After coach Dan Bylsma and several players united to say it was a collective collapse, Shero switched his focus to what needs to happen next and the changes that must occur to ensure a more successful run next season.
While Shero expects to keep Bylsma, whom he calls "the right guy," along with assistants Tony Granato and Todd Reirden, he recognizes the problem with underachieving in the post-season.
"The problem is that we have what we feel is a real good team," Shero said. "We proved that over the course of the year. But we play those games to get into the playoffs. That is where you prove how good you can be, and this year we fell short."
Shero, who is also aware of the busy off-season ahead, is facing club-defining decisions on such things as whether to overhaul the defense, which he stated "failed us terribly" in allowing 30 goals in the six-game series loss to the Flyers; whether to keep the three-center blueprint featuring captain Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal; and which eligible players to try to re-sign, with Crosby and Staal the biggest names on that list.
"It's a big summer for us, and we're going to take the next two months to sort through this," Shero indicated.
Crosby and Staal, who are under contract through 2012-13, would be eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer, but under the expiring CBA they can re-signed effective July 1.
"Our goal is to re-sign both of them," Shero said. "I think they're both special hockey players. They're great assets. They're at a young age. They're in their prime."
However, it has been widely speculated that Staal could be traded for financial or strategic reasons as Shero mentioned that nothing will be determined "until we can sit down over the next month or so and make some personnel decisions."
While Crosby, who is not expected to explore free agency, embraces the strong-down-the-middle approach, Staal could possibly earn more money on the open market and move up to be a No. 1 or No. 2 center with another team.
"We'll see what the future holds," Staal said, though not committing to staying in Pittsburgh.
"Talking to a lot of guys who have come and left, they've always had a soft spot for Pittsburgh," Staal added. "They loved playing there. I love being here, and I love the guys in the [dressing] room. And that's a huge factor for myself. "
The Penguins eligible for unrestricted free agency include forwards Steve Sullivan, Arron Asham and Richard Park, and goaltender Brent Johnson. Defensemen Matt Niskanen and Brian Strait and forward Eric Tangradi are set to become restricted free agents, though Niskanen made it clear what he hopes for.
"I've fallen in love with this organization, and I think I've played my best here," Niskanen said. "I hope I'm back."