Sharks coach Bob Boughner questions his team’s toughness, propensity to ‘let other teams take liberties’

Anyone who’s played will tell you: Hockey is a tough sport that demands camaraderie amongst the team for when other squads try to pick a fight.

That’s what happened to the Sharks during their home opener on Saturday against the Golden Knights, when defenseman Radim Simek was nailed with multiple body checks by Jonathan Marchessault of Vegas. Unfortunately, San Jose coach Bob Boughner didn’t like what he saw after the incident, according to Kevin Kurz of The Athletic.

“It looked to me like someone taking a shot at one of our players, and I didn’t like our response,” Boughner said on Monday morning, ahead of the Sharks’ 3-2 win over Anaheim. “We need to be a tight team on and off the ice. … I understand the game is tight at that point (the Sharks were trailing 1-0 early in the second period) but you need a response then, or somewhere else in the game. You can’t let other teams take liberties, and that’s something we will be addressing.”

The Athletic

Per Kurz, the issue was addressed quite strongly by Boughner behind closed doors. San Jose is trying to rebuild its team identity, after feeling like last year’s roster wasn’t tough enough, either. It appears there’s still work to do.

Here’s the sequence in question, thanks to Brodie Brazil of NBC Sports.

Man, you gotta respond to that. At least more than San Jose did.

Matthew Barnaby, a certified NHL tough guy and a former teammate of Boughner, said that standing up for each other is “just not in their DNA,” in talking about the Sharks, per Kurz. Ouch. That’s easier to say when San Jose was the only team in the NHL without a major penalty at the time of Kurz’s report.

Even so, the Sharks are 6-7-2 and in eighth place in the West. A date with the Blues this Saturday looms as the Sharks continue their quest to improve in every area.

(Photo credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)

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