San Jose Sharks: Postseason Grades for Every Forward

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San Jose Sharks: Postseason Grades for Every Forward
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Earning a trip to the All Star Game for coaching the team with the best record, Todd McLellan went 17-15-3 to end the season

Just like the San Jose Sharks, writers and readers and fans are in the process of analyzing the team.

What went wrong? What changes can be made?

I went into depth with problems with the coaching staff and management before examining the players. But they focus on the season as a whole. Let's look now specifically at their playoff performance.

The season only has to be good enough to get a team into the playoffs. Case in point: the Sharks' Pacific Division rival Los Angeles Kings are still alive.

They dropped two straight nail-biters to the Sharks to end the season and were passed by their fellow Californians from the north. But the regular season was just good enough to get them to the postseason, and they now look like the Stanley Cup favourite.

How players performed in one short five-game series is hardly indicative of whether they should be around for the future. But that just makes it so much easier to grade.

Grades need to be as objective as possible. They also have to consider the entire body of work, as in from all five games and counting the stats less obvious than points (not much help if you are giving them up—just ask the Pittsburgh Penguins) or misleading than plus/minus.

Hence, the players are listed from best to worst grades, based on their total contribution as quantified by the total quotient. That has offensive (OQ) and defensive (DQ) components.

Offensive Quotient factors in assists, assist-to-giveaway ratio and goals with more weight to game-winners. (Because goals are not dependent on assists as assists are on goals and are less numerous, they are usually worth more than assists.)

Defensive Quotient gives the most weight to takeaways, next to blocked shots and least to hits, also considering possession differential (faceoff wins and takeaways minus faceoff losses and giveaways). A takeaway is most valuable because it turns an opponent possession into a Sharks possession. The blocked shot stops a scoring opportunity and is thus still more valuable than a hit that merely neutralizes one player.

If you like—or feel the urge to take another shot at—these playoff grades for Sharks forwards, you may want to look for my next set of grades for the blue line and goalies...

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