The Los Angeles Kings should still feel confident despite their loss to the 2013-14 NHL season Pacific Division champion Anaheim Ducks Monday, May 12. After all, the winners of the last Stanley Cup to follow a full season lost three in a row and faced four elimination games against the San Jose Sharks in the first round.
Internally and throughout the media, the analysis of the team is nearly complete. Monday, CSN Bay Area Insider Kevin Kurz already put out the chances each forward remains with the team over the summer. Examiner.com has previously looked (starting with the most recent) at depth forwards, scoring forwards and the back end (goalies and blue line) for the Sharks.
All were found wanting, especially in the Stanley Cup playoffs. That is not the case with San Jose's reserve forwards.
There were seven to play between six and 36 games during the 2013-14 NHL season and Stanley Cup playoffs combined. They collectively accrued nine goals, five assists, 173 hits, 58 blocked shots, 19 giveaways, 22 takeaways and a 48.5 faceoff percentage.
That is pretty good production from the 14th through 20th forwards on the depth chart. While the Sharks often skate around 20 forwards in a season, that is usually because of trading for and away some of those players mid-season, essentially having two players fill one role. That also means more players at every level, so some players that would qualify as reserves have the skills of everyday depth forwards.
San Jose's only trade this season was for reserve forward Mike Brown. Raffi Torres was the only higher-level forward to be included in this list (because he lost playing time to an injury). That makes their .602/game on the Examiner.com rating—better than three of the depth forwards examined Monday—all the more impressive.
Grading players on such limited playing time is tricky. Torres got Examiner.com's highest grade per game on the Sharks, with a 1.556 per game quotient in the 2013-14 NHL season thanks to scoring five points in five games. However, an entire unit has greater than a full season (they collectively played 113 games because of severe injuries to the position) and the sample size is thus more than enough to measure the group accurately.
Torres' grade is just one of four that are better than either Marty Havlat or Mike Brown among the regular depth forwards. It is also just one of two on this list that would have ranked at least ninth among San Jose's forwards. Since none of them played in the Stanley Cup playoffs, we have only their 2013-14 NHL season statistics by which to judge them.
As always, the players are listed from best to worst total statistical rating on both ends of the ice. Examiner.com's system factors in most of each player's stats (listed unless zero) at different weights: goals (G), assists (A), plus-minus, penalty minutes (PIM), game-winning goals (GW), hits (h), blocked shots (bs), giveaways (gv), takeaways (tk), faceoff percentage (F%), offensive quotient (OQ), defensive quotient (DQ), total quotient (TQ) and per game quotient (GQ).