Any NHL offseason—or one for any professional sport, for that matter—begins with an analysis of the organization from top to bottom. Inventory must be taken of assets and liabilities before one can move forward.
For a team like the San Jose Sharks that has high expectations, this examination must be harsh. A single playoff win is unacceptable.
In the past, such a finish would have been nothing short of a choke. But the 2011-12 Sharks problems were nearly season-long (they had three 15-game stretches with at least 10 wins but won just 12 games in the other 42), making a quick departure predictable considering their struggles against the St. Louis Blues in the regular season.
That being said, there were two teams that finished with lower in the league standings that played on longer. The Sharks beat one of those teams, the Los Angeles Kings, twice to end the season. No team scored less than L.A. during the regular season, yet they scored 15 goals on the same Blues squad in a four-game second-round sweep.
In other words, regular season struggles aside the Sharks should have done more in the playoffs. A good playoff run could have erased the failures that preceded it and they could be sitting where L.A. is after last night's win in Phoenix—in the driver's seat to win the Western Conference.
Thus it pays to examine the playoffs separately. That began by looking at the 14 forwards who played over the five games, and now it is time to examine the blue line and goalie play.
At the above link, a formula was explained for Offensive Quotient (OQ) and Defensive Quotient (DQ) to come up with a final grade. These formulae consider only the total contribution, thus appropriately giving players who are on the ice more opportunities to score higher.
Because the blue line's offensive contribution results in fewer points (often they touched the puck too early to get an assist) and more giveaways, their OQ formula is different. More stress on the back end, they are on the ice more but have fewer opportunities for takeaways, leaving them in the red for possession differential.
Students are graded strictly on the numbers in a course at one of the fine Bay Area universities. There is no consideration for this student had to work and raise a child while attending compared to another who has every resource money can buy.
Hence, the following players are listed from best to worst grade strictly according to the formula...