it was time for a change.

PHT: What kind of coach was Glen Hanlon to you?

SM: Glen is a great guy and good coach but the team we had was a contender and we needed a little more discipline and experience to get over the hump. I believe that Glen knew the team was falling apart and it was unfortunately time for a change. I appreciate Glen giving me a chance my first year.

PHT: What did Bruce Boudreau bring to the locker room that seemed to lack with Hanlon?

SM: I think Bruce had a little more experience. He had won championships, and was older. Bruce made every player better and pushed harder for guys to be even better. He demanded perfection every night know matter if you play 8 minutes or 24 minutes. All the guys that played under Bruce had nothing but great things to say and his record speaks for it self.

PHT: From the coaching change to the push for first in the Southeast was a great story, what do you think it took for this team to accomplish that?

SM: It was a long time coming for this team. We have the talent and the work ethic we just needed guidance and for everyone to get on the same page. We played like a team sacrificing our bodies every night. We did the little things and believed in ourselves. We wanted to prove everyone wrong.

PHT: Let's talk about your first NHL playoff series. It seemed to start a little slow for you guys, what sort of turned it around for the second part of the series?

SM: We didn't have many guys with playoffs experience and were a little tentative and nervous. Once we had nothing to lose and were on the brink of elimination, we played our game the way we played to get in the playoffs and we just fell short.

PHT: Were there any regrets in those early games?

SM: I think if we would have won the second game we would have been playing still.

Okay, cliff hanger! The next two questions have to do with Game 7 and the dreaded "interference" play. Plus I ask about Shaone's plans for the off season and talk about his restricted free agency. All this and more, tomorrow!

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