Dec 15, 2011, 1:21 PM EDT
Despite a 3-5-2 stretch that’s seen his team drop to eighth in the Western Conference, San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan says he isn’t worried about losing his job.
“I’m not concerned one bit,” McLellan told the Mercury News. “I know what we do every single minute to get better, and I know our players are working hard every single minute.”
The Sharks have come under fire recently for their lackluster play and sputtering offense. They’ve scored just 20 goals over the last 10 games and received harsh criticism from Versus NHL analysts Mike Milbury and Keith Jones during a recent 4-3 shootout loss in Colorado.
“It’s alarming to see how flat their stars are in this game,” Jones said.
“I don’t know how to explain the flatness of his team, but it’s so apparent,” Milbury added. “This is a team that looks very lethargic.”
McLellan might not be expressing concern publicly, but privately he must wonder if his job’s truly safe. Five NHL coaches were turfed prior to the 30-game mark, including those of California’s other two NHL teams, Los Angeles (Terry Murray) and Anaheim (Randy Carlyle). This is an interesting development given last year was the first time in NHL history that the Kings, Ducks and Sharks all made the playoffs. Expectations were high for all three Cali teams heading into this year, and two have already axed their coaches for failing to meet them.
That said, McLellan seems to have the support of Sharks GM Doug Wilson.
“We believe in this group and we believe in this staff. We look forward to this team playing up to its capabilities,” he said. “We know we haven’t been playing at the level we’re capable of, and that’s because we’re not playing a full, 60-minute game.
“That’s how you win in this league. And we will fix this.”
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