The Pacific Division finals roll on without the San Jose Sharks Saturday, May 10. The Anaheim Ducks have a 2-1 deficit going into a road game with the last team to win the Stanley Cup after a full season, the Los Angeles Kings.
San Jose's scoring line forwards are as much to blame as any group for what is among the worst of the five all-time playoff collapses in major North American sports history. They led the greatest scoring imbalance (17-8, or 2.125 to one) to start the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs among all teams to take a 3-0 series lead only to lose the next four, just ahead of the New York Yankees in the 2004 American League Championship Series (32-16, or two to one).
The seven Sharks to play primarily scoring-line roles in the 2013-14 NHL season combined for one assist and a minus-23 rating over the final three games of the first round of Stanley Cup playoffs. Even in the loss before it, the one goal (and one of three assists) came late and could not compensate for the minus-8 collective rating.
If checking-line players give up more goals than they score, it is understandable. They are called on to stop scoring chances not convert them, so the situations they skate in result in more negative marks. Conversely, scoring lines are on the ice in the best situations. Even though many of those will come on the power play and not help the rating, San Jose's top forwards also failed to deliver man-advantage scoring.
During the 2013-14 NHL season, the seven Sharks on this list missed 80 games. That gives them two total games more than a full six player-seasons collectively.
Thus, an examination of all of them is nearly the perfect equivalent of grading the performance of the two scoring lines throughout the 2013-14 NHL season. Their 161 goals were over 67 percent of the team's total and their 229 assists were well over half San Jose's total. They combined to go plus-112, meaning that each player averaged one plus per 4.4 games.
When they were needed most, they disappeared. For the Sharks to ever truly contend for the Stanley Cup, that is unacceptable.
Logan Couture was without a point and minus-5 in the four losses. It makes one wonder why he was one of the eight "headlining candidates" for the cover of the EA Sports NHL 15 according to a report by CSN Bay Area Thursday afternoon, May 8.
San Jose's seven scoring forwards are listed in order of the highest to lowest total quotient (TQ), along with their goals (G), assists (A), plus-minus, game-winning goals (GW), hits (h), blocked shots (bs), giveaways (gv), takeaways (tk), faceoff percentage (F%) and their Examiner.com offensive (OQ) and defensive (DQ) grades based on those statistics for the 2013-14 NHL season...