While the Canadiens were winning back-to-back games Friday and Saturday, former Montreal defenceman Craig Rivet’s San Jose Sharks were dropping two straight. Still a leader in the dressing room, if one on the other side of the continent, Rivet called out his teammates.
Sharks taken for another ride as the losses start piling up
By David Pollak
San-Jose Mercury News
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Defenseman Craig Rivet hesitated. He chose his words carefully. The Sharks had just suffered their second loss in less than 24 hours and it troubled him.
“I think they all hurt when you don’t come to play and you have far too many passengers to give your team a chance to win,” Rivet said. “And that’s what we’ve had, not only for the past two games, but what we’ve had throughout pretty much our whole season so far.”
It was an indirect answer to the question posed: Which was more painful, Saturday’s 2-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets or Friday’s 5-1 drubbing by the Detroit Red Wings? But Rivet, who was brought to San Jose last season in part for his leadership qualities, had something else that he felt needed saying.
He didn’t cite any of his teammates by name. But he wasn’t making excuses for a team with high expectations that has been inconsistent and stumbled to a 5-5-0-1 start.
“The only people to blame in this whole situation are the players,” said Rivet, who spent all or parts of 12 seasons in Montreal before coming to San Jose in a trade last February. “The coaching staff gives us a detailed system to go out and play. It’s not difficult. This team’s been playing it for a long time.
“Guys just aren’t prepared to work right now and there’s far too many guys that are not giving 100 percent and in turn, not giving us the success that we want.”