The Los Angeles Kings came into the final two games of the 2011-12 season having left only seven points on the table in the last 93 games in which they entered the third period with a lead—a .962 point percentage.
The San Jose Sharks entered both games to end the season with a third period deficit. While the Kings record of earning at least a point remains intact, the extra two points enabled the Sharks to pull ahead of the Kings for the seventh seed in the Western Conference.
The optimistic Sharks fan already sees the comeback in these games and the strong finish to the season as proof that they are now ready for the playoffs. They blocked twice as many shots (24-12) in the second game and put up eight goals over two games against elite netminder Jonathan Quick.
But any objective view shows the flaws continue for this team.
For one thing, you should block more shots if the other team attempts more. However, San Jose still blocked a larger percentage of shots attempted (36.4 vs. 23.5 percent) and had more than a 25 percent better ratio of blocks to shots allowed on goal.
Considering they get fewer opportunities, the Sharks are one of the best shot-blocking teams in the league. This should not be a problem area for the team in the playoffs.
They also had a disturbing 20 giveaways to only eight takeaways, while L.A. had just eight and six, respectively. But the Sharks are regularly in the red for that stat because they are good at controlling the puck, giving them more chances to turn it over and fewer to create them. They do not typically go minus-10 in this category, and this is not an anticipated issue for the playoffs.
However, the game showcased the following seven things that have been issues all season and will be a problem in the playoffs...