Short answer. No. The San Jose Sharks should NOT fire Peter DeBoer.
Longer answer. Also no. The San Jose Sharks would be colossally stupid to fire their coach now and try to bring in a guy with a whole new system a whole new style and a whole new attitude.
Peter DeBoer has his shortcomings, absolutely, there is no denying that. But I think overall, he’s been a very good coach for this team, and for the personnel the San Jose Sharks run out there night after night.
He’s lead the San Jose Sharks to the playoffs every year during his tenure, including, a Stanley Cup Final birth in his first year…Y’all remember that? Yanno, the only one in the history of this franchise? During the Peter DeBoer era, the San Jose Sharks have never had less than 97 points, and never not made the playoffs. I’d argue, that is a pretty good track record.
You don’t fire a good coach, who’s made the playoffs every year he’s been around in the middle of the season. You just don’t do it, unless he’s John Tortorella level’s of insufferable. And from everything we’ve seen with DeBoer he’s not. He’s just regular hockey coach level insufferable. Not a fireable offense if you ask me.
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And look, I get it, sometimes I pull my hair out too with DeBoer’s personnel descisions, and his refusal to play young players. The fact that he STILL hasn’t switched back to Karlsson/Vlasic is infuriating.
That pairing would be the best defensive pairing in all of hockey, and the statistics back it up. According to Corsica Hockey, as a pairing they have a CF% of close to 62.5 which is out of this world. The stat with these two that stands out the most, to me, are their SF/60 and SA/60. Which for Karlsson and Vlasic are 38.7 SF/60 and 24.8 SA/60 as opposed to Vlasic and Braun’s 24.5 SF/60 to 29.7 SA/60.
But it isn’t like they’re struggling because of that. The Sharks are still in second place in the Pacific Division, with two huge, comeback wins over the best team in hockey one at home and one at Bridgestone Arena, a place that has haunted San Jose Sharks in the past.
We all know DeBoer’s tendency to scratch younger players too. His refusal to play Timo Meier, and Joakim Ryan and Tim Heed and name other young players over his tenure here is often times disconcerting, however, has it REALLY hindered these guys development? Meier is the San Jose Sharks leading goal scorer and Joakim Ryan is cementing himself as the yin to Brent Burns’ yang.
He oddly scratched Annti Suomela for one game, and look at what that did. I’d argue that healthy scratch helped, not hindered Suomela as he’s been on fire since his one game in the Press Box.
Even though a guy like Joel Quenneville, one of the greatest hockey coaches of all time, is out there you’d still be hard pressed to bring him in at this point. Quenneville was fired by the Chicago Blackhawks, around a week ago. And there is no arguing his resume. Three time Stanley Cup Champion, 452 wins and 1000 points over the course of his career. He’s dealt with super stars and hall of fame guys a like.
And Quenneville would be a guy to put a team over the top, at least, you’d have to believe that with his track record. But, to hire him in the middle of the season with a veteran team who is really just now getting rolling? You can’t do that.
The team seems to be responding to DeBoer too. I’ll point to the most recent game against Nashville. The San Jose Sharks had let the Pred’s tie it up with three unanswered goals in the 2nd period, after the Sharks took a 3-0 lead. They even allowed the first goal of the third period to go in on a Rocco Grimaldi break away. Yet, the San Jose Sharks responded to DeBoer’s in game adjustments and ended up winning the game 5-4, on the game winning and milestone goal from Jumbo Joe.
You can’t look at Peter DeBoer’s minor indiscretions and demand his ouster. You have to look at ol’ Pete’s overall record, and reputation with this team, and with the guys in the dressing room. When you do that, you’ll find absolutely no basis for getting rid of a good coach.
And yes. I guess they’ve underachieved due to the hype going into this year? But they’re still in second place in the Pacific Division, and will most likely be in first place at the end of the year. So, lets pump the breaks on the Fire Pete train, eh?