Sharks Empty The Tank With Coaching Staff

Sharks Empty The Tank With Coaching Staff

By Chris Cole

A day after losing 3-1 to the Nashville Predators, the San Jose Sharks announce the firing of head coach Peter DeBoer as well as assistant coaches Dave Barr, Steve Spott, and Johan Hedberg with Hedberg also serving as  the goaltending coach.  Bob Boughner is expected to man the bench in the head coach role.  

The Sharks are currently on a five-game losing streak (four in regulation, one in a shootout) and were outscored 23-7 in those five games.  Losing streaks have been the theme for the Sharks this year as they started off the season 0-4 before winning 5-4 against Chicago. Another losing streak at the end of October into November (five games) and the Sharks were sitting with a record of 4-10-1 before finally hitting winning ways for most of November.  They currently sit sixth in the Pacific with an overall record of 15-16-2 with 32 points; eight points out from first in their division.

Besides the team’s record, the stats show a glaring need for the wholesale changes.  Every player with the exception of Logan Couture, Barclay Goodrow, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic has a negative +/- rating (Couture, Goodrow, and Vlasic all have a +3).  

In the scoring department the team has been outscored 114 to 89 for a goal difference of -25 for third worst in the NHL (Detroit is at the bottom with -62 followed by New Jersey at -37).   Couture leads the team in scoring with 9 goals and 20 assists for 29 points. By comparison, Dougie Hamilton, defenseman for the Carolina Hurricanes, sits third on his team in scoring 10 goals, 18 assists for 28 points.  Think about that, the leading scorer for the Sharks, their center, is ahead of a defenseman by one point.  

On the goaltending front both goalies boast a goals against average of over 3 with Martin Jones having a GAA of 3.16 and Aaron Dell with 3.08.  Their save percentages are .892 and .897 respectively. Neither of their GAA and save percentage numbers are stellar by any means which explains the need to change out Johan Hedberg with someone else as their coach.

Combining the player and goaltender stats, it plainly shows that the whole team dynamic is just not there.  The players aren’t getting the pucks in the net and they aren’t keeping the pucks out of the net. When they lose it’s usually by a blow out.  The wagons can only circle around so many times before you either figure out the right direction or make an even bigger rut. As you can see by the actions of the front office, the rut just kept getting deeper and deeper and they needed to make the change now before they become permanently stuck.  With 33 games under their belt this could be a great move by the team’s front office to salvage the season.

PHOTO: Neville E Guard/USAToday Sports