Sharks' Bob Boughner concerned about players buying in after Kings loss


Sharks' Bob Boughner concerned about players buying in after Kings loss

SAN JOSE -- Bob Boughner has had it up to here. Plain and simple.

The Sharks' interim coach has already commented during his young tenure behind San Jose's bench that some players aren't buying into the team's systems or showing up. But after yet another third-period meltdown and yet another loss in a 3-2 overtime defeat to the rival Los Angeles Kings on Friday night, Boughner made no excuses for skaters he thinks aren't playing up to par.

"Tonight, in a nutshell, real simple, some guys have got to look in the mirror and put it on themselves," Boughner said after the Sharks' ninth loss in 10 games. "You can't dress 12 forwards and have eight or nine show up. That was the problem tonight."

Granted, neither the Sharks nor the Kings looked particularly dominant in the first game after the long holiday break. Nevertheless, the Sharks took a 2-0 lead in the second period and set themselves up for their second win in December. 

Then, Kings forward Martin Frk cut the Sharks' lead in half just 1:30 into the third frame. Then, he tied the game up completely with 1:24 left in regulation on LA's way to an overtime win.

What's worse, Boughner had shortened San Jose's bench after LA got onto the board in the third period. Wingers Timo Meier and Kevin Labanc each skated just three shifts in the third period, and Meier didn't touch the ice in overtime. 

The fact that Boughner had to bench players at all -- in the first game back from a long break, no less -- was clearly a point of contention when he spoke about it after the game.

"We had to shorten our bench and we had a couple of guys that were not sticking with the structure, not playing within the team system," he said point-blank. "They know who they are and it's a wake-up call for a couple of guys in that room right now." 

Boughner has said previously that he wants the Sharks' veteran players to lead the way. On a night when 40-year-old Joe Thornton scored a goal and 40-year-old Patrick Marleau tallied two assists, Boughner wanted the younger set who had to sit to take note. 

"Our two oldest guys were our best players on the ice tonight," Boughner complimented. "That's nice to see from those guys. But some guys from underneath should be looking to those guys and doing what they're supposed to do."

Boughner did extend some of that complimentary attitude to goaltender Aaron Dell. Dell stopped 34 of 37 shots that came his way while the team in front of him had trouble racking up shots on the other end of the ice.

Then again, Boughner still wants to see a full effort from the forward group playing in front of the netminder.

"We're not a deep enough team, we're not a skilled enough team, to have three or four guys missing up front," Boughner reiterated. "That's the bottom line."

[RELATED: What it will take for Sharks to make Stanley Cup Playoffs]

The Sharks have a quick turnaround, with the Philadelphia Flyers visiting Saturday night. There isn't a lot of time to mull over Friday's loss to the Kings, but they had better learn from their mistakes -- and fast.

"For me, it just starts with that mentality of not having everybody on board," Boughner concluded. "And it's unacceptable."

Sharks' Joe Thornton frustrated he wasn't traded to contender at deadline

Sharks' Joe Thornton frustrated he wasn't traded to contender at deadline

Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau have one thing missing from their Hall of Fame résumés: A Stanley Cup championship. 

Marleau now has the chance to become a champion after the Sharks traded the franchise icon Monday to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Another legend was left behind, though. The Sharks held on to Thornton, and he doesn't seem too happy about that decision. 

Thornton, 40, will have to wait yet again to become a champion. The Sharks (26-32-4) are well out of playoff contention as they enter Tuesday with the third-worst record in the Western Conference. The four-time All-Star admitted to The Athletic's Kevin Kurz on Saturday that he was enticed by the idea of joining a contender at the deadline. 

“Yeah, obviously I was willing to go somewhere, and try to win my first Stanley Cup,” Thornton added on Tuesday. “I’ve been dreaming about that ever since I can remember and it just didn’t come to fruition, for whatever reason. I wanted to get something back for the Sharks obviously to help them continue this process with young guys. It just didn’t work out.”

Thornton scored two goals Saturday night in a 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers. While trade rumors swirled, Jumbo Joe was busy doubling his goal total for the season, further proving he could help a team that's out to win a Cup. 

[RELATED: Why Sharks GM Wilson a big winner at NHL trade deadline]

The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun, however, reported Tuesday that the NHL's elite likely weren't inquiring about a Thornton trade. 

While his wish didn't come to fruition, Thornton made it clear Tuesday he's still happy to be a Shark. He also believes this isn't his last season in the NHL.

One thing is for certain: Thornton knows he still has more left in the tank, but he will have to continue waiting for the title he so badly covets.

Barclay Goodrow thanks Sharks fans after being traded to Lightning

Barclay Goodrow thanks Sharks fans after being traded to Lightning

Barclay Goodrow was 21 years old when he first suited up for the Sharks. His run in San Jose came to an end Monday as he was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

San Jose also sent Tampa a 2020 third-round draft pick, and received a 2020 first-round pick and Anthony Greco in return from the Lightning. Later Monday night, Goodrow thanked Sharks fans for six years of memories.

Goodrow, who turns 27 years old on Wednesday, always will have a place in the hearts of Sharks fans. He became a hero when he scored the game-winning goal against the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 7 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series last season.

[RELATED: Why Sharks GM Wilson a big winner at NHL trade deadline]

He has scored a career-high 24 points this season -- eight goals and 16 assists. 

Goodrow has 71 points over 268 career games. The Toronto native has scored 26 goals and 45 assists as a Shark.