SAN JOSE – Following two of the most lopsided losses in franchise history, San Jose Sharks coach David Quinn said he’s not concerned about losing his job.
The Sharks were smoked 10-2 by the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, two nights after they were blasted 10-1 by the Vancouver Canucks in the first game of a four-game homestand.
The Sharks, at 0-10-1, remain the NHL’s only winless team and with another loss on Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers, will set a new league record for most consecutive defeats to start a season with 12.
The Sharks, who went 22-44-16 last season in Quinn’s first year in San Jose, have been outscored 55-12 this season.
Asked after Saturday’s game if he was concerned about his job security, Quinn said, “I guess it’s an obvious question, but if you’ve been around long, I mean, I don’t think about that for two seconds. I’ve got a job to do.”
The rebuilding Sharks traded two of their most impactful players in Erik Karlsson and Timo Meier earlier this year and rightr now, have five players on their 23-man active roster who have two-plus years of NHL experience or less, including rookies Ty Emberson or Magnus Chrona. Emberson, a defenseman, was a scratch Saturday, but Chrona, one day after being recalled from the Barracuda, made his NHL debut midway through the second period after starter Mackenzie Blackwood allowed six goals on 18 shots.
Chrona, in his first season of professional hockey, allowed four goals on 17 Penguins shots
“You just look at some of the guys we have, we haven’t played a lot of NHL hockey,” Quinn later added. “That’s the situation we’re in, right? Guys trying to prove themselves and establish themselves. We all acknowledged that before the season started. So that’s the situation we’re in.
“I know (reporters) want to keep asking me about my job security and all that. Maybe it’s in a reporter’s guide that that’s what you’re supposed to ask the coach after two games like this, but give me a break.”
Sharks players have spoken out in support of their coaches after their two most recent losses.
“I don’t know what else the coaches can do. It’s on us,” said Sharks winger Anthony Duclair on Saturday. “They’re doing a great job motivating us and getting us ready for the games and the game plan is the game plan. We’ve just got to follow it and right now as players, we’re not following it and it’s costing us.”
Sharks defenceman and alternate captain Mario Ferraro said Quinn and the coaching staff’s emphasis in recent games has been for everyone to worry about their own jobs, and not try and do someone else’s.
“We’re all trying to make a difference individually and we’re getting away from the game plan in doing so,” Ferraro said. “It happened a couple of times again tonight, myself included. We just step away from the game plan and it hurts us.
“We’re all trying to make a difference. We’re trying to turn this around. But it’s too much at times, right? It’s just, we’ve got to stick to our jobs and trust that everybody else is going to do their job and we haven’t been doing that.”
Sharks center Nico Sturm said after Thursday’s loss to Vancouver that it would be a copout for the players to blame the coaches.
“It’s not about the coaches,” Sturm said. “We lose 10-1, what are the coaches (going to do)? The coaches aren’t out there and playing. It’s far too easy to play against us right now, and that’s certainly not the coach’s fault. It’s up to us as players and we’re not anywhere near where we need to be right now.”
Duclair echoed those sentiments.
“We’ve just got to be stronger on pucks. I think we’re losing way too many battles,” Duclair said. “It’s just way too easy for the opposing team coming in here. Especially in front of our fans.
“Our battle level is just non-existent sometimes and it’s costing us.”
The Sharks are off Sunday before getting back to practice on Monday. Quinn plans to be there.
“It’s been a snowball effect,” Quinn said. “We’ve got some time to figure this out since we’re off (Sunday).”