The back end of the San Jose Sharks is deep and talented, leaving few question marks for the upcoming season.
First off, they have a Vezina Trophy finalist in goal. Even though they have almost no experience backing him up, both goalies have been on the roster. Alex Stalock has played well in two of his three NHL appearances and if that does not work, Harri Sateri gives them another possible option.
They also had one of the best blue lines in 2013 with Dan Boyle as the Sharks' top-scoring defenseman over the past five seasons and the team possesses solid veterans and young players ready to make their marks as well.
The unit was so deep, in fact, that the Sharks moved Brent Burns up to forward during the 2012-13 season. However, that move was not to make way for San Jose's young talent. It was because the Sharks have a questionable forward corps. Outside of their top four, the talent was scant.
Even after the switch, San Jose simply did not have enough weapons to score enough goals to win in the Stanley Cup playoffs once Martin Havlat went down. It is likely that he will never play for the Sharks again, who clearly feel let down. At the very least, he will miss much of the 2013-14 season due to his injury.
When you have a questionable unit and make no additions to it in the offseason, it leaves a lot of questions. However, if the Sharks can find answers to their biggest questions on each line, they should be playing past Memorial Day for a second straight season.
Note: See the link for line projections and reasoning behind them.