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Sharks Locker Room: ‘Everybody’s gotta look in the mirror’

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For the San Jose Sharks’ 10th straight loss, they gave up 10 goals.

After a 10-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks, the Sharks are now 0-9-1, a new record for the worst start in franchise history.

Of course, as you can guess by the score, it’s not just that the Sharks lost, it’s how they lost.

Tomas Hertl, who’s been a Shark for over a decade, admitted that it was “probably the most embarrassing loss” of his San Jose career.

“Nobody [should] sleep for our team, for sure, tonight. We didn’t deserve a good sleep,” the alternate captain said. “I feel bad for our goalies, for the fans, for everybody.”

Speaking of the goaltenders, the San Jose Sharks left them out to dry once again. After two periods, the Sharks were down 8-0 and 25-13 shots. The Canucks went 4-for-5 on the power play. And once again, San Jose let their keeper get hit without any reaction.

After the game, Nico Sturm said that none of the Sharks saw Andrei Kuzmenko run into Kaapo Kahkonen. And I believe that.

But what happened here is also symbolic of a team that’s not a team, everyone looking away after a deluge of goals allowed, adrift in their own worlds while there’s a car crash in front of them.

“We’re not a team yet. That was part of the problem tonight. Felt like we didn’t play like a team. We’re letting our results get in the way of playing like a team,” Quinn said. “That’s going to change.”

How so?

Will an example be made of any of the players? When you score 10 goals in 10 games and give up 44 – that’s a Goal Differential of -34 – it’s obviously not just on one player. But that also means that you have your pick of players to show the door.

Does Quinn get fired? Fair or not, it’s a fair question after another listless performance from his undermanned team.

And how does GM Mike Grier answer for this lack of competitiveness? Everybody expected the rebuilding Sharks to lose more than they win this season, but it’s one thing to lose, it’s another to be flat-out embarrassed.

After the game, Sturm cautioned against putting a 10-1 loss on the coaches. Hertl talked about how the Sharks have to move forward. And Quinn shared the immediate steps to the Sharks becoming a team.

Nico Sturm

Sturm, on the San Jose Sharks’ strong practice week heading into this game:

Really good, really good practices. I mean, we felt really, really strongly. I think especially the practice on Tuesday, really, really competitive. Guys were battling hard. Mood was really good. Guys were competing.

I can tell you, it’s not for a lack of trying, guys show up everyday and they put in the work. That’s not it, but you can tell that confidence-wise, we’re [down in the dumps].

Sturm, on if the coaching staff’s message is getting through to everyone:

It’s not about the coaches. When you lose 10-1, the coaches aren’t out there and playing. It’s far too easy to play against us right now. That’s certainly not the coaches’ fault.

Sturm, on team’s lack of response to Kaapo Kahkonen being hit in the head by Andrei Kuzmenko, after Kuzmenko’s goal made it 6-0:

I’ll be honest with you, I just saw it. I did not see it when I was on the ice, until I got back.

But obviously, it’s the second time that this has happened this season. I’m gonna go ahead and say none of the guys on the ice realized that actually happened. I can tell you, we addressed it when it happened in Nashville with [Mackenzie Blackwood], that that’s not going to happen again.

The guys on the ice had no idea.

Tomas Hertl

Hertl, on how the San Jose Sharks move forward:

[There’s] nothing we can do about what’s happened the last 10 games. It’s tough to forget it, we have to deal [with it] tonight.

Nobody [should] sleep for our team, for sure, tonight. We didn’t deserve a good sleep. But after that, you have to practice and be ready because we got 72 games left.

We just have to just play more like a team. We have to do it together.

We’re a team in the locker room, but on the ice, we have to be more team there.

I feel bad for our goalies, for the fans, for everybody.

Hertl, on if getting routed is easier to forget than a close loss:

I don’t think so, it’s just embarrassing.

Tonight, everybody will have to, especially me starting, look to the mirror tonight.

This just can’t happen, you know? We have to fight more, we have to do something. If we don’t have the confidence to make plays, we have to hit somebody, we have to just do anything. We can’t just be on the ice.

Hertl, on if this is the toughest loss of his Sharks career:

We got some tough losses in the playoffs, but this is probably the most embarrassing loss.

David Quinn

Quinn, on the San Jose Sharks’ performance tonight:

We took a big step back tonight. It’s early in the season still, obviously. It’s embarrassing. The record we have is certainly embarrassing, the performance we had tonight. We’re going to find out an awful lot about individuals here, moving forward over the next few days.

Quinn, on how the Sharks recover from tonight:

There’s a reason these guys are in this league. Not only do you have to have physical talent, you have to have mental talent to recover from nights like tonight, recover from the start we’ve had in general.

We’re not a team yet. That was part of the problem tonight. Felt like we didn’t play like a team. We’re letting our results get in the way of playing like a team. That’s going to change.

Quinn, on the difference between the Sharks and the Canucks:

They play with an awful lot of confidence. There’s a lot of trust while they’re out there. They play fast. Obviously, they’re off to a great start. [Rick Tocchet has] done a hell of a job with that group. And they got a lot of good players.

Quinn, on the immediate steps for the San Jose Sharks to become a team:

Everybody’s gotta look in the mirror and decide why are you here? We’re in a situation as an organization where people have certainly touched on the fact that we’re in a rebuild and we’ve traded some high-end players and we’re in the situation we’re in.

Sometimes, your commitment to winning wavers a little bit, and that can’t happen. That can’t happen. I think that’s crept in a little bit with some of our players. Hopefully, this feels so freaking bad that they’ll never approach it that way again.

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