Let’s face it. The Sharks stink right now. They can’t get away shots, they can’t protect the puck, and they can’t out-skate anybody. Oh, and in case you didn’t notice, they’re having trouble scoring goals.
So who’s to blame? It’s human nature to want to blame someone; to point a finger and yell “IT’S YOUR FAULT!” as we struggle opening another bag of Doritos through our tears.
And I can’t take it anymore, I want a scapegoat, damn it. So who is it?
Is it Todd McClellan and the coaching staff? This seems to be a pretty popular pick. The team for the most part is the same as last year, they came out strong at the start, and as time wore on, and systems became set, they began losing. I’m finding myself confused trying to figure out how constantly juggling the lines has improved the offense, but it’s hard to argue with the vast improvement on the PK (thank you, Larry Robinson).
Yes, I do believe that McClellan, among others, are most definitely on the hot seat. But I also don’t necessarily believe that the struggles of this team lie on the coaches. The coaches can’t make the players want it, and play with the energy they need to win. The coaches can’t re-teach the players how to handle a pass, or move the puck to the right team.
So speaking of players, whose to blame here? Patty Marleau is killing it again this year, even though Jeremy Roenick may disagree. And speaking of killing it again this year, Thornton’s got 4 goals and 14 assists this season, nearly a point per game pace. This sick set up to Marleau against Dallas is enough for me.
Pavs is playing another solid year (6 goals, 15 points), and is putting a ton of shots on goal. He’ll keep sinking em’ all year at this rate. Couture is good too (also 6 goals), but I would love to see him get going again. He’s had one point in five games. Overall though, these top 4 forwards have accounted for 68.2% of all the Sharks goals this season.
Which leads to the rest of the forwards, where scoring is pretty much non-existent. Clowe has no goals (but lots of PIMs and time off!), Havlat has been struggling after a solid start, and the bottom six has only four goals on the season.
So what’s gotta give? The Sharks are unable to put up more than 2 goals against mediocre netminders (2 against Allen, 1 against Emery, 1 against Nilstorp). As I’ve said before, the Sharks lack pure scorers, and whose to blame for that?
Doug Wilson has built a perennial playoff team for the last decade, but too much tinkering the last couple of seasons has left this team struggling to put the puck in the back of the net. Is it his fault? Not necessarily. On paper, this team looks good, and they are better than the record indicates. What about the new ownership, could it be ownership’s fault? That’s ridiculous, no one would suggest that.
At the end of the day, the coaches need to get the players ready, the players need to execute, and if losing keep piling up, then the GM needs to make some moves. Right now, I think it’s too soon to make any changes, but if this team doesn’t pull together at least four points during this three-game homestand, it’s time to mix it up.