San Jose Sharks Player Grades: Who Lived Up to Expectations in 2011-12?

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San Jose Sharks Player Grades: Who Lived Up to Expectations in 2011-12?
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The San Jose Sharks entered the 2011-12 season looking like a Stanley Cup favorite in the eyes of many.

After two straight seasons as the NHL's third-best team, San Jose strengthened their blue line, added playoff savvy to their top-six, rejuvenated their bottom six and expected growth from their younger players.

There were also some question marks regarding this year's edition of the Sharks. The team lost goal-scoring up front, depth on the back-end, physicality among the depth forwards and several key players faced potential decline.

As is usually the case, many of the improvements were actually positives and some were just the opposite. Many of the question marks hurt the team, while some didn't come into play.

Ultimately, San Jose fell short of expectations this season. Their offense dropped off and their defense didn't improve much. The Sharks won five fewer games and finished with nine fewer points than last season. They finished five spots lower in the standings and were eliminated two rounds earlier in the playoffs.

Much will be written in the coming weeks about who is to blame and who will not return next season. But before the offseason insanity kicks off for San Jose, let's take a final look at how each player performed during the 2011-12 season in relation to what was expected of them.

Note: I will only be evaluating skaters who played in over 25 games for San Jose and goalies who made at least 10 appearances. I will also exclude players who did not end the season with San Jose.

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