SAN JOSE - Peter DeBoer isn't looking to mince words or sugarcoat things.
When the Sharks head coach was asked Friday morning what San Jose needs to do in Friday's game against the Winnipeg Jets at SAP Center, DeBoer made it very clear he doesn't care who the other team is right now. With where the Sharks are at right now, he wants his team to look in the mirror and turn things around.
"I think as a group we're a little pissed off where we're at," San Jose's bench boss said. "We're a little embarrassed."
So what does he want from his team?
"We've got to start playing with a little more of an attitude," DeBoer said. "Defend with a little more attitude, attack with a little more attitude. I just think we've been a soft team through 10 to 12 games and that doesn't win you many games in this league."
He isn't just concerned with the fact that the Sharks' forecheck has been almost non-existent or that the five-on-five game has been struggling mightily to find the back of the net. DeBoer wants to see improvements all over the ice.
"We've got to be harder to play against," he emphasized. "Offensively that means hanging onto pucks and moving your feet and drawing penalties instead of taking penalties. And we've got to be harder and defend with more of an attitude, too. We've been soft around our net and soft in D-zone coverage. That's a recipe for the record we have. Until, as a group, we start playing in those areas with some attitude and some heaviness and some hardness to our game, we're going to get the results that you've been seeing."
After a disastrous end to their five-game road trip, the Sharks will play six straight on home ice and only hit the road four times in the entire month of November. Having a long homestand could benefit the Sharks and help them get their edge back. But, of course, that's really going to depend on how San Jose channels its disappointment.
As frustrated as DeBoer clearly is himself, he hasn't lost hope the Sharks will turn things around. This, after all, isn't uncharted territory for a DeBoer coached team.
"The one thing I know is that we've been in this spot before," he said. "Probably three of the four years I've been here. The first year, we were at American Thanksgiving and somewhere out of the playoff picture -- I don't know where but we weren't in it, I know that. Last year, the same thing. We've been here before."
Now it's just a matter if this year's Sharks to make those adjustments.
"Every group is different and I think those other groups looked in the mirror and figured it out and turned it right and there was still a lot of hockey to be played and they turned it into a good season," DeBoer concluded. "Now it's this group's turn to see what they're made of."