We’re big believers that your best columnists have to step it up for the playoffs. We just gotta hope Scott can get it going.
Q: Talk about the column so far.
A: Getting that first sentence was huge. I mean, obviously, it’s the playoffs, and the first sentence of the column really sets the tone. But there’s a lot of writing still to go, and I can’t let up. I need to take it one word at a time and build on what I’ve started. This thing’s not over by a long shot. (Wipes away sweat with a towel.)
Q: Talk about the intensity out there.
A: Well, obviously, like I said, it’s the playoffs, and everyone’s trying to raise their compete level. You see guys out there throwing around more adjectives than they would at any other time of year. It gets pretty literary. But for me, I just need to keep things simple and stick to what got me here. I mean, it’s all about the basics for me: I’ve just got to keep putting words on the screen and hopefully something will click. At the end of the day, it is what it are.
Q: Talk about the grammatical error in that last sentence.
A: Obviously, I’d like to have that one back. I mean, I really dropped the ball there, but, like I said, it’s the playoffs: Fingers move fast, and you’re going to make mistakes. At the end of the day, it’s about typing within myself and making the most of every vowel and consonant. I just really need to stick to my game plan and be confident that the rest of the words will come.
Q: Talk about what it’s like to have Brunt on the back page.
A: Obviously, he’s a hugely talented guy, but I can’t worry about him—I have to type my column. I can’t make this about skilful writing or thoughtful analysis or I’m not going to be around for long. My style is different. I’ve gotta get into the dirty areas: limericks, for instance.
Q: Talk about the key to staying fresh in the post-season.
A: I mean, obviously, I just need to take advantage of the easy opportunities that are out there for me: Don Cherry’s wardrobe, John Tortorella’s temper, Gary Bettman’s inability to feel or comprehend basic human emotions. Obviously, I have to type the full 650 words every time. And, like I said, I can’t get caught up in trying to do too much. On any given night, you’re going to run into verb tenses that get the better of you.
Q: Talk about this lazy style of interviewing—now the industry standard—in which rinkside reporters can no longer be bothered even to put forth the minor effort required to phrase their musings in the form of actual questions and instead simply invite their subjects to say whatever they want within the most generous of parameters.
A: Obviously, that non-question of yours just now went on for a long time and, I mean, I guess I pretty much stopped paying attention.
Q: Talk about your left hand.
A: All I can say at this point is that it’s a lower-finger injury. But, I mean, obviously, like I said, it’s the playoffs. Everyone’s typing hurt out there. There’s no excuse not to give 110 percent of the 110 percent that I need to give. That’s 121 percent.
Q: Talk about what you need to do now as you enter the final part of this column.
A: As I said, I just need to go to the laptop and keep putting my fingers on the keyboard and hopefully good things will happen. Obviously, I just really need to come out typing my kind of column. And if I do that, then the ending will just kind of take care of itself.
Q: We’re out of time—thanks for this.
This story originally appeared in Sportsnet magazine. Subscribe here.