It was time for a shake-up, there’s no question about it. And when things go sideways, the head coach typically takes the bulk of the blame.
But, the Sharks still have a lot of work to do.
So while those calling for Peter DeBoer to be out of a job have been granted their wish, it needs to be understood that his firing isn’t the beginning nor the end of San Jose's problems.
Don't get me wrong: The first stretch of the Sharks' 2019-20 campaign has been downright rough. They lost the first four games of their season and, despite having plenty of talent in the lineup, have struggled mightily to dig out of the hole they're in now. Even during the six-game winning streak, those games weren't always pretty.
And through that stretch of wins, there were issues that San Jose needed to address, whether it was goaltending or lack of offensive depth or the penalty kill being overworked.
Long story short: This isn’t just about coaching. Honestly, the Sharks still might lose a lot of games.
Please remember that DeBoer took the Sharks to the Western Conference finals last season with Martin Jones and Aaron Dell posting save percentages under .900. And DeBoer took the team to a Stanley Cup Final in 2016 after beating two stacked teams in the Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues. This isn't the story of someone who can't coach a Cup-contending team.
So, what was the issue?
Even before DeBoer's firing, the Sharks have been in a team in flux. After the first four defeats, DeBoer had his own list of complaints as to how the team was playing defensively. And offensively. Quite frankly, he wasn't happy with how the team played as a whole during the winning streak in November.
Whatever the core reason is for San Jose's woes, something still has to change now that DeBoer is out the door. After nearly erasing its October deficit with a phenomenal record in November, San Jose has gone 0-4-1 so far in December, a slide that has dropped the team five points out of a playoff spot.
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December is a weird month to try to right the ship. The Sharks have a homestand coming up but with two long breaks shoved in the middle. They have a three-day layover ahead of a back-to-back with St. Louis and Vegas, and then another a few days later with the Kings and Flyers.
The Sharks absolutely could go on a run before the new year. Just don't expect the coaching change to solve all of their problems.