The San Jose Sharks are off to the best start in NHL history, and in a recent article from The Hockey News print edition, the players are attributing it to the fact that the coaching staff lets them play without fear of reprisal after every single mistake on the ice.
One can easily relate the situation to the current plight of the Senators where it looks like many of the forwards are so afraid of making mistakes defensively that they are thinking way too much on the ice.
Everyone and their grandmother wants to see these players get thrown under the bus by Hartsburg and Murray, but maybe the San Jose approach, as seen below, is more of an answer than the constant negativity that has engulfed the Ottawa franchise in recent years.
"One reason many of the Sharks are performing so well this season ... is the fact (Todd) McLellan and his staff recognize hockey is a game of mistakes. And each one doesn't need to be pointed out on the spot or have serious consequences.
Defenseman Douglas Murray, for example, coughed up the puck on Oct. 28 to Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin in front of the San Jose net. ...
"It was an absolutely bonehead play and I came back to the bench and didn't get yelled at," Murray said. "I think in the past they would have made a much bigger deal of it."
Sophomore right winger Devin Setoguchi ... said team confidence is up because players are less afraid to make mistakes.
Which is part of McLellan's plan.
"I want the players to have the courage to make plays on the ice," McLellan said. "When it's a real obvious mistake, I don't know if we have to be in their ear. They know they've made it."