Today at FTF we are starting with our season review pieces for each individual player. Unfortunately, the pieces are starting May 2nd, which means that the Sharks didn't head as deep into the playoffs as we would have hoped.
I don't think one playoff win even counts as dipping your pinkie toe in the water.
Nevertheless, we're going to be doing a report card type piece for each player who spent significant time on the Sharks' roster this season. We'll give our assessment and ask for your feedback in the comments.
For no specific reason at all, let's open the series with Andrew Desjardins.
Desjardins is a player that I covered in-depth prior to the playoffs, looking at the Sharks' decision to hand him the reigns to the fourth line and letting Scott Nichol walk in the process. In that article, I pretty much covered everything that this series of articles intends to cover. However, in the interest of continuity, we can shortly revisit Desjardins' (Desjardinseses?) season as a Shark.
On the whole, I'm extremely pleased with what Desjardins brought to the team, even if he wasn't able to continue the 164 goal pace he started with at the beginning of the season.
Serious question, could Desjardins' season be a historic one? Of all players in history who scored two goals in the first game of the year, did anyone score less than two for the remainder? I think Desjardins has this one locked up in the record books...
Weird historic stats aside, and despite the lowly four goals that he posted on the year, Desjardins was an effective fourth line player. The biggest reason that Desjardins proved to be a valuable member of the team was the fact that his line was used more often than any other fourth line in recent memory. Desjardins got almost a full minute more of ice time than Scott Nichol did when he was with the team, a shining endorsement by the coach that showed how much he trusted the young center. Desjardin's other advanced stats are in the table below, compared to Nichol's seasons this year and last.
I'm not going to dig too much deeper here as most of the excavating was already done before the postseason. I will add that Desjardins was extremely effective in the first few games against St. Louis, even scoring a goal, before the whole team tailed off a bit and Desjardins followed suit. Still, he brought a bit to the series that was positive.
Fourth line centers are a dime a dozen, but Desjardins at least was a positive influence for a Sharks team that has suffered from ineffective and undiciplined fourth liners for a long time. Desjardins will continue to blossom, and at just 25, should be a good presence in the Sharks bottom six for the next few seasons at least.
FTF's Grade: B