Doug Wilson burned pretty much the entire coaching staff by firing head coach Pete DeBoer, assistant coaches Steve Spott, Dave Barr, and Johan Hedberg; but kept Bob Boughner– who was named interim coach. Fans who have been vocal about DeBoer get their scapegoat wish, while Wilson will see what kind of fire this lights under this very under performing team.
DeBoer was a defensive minded coach, but with Martin Jones and Aaron Dell being tire fires in net and according to some advanced stats– the worst (Dell) and third worst (Jones) goalies in the entire league, it didn’t help DeBoer’s cause. The defense itself is a great as helping scoring, but helping prevent it is another thing, as they’ve let in the second most goals in the league at the time of this writing. Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson aren’t lighting the world on fire, though the latter has been better as the season’s gone on. Then on offense– there’s Logan Couture, Evander Kane, and allegedly Joe Thornton is still play– though I’ve only seen a husk of what used to be Thornton on the ice picking fights with goalies and former Stanley Cup champions.
Is Pete DeBoer a bad coach?? I’m sure it’s as subjective as it seems. He went to the Stanley Cup twice, but has missed the playoffs in six of his 11 coaching seasons in the NHL. Some will say he’s a good asset, others will damn his name. After the initial blast of spirited enthusiasm, he seems like a guy who has a voice that would run it’s course very quickly, especially in a room of veteran players. You know things are bad when this is the first time Doug Wilson has fired a coach mid-season in his eternal tenure as Sharks GM.
Will Bob Boughner be the savior of the season?? Probably not. In fact, he’s picking up in a situation that he left off at in Florida– shotty goaltending and defense that leaves a lot to be desired in their own zone. Could he just be a lame duck for the short-term?? Maybe, but this could be a second-wind for him and maybe with talent around him, the team could actually start living up to potential.
Which they better do because there’s not many trades to be made to make this team better due to the tight salary cap they have and lack of anything on the horizon from the AHL to help them out. But with a voice change, could mean a style change and the offense actually taking off and the players who feel like they’ve held back finally breaking through.
It remains to be seen how this will play out, because it’s an audition for Boughner, who could be out the door by the end of the year because he couldn’t get this team going– but it also marks the fifth coach who has been fired this year. Granted, three were because of them being idiots and messing with their players or putting the team’s good name in a bad spot, but the media made sure to let you know this DeBoer firing was purely hockey related, no off-ice stuff, no abuse– just not getting the job done.