Originally written on Rock the Red  |  Last updated 11/19/14

WASHINGTON - JANUARY 15: Jeff Schultz #55 of the Washington Capitals waits for a face off during the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Verizon Center on January 15, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

As the 2011-12 season has come to a close, the time has come to evaluate what it meant for the Capitals, both as a team and as individuals.  As such, as the summer progresses, I will be writing a report card, or individual evaluation, for each player who played in 9 (~10%) of the team's games, or 4 playoff games. Next up is defenseman Jeff Schultz, who finished his seventh and most turbulent year with the organization this past season.

Season Summary: As noted above, Schultz endured the most tumultuous season of his NHL career during this campaign.  Sarge started out the season where he belonged, in the lineup, and performed well for the most part.  After Dale Hunter was hired as coach, Schultz played less and less in December before being benched in favor of John Erskine for the entire month of January despite being substantially better than him.  After February 1st, however, Schultz played almost every night until being sat down in late March; he played in 52 games total, his lowest by far in a full NHL season.  He posted a goal, five assists, and a -2 rating to go along with 12 penalty minutes; he also had a -4.94 corsi rating at even strength, the fourth-worst among the eight defensemen that played in more than 20 games.  He did all of this, however, while facing the fourth-hardest even strength competition among those eight defensemen. Grade: C

Role Play: Jeff Schultz came into this season as the sixth defenseman, and he played that role.  What you want from the sixth best defenseman on your roster is someone who doesn't mess up every time he is on the ice, is defensively responsible, and can block shots.  Contrary to popular belief, Schultz can do all of those things, as evidenced by his statistics and the fact that he blocked 58 shots.  No one expects Schultz to be the best defenseman on the ice, but as a complementary player, he did well.  Good thing, too, because that's what Schultz is. Grade: B

Playoffs: As relatively solid as his regular season was, Schultz's playoffs were not so hot.  He played in ten games, going -7 in them and being held pointless.  He also had the worst even strength corsi rating on the team among defensemen, at -22.28 - and he did that against the easiest competition among all defensemen.  His defensive partner, Dennis Wideman, was certainly to blame for part of that, but Sarge was a constant question mark when he did enter the lineup.  A very poor playoffs from him; I was dissapointed that Dmitry Orlov remained on the bench while Schultz continued to play. Grade: D

Future Potential: Schultz has two more years on his current contract at a salary cap hit of $2.75 million.  Because of his down season and his relatively high price tag, he would probably be tough to trade should the Capitals try and go that route, but he could always been fodder for a team looking to get to the salary cap floor, especially at the draft.  If he stays with the Caps, though, expect more of the same; he would probably play almost every night next season, however, because of the likely departure of Dennis Wideman.  At age 26, Schultz may even get better before he gets worse, but we just don't know at this point. Grade: C+

The next report card will feature center Jeff Halpern.

As always, follow me on Twitter here for news and updates.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Blatt has special message for LeBron

Shaq once threatened to murder Kobe Bryant

Bryce Harper: Mike Trout is the best player in baseball

Report: Wilson skipped OTAs to attend funeral with Graham

Antonio Brown on contract: 'I've got enough' money

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Kaepernick posts insensitive joke about Houston floods

50 Cent’s boxing company files for bankruptcy

Rangers-Lightning Game 6: Prediction for elimination game

Phillies GM says team's fans 'don't understand the game’

Adrian Peterson reportedly has considered retirement

Report: Bulls could cheat Tom Thibodeau out of coaching jobs

FIFA officials arrested, to be extradited to US for corruption

WATCH: LeBron throws down huge dunk from inside FT line

Nick Saban says he caught 6-foot, 180-pound fish

WATCH: Vin Scully tells story about Gomes being attacked by wolf

WATCH: Kris Bryant launches home run off scoreboard

Transfer rumors: Drogba, Pirlo and Gomez linked to MLS

Robinson Cano's slump: The good news, the bad news

Joe Maddon unhappy over Cubs’ ‘awkward schedule’

Buck Showalter takes shot at Marlins over management

UGA wants SEC to ban transfers with 'serious misconduct' issues

Cavs' Kevin Love cleared to travel with team

Four crazy stats from the NBA Playoffs thus far

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Transfer rumors: Drogba, Pirlo and Gomez linked to MLS

Cano's slump: The good news, bad news

Disappointments of the MLB season

UGA wants SEC to ban transfers with misconduct issues

Long's great reaction to Bears releasing McDonald

Crazy stats from the NBA Playoffs

WATCH: Curry leaves game after nasty fall

Royals' Guthrie sets records in blowout

Bears cut McDonald after incident

Report: Pierce could opt out of contract

The Talented Mr. Blatt

Is Dellavedova a dirty player?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.