San Jose Sharks
1976-1991: After nine failed seasons the Bay Area’s first NHL Team the California Golden Seals moved to Cleveland. In Cleveland the rechristened Barons would not do much better as they were merged with Minnesota North Stars after just two seasons. After 13 years former Barons owner George Gund wanted to bring hockey back to the Bay Area as fan interest in the NHL had begun to pick up in California with the trade of Wayne Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings in 1988. However, the NHL would not allow him to move the North Stars to San Jose who had a lucrative Arena deal sitting on the table. Instead the NHL decided to give Gund an expansion team that would begin play in 1991, in an ironic way reviving the former Golden Seals franchise, as he would be allowed to take several North Stars players and prospects with him to San Jose.
1991/92: The Sharks play their first game on October 4th as they face the Canucks in Vancouver, the expansion Sharks would fall behind early. However with California native Craig Coxe scoring the first goal in franchise history would rally to tie the game before losing 4-3 on a late goal. A day later the Canucks and Sharks battled again this time at the old Cow Palace in San Francisco as the NHL returned to the Bay Area. However, a sold out crowd of 10,888 would go home disappointed as the Canucks beat the Sharks 5-2. On October 8th the Sharks would finally get their first win by beating the Calgary Flames 4-3 as Kelly Kisio scores the game winning goal with three minutes to play in regulation. The Sharks would not win many more games the rest of the season, posting a typical expansion like 17-58-5 record while finishing in last place in the Smythe Division.
1992/93: The Sharks would get off to a good start in their second season as Kelly Kisio scored the game winner on opening night as the Sharks beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-3 on Opening Night at the Cow Palace. However, the Sharks would continue to struggle as they played even worse then their inaugural season tying a NHL record 17-game losing streak on the way to finishing in last place again with a 11-71-2 record, with 24 points tying the first year Ottawa Senators for the fewest points in the league at 24, whish was 29 points worse the Tampa Bay Lightning who were also playing in their inaugural season. In addition their 71 losses set a new NHL record.
1993/94: After playing their first two seasons at the Cow Palace in San Francisco the Sharks finally found their way to San Jose as they opened the San Jose Arena with a 2-1 loss to the Calgary Flames on October 14th. The Sharks would continue to struggle as they posted an awful 0-8-1 record thought their first 9 games. However, the Sharks would begin to put it together as the season went on as they were fighting for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. In late March the Sharks would embark on a nine game unbeaten streak that vaulted the Sharks into the playoffs with a 33-35-16 record as the Sharks posted 82 points 58-point improvement from the previous season setting a new NHL record. In the playoff the Sharks would get off to a solid start as they beat the top seeded Detroit Red Wings on the road in Game 1 5-4. After the Wings came back to win the next two games the Sharks overcame a 3-1 deficit in Game 4 to even the series at two games apiece. The Sharks would grab a 3-1 series lead with a 6-4 win in Game. However with series going back to Detroit the Sharks looked to be crashing to earth as they lost Game 6 by a score of 7-1. However, the Sharks would rebound taking a 3-2 lead in Game 7 on late goal by Jamie Baker as Arturs Irbe held off a late Red Wings charge to complete the upset. In the second round the Sharks repeated the same pattern as they needed just one win in their final two games against the Toronto Maple Leafs on the road to reach the Conference Finals. However, the Leafs would win Game 6 in overtime and end the Sharks run with a 4-2 win in Game 7.
1994/95: After their improbable playoff run Sharks had to wait to cease the momentum as a four month lockout wiped out half the season. The lockout was an even greater disappointment for San Jose fans as the All-Star Game scheduled to be played at the San Jose Arena is cancelled. The Sharks would get off to a good start when the season finally started on January 20th winning four straight games, after losing the opener. The Sharks would go on to make the playoffs again despite a less then stellar record of 19-25-4. In the playoffs the Sharks would get off to a good start by beating the Calgary Flames in the first two games on the road. However, the Sharks would struggle as the series shifted to San Jose losing the next two games by a combined score of 15-6. After being shutout 5-0 in Game 5 the Sharks were reeling as they needed a 5-3 win at home in Game 6 to force a seventh game. In Game 7 back in Calgary the Sharks would pull off the upset again 5-4 on Ray Whitney’s goal in double overtime. However, in the second round the Sharks would run out of gas as they are beaten by the Detroit Red Wings in four straight games allowing six goals in all four games as the Wings won by a combined 24-6 score.
1995/96: After two straight playoff appearances the Sharks comeback to earth finishing last place in the Pacific Division with a disappointing record of 20-55-7, as Goalie Arturs Irbe struggles after a long hold out. Along the way the Sharks would undergo major changes as they trade away Igor Larionov, Sandis Ozolinsh, and Pat Falloon while picking up Ray Sheppard, Owen Nolan and Doug Bodger in three separate trades.
1996/97: Tony Granato joins the Sharks making a miraculous comeback after he suffered a severe brain injury in the previous season with the Los Angeles Kings, requiring surgery to save his career. In the second game of the season Granato would burn his former team with hat trick capped by a game-winning goal in overtime. Granato would go on to make it to the All-Star Game which was held at the San Jose Arena, two years after a lockout cancelled the San Jose’s initial opportunity to host the midseason classic. The Sharks other All-Star Owen Nolan would steal the show with a hat trick capped by a called shot late in the 3rd period as the East won 11-7. However, it would be just about the only highlight on the Sharks season as they again finished in last place with a record of 27-47-8, as not even the midseason acquisition of goalie Ed Belfour could get the Sharks back into playoff contention.
1997/98: After two disappointing seasons in which they missed the playoffs, the Sharks acquire goalie Mike Vernon who had just won the Conn Smythe Award with the Detroit Red Wings. Vernon would give the Sharks steady goalie in two seasons, as they finally made it back to the postseason by finishing in fourth place with a 34-38-10 record. After losing the first two games on the road the Sharks come home and dominate the Dallas Stars winning Game 3 by a score of 4-1 as Stars goalie Ed Belfour takes punches at Shawn Burr and Marcus Ragnarsson with a minute to go in the game. The Sharks would even the series in Game 4 when Andrei Zyuzin broke a scoreless tie in overtime. However, the Stars would go on to win the next two games ending the Sharks season with an overtime win in Game 6.
1998/99: The late season acquisition of Vincent Damphousse from the Montreal Canadiens helps put the Sharks over the top as they make it into the playoffs for the second straight season with a record of 31-33-18. However, it would be another first round exit as the Sharks are buried by the Colorado Avalanche in six games.
1999/00: Led by Owen Nolan who scores 44 goals the Sharks make it into the playoffs for the third year in a row by finishing in fourth place with a record of 35-37-10-7. In the playoffs the Sharks were heavy underdogs as they faced the St. Louis Blues who had posted the top record in the NHL during the regular season. Surprisingly the Sharks would get off to a quick start establishing a 3-1 series lead. However, it appeared as if they let an opportunity pass them by as they failed to close out the series in Game 5 and Game 6 as the series went to a seventh game in St. Louis. However, the Sharks would bounce back jumping out to a 3-0 lead after two periods as they became the first team in nine years to beat a President’s Trophy Winner in the first round by a score of 3-1. However, in the second round the Sharks would lose Owen Nolan to an injury as they are beaten by the Dallas Stars in five games.
2000/01: Evgeni Nabokov takes over in goal in his first full season in the NHL winning the Calder Trophy with a solid 2.19 GAA which included six shutouts as the Sharks put together their first winning season in franchis history while finishing in second place at 40-27-12-3. However, in the playoffs the Sharks would make a quick exit as they are beaten by the revenge minded St. Louis Blues in six games.
2001/02: Evgeni Nabokov continues to establish himself as one of the best young goalies in the NHL with a solid 2.29 GAA including seven shutouts as the Sharks won their first division title with a terrific record of 44-27-8-3. In the playoffs the Sharks would make quick work of the Phoenix Coyotes advancing to the second round in five games to set up a match up with the defending Stanley Cup Champion Colorado Avalanche. After alternating wins through the first four games the Sharks grabbed the upper hand by stunning the Avalanche on the road with a 5-3 win in Game 5 on the road. With a chance to close the series out at home the Sharks to a 1-0 lead late in the second period. However, fans would not have much time to celebrate as the Avalanche tied the game just 24 seconds later. After both teams were held scoreless in the 3rd period, the Avalanche forced a decisive seventh game on a Peter Forsberg goal in overtime. In Game 7 at Colorado the Sharks could not get anything past Patrick Roy as their season came to end with a heartbreaking 1-0 loss as their late flurry could not force overtime.
2002/03: After winning their first division championships hopes were high that the Sharks could take the next step. However, with goalie Evgeni Nabokov holding out to start the season the Sharks got off to a slow start winning just one of their first \five games before Nabokov finally signed a contract. When Nabokov returned the Sharks did not play much better as they continued to struggle through November posting an 8-12-2- record when Coach Darryl Sutter is fired on December 1st. Under his replacement Ron Wilson the Sharks would get back to .500 heading into January, but as the New Year rolled around the Sharks continued to struggling winning just one of their first ten games as their playoff hopes faded. As the season wound the down the Sharks began to retool for the future as Captain Owen Nolan is traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Alyn McCauley, Brad Boyes and a first round draft pick. The Sharks would go on to finish in last place with a disappointing record of 28-37-9-8. Following the season the house cleaning would continue, as Teemu Selanne declined to pick up his option to return to San Jose for another season, becoming a free agent.
2003/04: Coming off their disappointing season the Sharks again got off to a shaky start as they won just one game in October. However, in November they would turn things around as back up goalie Vesa Toskala played strong between the pipes while Evgeni Nabokov was out with an injury. Toskala had won the back up job in the preseason, leading to the trade of Miika Kiprusoff to the Calgary Flames. The Sharks continued their strong play in December as Nabokov returned, leading the Sharks to a 15-9-10-3 record at the end of December. In the second half of the season the Sharks would continue to play well as they climbed to the top of the Pacific Division winning their second division title in three years as they topped the 100-point mark for the first time in franchise history with a record of 43-21-12-6. Leading the resurgent Sharks was Captain Patrick Marleau and Nils Ekman, who each topped 50 points while Jonathan Cheechoo had a break out season with a team-high 28 goals. In the playoffs the Sharks got off to a dramatic start as Niko Dimitrakos scored the only goal in a 1-0 overtime win over the St. Louis Blues; as the Sharks went on to win the series in 5 games. The Sharks continued to stay hot in the second round as they jumped out to a 3-0 series lead over the Colorado Avalanche. In Game 4 Evgeni Nabokov shut down the Avalanche again as the game went scoreless into overtime. However on the 36th shot Nabokov allowed a goal keeping the Avalanche alive. Sakic would strike again in overtime in Game 5 as the Sharks once comfortable lead began to slip away. However Nabokov and the Sharks would come through in Game 6 with a solid 3-1 win in Colorado to send the Sharks into the Western Conference Finals. The Western Conference Finals were uncharted waters for the Sharks but their opponent the Calgary Flames had a few familiar faces as they were led by former Sharks Coach Darryl Sutter, while in the net was Miika Kiprusoff whom the Sharks traded in November. Kiprusoff would get the best of his former teammates in Game 1 as he turned away 49 of 52 shots as the Flames won in overtime 4-3. The Sharks frustrated by their loss in Game 1 showed up flat in Game 2 and were soundly beaten 4-1. In danger of falling apart the Sharks rebounded as the series shifted to Calgary as Evgeni Nabokov stopped 34 shots in a 3-0 shutout win in Game 3. The Sharks would go on to even the series with a 4-2 win in Game 4. However as the series shifted back to the Shark Tank sloppy play would once again doom the Sharks as the Flames retook control of the series with a 3-0 win. With the Sharks needing another road win to force Game 7, would fall 3-1 as the Flames went on to the Stanley Cup Finals.
2004/05: Season Cancelled Due to Lock Out
2005/06: Before the Lock Out the Sharks were just two games away from the Western Conference Finals, when the NHL resumed many expected them to be just as strong. However, after a mediocre October, the Sharks went into a tailspin in November losing ten games in a row. Needing a jump start the Sharks made a blockbuster deal on November 30th sending Marco Sturm, Brad Stuart, and Wayne Primeau to the Boston Bruins for star Center Joe Thornton. The deal would provide immediate dividends as Thornton had two assists as the Sharks beat the Buffalo Sabres on the road 5-0, as they won their first six games after the deal. However, every time it appeared the Sharks turned the corner they would encounter a three or four game losing streak. Following another three game losing streak at the beginning of March Goalie Evgeni Nabokov was benched in favor of Vesa Toskala. The move seemed to pay off as the Sharks finished the season strong, posting a 16-4-2 record in their final 22 games as they finished with a solid 44-27-11 record. During the strong finish playing the key role was Joe Thornton who won the league’s scoring title with 125 points led by a tremendous 96 assists, many of which set up Jonathan Cheecho for goals as his 56 were the most in the NHL. Thanks to his scoring title and the Sharks turnaround after the deal Joe Thornton would go on to win the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP. In the playoffs against the Nashville Predators, the Sharks had a bump in the road losing the opener 4-3. The Sharks would rebound in Game 2 as Toskala stopped all 25 shots in a 3-0 win. The Sharks offense would get it cranked up when they returned home as they exploded for nine goals in the next two games on the way to taking a 3-1 series lead. The Sharks would go on to win the series in five games taking Game 5 on the road 2-1 as Vesa Toskala turned away 34 of 35 shots from a desperate Predators team. The Sharks would stay hot in the second winning two straight 2-1 games at home to take a 2-0 series lead. However, with a chance to take a 3-0 lead the Sharks would lose a heartbreaker in triple overtime. The Sharks would never recover as the Oilers would come roaring back to win the next three games to win the series in six games, as the Sharks defense failed losing allowing six goals each in Game 4 and Game 5.
2006/07: With Joe Thornton in San Jose for a full season, great things were expected for the Sharks, and they would not disappoint at the start, as they won 20 of their first 27 games. However, as the long season stretched into February, injuries would slow the Sharks down, as the ended the month on a season long four game losing streak. To help get back on track and stronger for the playoffs the Sharks acquired Craig Rivet for the Montreal Canadiens and Bill Guerin from the St. Louis Blues at the trade deadline. The deals would help the Sharks finish the season strong as they posted a 13-1-3 record over their final 17 games, finishing with a franchise best record of 51-26-5, as Joe Thornton led the NHL in assists with 92. However, in a competitive Western Conference it was only good enough to earn them the 5th seed. In the playoffs the Sharks faced the Nashville Predators for the second straight season, winning Game 1 on the road in overtime on a goal by Patrick Rissmiller. After a 5-2 loss in Game 2, the series shifted to San Jose, where the Sharks defense took over allowing just 20 shots in Game 3 as the Sharks overcame a first period goal to win 3-1. Game 4 was more of the same as the Sharks held a 3-1 lead until the Predators in desperation mode cut the score to 3-2 with just under three minutes left. However, the Sharks defense would let the score hold up as they took an overwhelming 3-1 series advantage. Trailing 2-1 late in the second period of Game 5 in Nashville Captain Patrick Marleau scored a power play goal to grab control of the game. Marleau would add the game winner in the 3rd period as the Sharks knocked off the Predators in five games for the second straight year. Against the Detroit Red Wings in the second round it was all Evgeni Nabokov, who stopped all 34 shots as the Sharks took Game 1 on the road 2-0. In Game 2 the Sharks would jump out to an early 2-0 lead, scoring twice in the first five minutes. However, the Sharks would manage just ten shots over the last two periods as the Red Wings rallied to even the series 3-2. The Sharks would rebound as the series shifted to the Hewlett Packard Pavilion, winning 2-1 on a 3rd period goal by Jonathan Cheechoo. The Sharks appeared to be cruising to a 3-1 series lead as they held a 2-0 late in the 2nd Period. However, with five seconds left in the 2nd period the Wings finally got one past Nabokov as Tomas Holmstrom netted a power play goal. The Sharks held that 2-1 for most of the 3rd Period, before the Wings tied the game with 34 seconds left. In Overtime the Sharks would be stunned again as the Wings evened the series on a goal by Mathieu Schnieder. The Sharks would not recover from their wasted opportunities as the Red Wings went on to win the next two games, and eliminate the Sharks in six.
2007/08: After their disappointing second round exit the Sharks looked to taking the next step, but in the early going they would take a step backward as they held a mediocre 6-5-1 record after the first month of the season. The Sharks would begin to play better in November, but it was December that they began to make their move to the top of the Pacific Division, closing 2007 with a four game winning streak to enter the New Year with a record of 22-12-5. Hoping to improve their defense the Sharks would acquire Brian Campbell at the trade deadline from the Buffalo Sabres or Steve Bernier and a first round pick in the 2008 draft. The trade would have the effect the Sharks wanted as they would be one of the hottest teams in the NHL as they went 20 straight games without losing a game in regulation, posting an 18-0-2 record that spanned from the end of February into the last week of the regular season in April. The Sharks would capture their third division championship with a record 49-23-10, as Goalie Evgeni Nabakov was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy. In the playoffs against the Calgary Flames the Sharks would start slowly, losing Game 1 at home 3-2. With Nabakov stopping 21 shots the Sharks would rebound to win the next game 2-0. However, after jumping out to an early 3-0 lead in Game 3 in Calgary, the Sharks watched helplessly as the Flames rallied to win 4-3, with former Shark Owen Nolan netting the game winner. The Sharks would again rebound to win the next two games, but found themselves playing in a seventh game, after being blanked 2-0 in Game 6. With Jeremy Roenick leading the way with two goals and two assists, and a four goal second period the Sharks would advance to the next round with a 5-3 win. However, in the second round the Sharks would stumble losing the first three games to the Dallas Stars, including two painful overtime losses. Facing elimination the Sharks would keep their hopes alive with a 2-1 win in Game 4, as Milan Michalek’s third period power play goal proved to be the difference. Trailing 2-0 entering the third period in Game 5, the Sharks would rally to force overtime, where Joe Pavelski scored an unassisted goal 1:05 into the extra period. The Sharks would rally again in Game 6 to force overtime, where the game went deep into the Dallas night. However, the hopes of a historic comeback would be dashed in the fourth overtime as Brenden Morrow gave the Stars a 2-1 win 69:03 into extra time. Following their third straight second round exit, the Sharks would dismiss Coach Ron Wilson, hiring Todd McLellan, who was an assistant coach on the Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings as his replacement.
2008/09: Following a series of strong regular season with disappointment in the playoffs the Sharks began the season with high hopes again, under new Coach Todd McLellan. In an attempt to make the team stronger for the playoffs, the Sharks worked on adding defense, signing Rob Blake, while acquiring Dan Boyle and Brad Lukowich from the Tampa Bay Lightning, for defenseman Matt Carle, defensive prospect Ty Wishart, a first round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and a fourth round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. With theadditions the Sharks got off to a fast start, posting a 20-3-1 record through the first two months of the season. The Sharks would continue to play strong hockey for the entire season, as they continued to add playoff veterans to their roster, signing 43-year old Claude Lemieux, who was returning to the NHL after a five year absence. Lemieux who won four Stanley Cups with three different teams began his comeback in October playing for a team in China affiliated with the Sharks, and wound its way through the Sharks affiliate in Worcester. However, after joining the Sharks on January 19th, Lemieux managed just one point in 18 games. The Sharks strong play continued as they ended the season with the best record in the NHL, winning the President’s Trophy for the first time in franchise history with a record of 53-18-11. The regular season was an unprecedented success for the Sharks who set franchise records in wins with 53 and points with 117. However, it would be all for naught if they could not make a long run in the playoffs as they faced the Anaheim Ducks in the first round. The Sharks would find trouble with the Ducks right away, as they suffered a 2-0 shutout loss in Game 1, with Jonas Hiller stopping 35 shots. The Ducks would continue to frustrate the Sharks in San Jose, with a 3-2 win in Game 2. Desperately needing a win as the series shifted to Anaheim in Game 3, the Sharks won 4-3 as Patrick Marleau’s 3rd period goal proved to be the game winner. However, in Game 4 it was all Hiller again, as the Ducks blanked the Sharks 4-0 to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. The Sharks would win Game 5 back in San Jose 3-2 on Patrick Marleau’s overtime goal, but in the end it would be the eighth seeded Ducks who would add to the Sharks playoff failures, as they finished the series off with a 4-1 win in Game 6.
2009/10: Coming off their playoff let down General Manager Doug Wilson promised to make changes, and began to remake the Sharks as he dealt Christian Ehrhoff and Brad Lukowich to the Vancouver Canucks for prospects Patrick White and Daniel Rahimi, in a move to clear salary cap space for Dany Heatley, who was acquired from the Ottawa Senators for Milan Michalek, Jonathan Cheechoo, and a second round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. The Sharks also stripped Patrick Marleau of the captaincy and named veteran defenseman Rob Blake as their new captain to start the season. After an initial stumble the Sharks had a strong first month, closing October in the midst of a six game winning streak that would again lift them to the top of the Pacific Division. After a solid November the Sharks struggled at the start of December, losing five straight though they were able to salvage a point in three of the games as they earned regulation ties. The slump would quickly be forgotten as the Sharks went into 2010 riding an eight game winning streak. Through much of the first half winning streaks would be a habit for the Sharks as put together five straight wins in January and were flying high at the Olympic Break with a record of 40-13-9. When the NHL returned after three week off the Sharks were one of several elite teams who had their struggles as they endured a five game losing streak. Though before anyone could start worrying, the Sharks again had a four game run as they once again were the top team in the Western Conference at the end of the regular season with a record of 51-20-11. With success in the regular season being expected, the true test for the Sharks would come during the playoffs. In the first round the Sharks faced a young Colorado Avalanche team that gave them problems from the start stealing Game 1 at HP Pavilion 2-1 on a goal by Chris Stewart with 50 seconds left in regulation. Trading goals back and forth in Game 2, the Sharks trailed 5-4 in the final minute. However, with 32 seconds left Joe Pavelski tied the game and forced overtime where Devin Setoguchi with his second goal of the game won the game on the powerplay at 5:22. However, in Game 3 in Colorado the Sharks were frustrated again as Craig Anderson stopped 51 shots as the game went to overtime. In overtime an errant pass by Defenseman Dan Boyle went behind Evgeni Nobokov to give the Avalanche 1-0 win as the Sharks history of playoff self destruction came up to bite them again. Down 2-1 in the series the Sharks went to overtime again in Game 4 needing a win to even the series. Once again it was Joe Pavelski who played the hero, scoring at 10:24. In Game 5 back in San Jose the Sharks came out strong, winning 5-0 to seize control of the series. They would go on to win in six games with a 5-2 win in the closer. Facing the Detroit Red Wings in the second round the Sharks made sure they took control early winning the first two games at home by similar 4-3 scores, with Joe Pavelski having two goals and an assist in each game. As the series shifted to Detroit the Sharks overcame a 3-1 deficit after two periods to win 4-3 once again in overtime, as Patrick Marleau netted the game winner. The Red Wings would win 7-1 in Game 4 to avoid the sweep, but with a strong game from Evgeni Nabokov, and goals by Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau the Sharks closed the series with a 2-1 win to reach the Western Conference Finals. In Game 1 of the Conference Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Sharks wasted a good effort from Nabokov in Game 1, as the Blackhawks won 2-1 on a goal by Dustin Byfuglien in the 3rd Period. The Blackhawks would also win Game 2 by a score of 4-2 to take the series to Chicago up 2-0 in the series. In Game 3 it was Dustin Byfuglien who once again befuddled the Sharks scoring in overtime to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 win and a 3-0 series lead. The Blackhawks would go on to complete the sweep with a 4-2 win in Game 4 as they went on to win their first Stanley Cup in 49 years.
2010/11: After losing in the Western Conference Finals, the Sharks signed Antti Niemi, the goalie that frustrated them, from the Blackhawks after letting go of Evgeni Nabokov. Early in the season the Sharks struggled as they only managed a mediocre 11-8-4 record over the first two months of the season. In December, the Sharks began to show some bite, as they closed the month winning five of their last seven games to enter the New Year with a record of 20-13-5. January would be another tough month for the Sharks as they endured a six game losing streak. Looking for a jump start the Sharks picked up winger Ben Eager from the Atlanta Thrashers for a fifth round draft pick. The Sharks would finally make a surge in February, posting an 11-2-0 record, as they landed Defenseman Ian White at the trade deadline from the Carolina Hurricanes for a second round draft pick. The Sharks would continue their strong play in March, posting a 7-2-2 record as they grabbed they grabbed the Pacific Division crown again, finishing the season with a solid 48-25-9 record. In the playoffs the Sharks would face the Los Angeles Kings. The opener would be a thriller as the game went to overtime, before Joe Pavelski netted the game winner to give the Sharks a 3-2 win. After the Kings blanked the Sharks 4-0 in Game 2, the series shifted to LA, where the Kings again grabbed a 4-0 lead early in the second period. However, the Sharks would storm back, scoring five goals in the second period to even the score. The game would go to overtime, where Devin Setoguchi scored the game winner at 3:09. The Sharks would score a 6-3 win in Game 4. Up 3-1, the Sharks suffered a 3-1 loss at home in Game 5. However, back in Los Angeles the Sharks again won in overtime 4-3 to end the series on a goal by Captain Joe Thornton. In the second round against the Detroit Red Wings, the Sharks again found themselves in overtime in Game 1. This time it was Ben Ferraro who played the role of hero with a goal at 7:03 to give the Sharks a 2-1 win. The Sharks would win 2-1 in Game 2, as Antti Niemi held off the Wings late charge, saving 33 of 34 shots. As the series shifted to Detroit, it was Devin Setoguchi again, as his overtime goal gave him a hat trick and the Sharks a 4-3 win. Up 3-0 the Sharks looked for the sweep in Game 4, however the Wings would get a 4-3 win on a late goal by Darren Helm. The Red Wings would win 4-3 again in Game 5 in San Jose, scoring three unanswered goals in the third period after the Sharks took a 3-1 lead. After the Red Wings won 3-1 in Game 6, the air was tight in San Jose as the Sharks faced a decisive seventh game. The Sharks would grab a 2-0 lead on goals by Setoguchi and Logan Couture. Henrik Zetterberg would answer in the second period for the Wings. Patrick Marleau would score midway through the third period to give the Sharks a 3-1 lead. However, Pavel Datsyuk answered right back. From there it was up to Antti Niemi who survived a Wings barrage over the last five minutes to preserve the Sharks 3-2 win and sent them to the Western Conference Finals for the second straight year. Against the Vancouver Canucks, the Sharks again found themselves in a hole losing the first two games on the road. As the series shifted to San Jose, the Sharks would jump out early, and hold on to a 4-3 win to get back in the series. However, the Canucks would build a 3-1 lead with a 4-2 win in Game 4. The Sharks would hold a 2-1 lead late in regulation in Game 5 in Vancouver. However, Ryan Kesler tied the game with 14 seconds left. In double overtime, the Canucks would eliminate the Sharks on a bizarre bounce that turned into a goal by Kevin Bieksa.
2011/12: After losing in the Western Conference Finals for the second straight season, the Sharks made some moves in an effort to get over the hump. First they sent Charlie Coyle and Devin Setoguchi to the Minnesota Wild along with a draft pick for Brent Burns. The Sharks would later send Dany Heatley to the Wild for Martin Havlat. Meanwhile they signed free agents Michal Handzus and Colin White. After starting the season with a 6-3 win over the Phoenix Coyotes, the Sharks would lose their next three games before six game Easter road trip. The Sharks would thrive in the eastern waters, winning their first five games, as they closed October with a record of 6-4-0. The Sharks would carry the momentum into November, winning seven games, before a sluggish December sent them into the New Year with a record of 19-11-4. The Sharks fortunes would improve in January, as they posted a record of 9-2-2. However, an awful 5-8-1 month in February would put the Sharks playoff hopes in danger. Hoping to get back on track the Sharks would make a pair of deals in February, sending Jamie McGinn
Mike Connolly, and Michael Sgarbossa to the Colorado Avlanche for T. J. Galiardi and
Daniel Winnik, while Dominick Moore was picked up from the Tampa Bay Lightning for a second round draft pick. The Sharks would continue to struggle in March, as they were a part of a four team scramble for the last three playoff spots in the Western Conference. The race involved four Pacific Division teams, and would reward one with the Division tile. The Sharks hopes for the division title were dashed, with a 2-0 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes on March 29th. However, by winning their last four games, with home and home sweeps of the Dallas Stars and Los Angeles Kings, the Sharks would get the seventh seed, as they posted a record of 43-29-10. Joe Thornton would lead the team in scoring with 77 points, with a 59 assists, while Logan Couture, Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski each topping 30 goals. Unfortunately the Sharks off-season pick ups all had disappointing seasons led by Martin Havlat, who missed 43 games with a freak hamstring injury, when his skate got caught in the boards on December 17th.
2012 Playoffs: Facing the St. Louis Blues in the playoffs, things would start well for the Sharks, as they won their playoff opener 3-2 in double overtime on a goal by Martin Havlat. The Blues would bounce back to win the next game 3-0, on the combined efforts of Goalies Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott. With Halak sidelined the rest of the series, Elliott took over and frustrated the Sharks allowing just five goals over the next three games as the Blues went on to win the series in five games.
2012/13: After a mediocre season, the Sharks looked to improve their defense by bringing back Brad Stauart, who was one of the players they had dealt away to acquire Joe Thornton from the Boston Bruins in 2006. The Sharks also added Larry Robinson to their coaching staff, with the hopes of improving their special teams. When the lockout shortened season began on January 20th, the Sharks were among the fastest starting teams, winning all seven games in January. However, February made them shiver as each game bad news was delivered, with the Sharks going winless in their next seven. Such inconsistency would be the hallmark for the next two months. As March came to an end the Sharks began to find their game, winning six straight, as they continued to remake their roster. Ryane Clowe, who played with the Sharks for eight seasons, was traded to the New York Rangers. Michal Handzus was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks as the Sharks looked to get more physical by picking up Raffi Torres from the Phoenix Coyotes and re-acquiring Scott Hannan from the Nashville Predators. The Sharks would go on to make the playoffs for the ninth straight season with a record of 25-16-7.
2013 Playoffs: In the first round the Sharks with the sixth seed in the Western Conference would face the Vancouver Canucks. In the opener Logan Couture had a goal and an assist to lead the way in a 3-1 win to get a big win on the road. In Game 2 the Sharks looked to be heading back to San Jose with a split as they trailed 2-1 in the final minute. With the goalie pulled for an extra attacker, Patrick Marleau would tie the game and force overtime, where Raffi Torres scored the game winner to give the Sharks a 2-0 win. The Sharks continued to dominate the Canucks at the Shark Tank, winning 5-2 to take a 3-0 series lead, as Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture each had two goals. Game 4 would go to overtime, as the Sharks managed to complete the sweep with a 4-3 win, as Patrick Marleau netted the game winner. The second round would be the battle of California as the Sharks faced the Los Angeles Kings. Game 1 would show just how tough things would be as they were blanked 2-0, despite outshooting the Kings 35-20. However, Game 2 would be even more frustrating as the Sharks took two penatlties late in the game while leading 3-2 as Brad Stuart was called for tripping, while Marc-Edouard Vlasic was whistled for delay of game when his clearing attempt went over the glass. The Kings would take full advantage, scoring twice in the final two minutes on the power play to win the game 4-3. Continually frustrated by Jonathan Quick, the Sharks finally broke through in Game 3, winning 2-1 in overtime on a goal by Logan Couture. With Couture scoring again, the Sharks would even the series with another 2-1 win in Game 4. After being shutout 3-0 in Game 5 in Los Angeles, the Sharks got their third straight 2-1 win at home in Game 6, Antti Niemi continued to match Quick with several thrilling saves. With the home team winning the first six games of the series, the Sharks needed to breakthrough at the Staples Center to win the series, as Game 7 was back in Los Angeles. Quick and Niemi were both strong again in Game 7, but the Kings scored twice in the second period to take a 2-0 lead. Dan Boyle would answer in the third period, but the Sharks would not get any closer, as they lost 2-1 as the Kings returned to the Western Conference Finals.
2013/14: After their second round playoff exit, the Sharks knowing that their window of opportunity was closing started the season like a team on a mission, winning their first six games on the way to posting a record of 10-1-2 in October. The Sharks would get off to a slow start in November, going winless through four games. However, they ended the month at 18-3-5 after winning eight of their final nine games. Over the next two months the Sharks would play strong hockey at home but had their struggles on the road as they went into the Olympic Break with a record of 38-17-6. After Sochi the Sharks made a run at the division title and the best record in the Western Conference, but just fell short finishing in second place in the Pacific Division with a record of 51-22-9. Several players had big seasons for the Sharks, including Joe Pavelski who led the team in scoring with 79 points, while also leading the team with 41 goals. Joe Thornton meanwhile finished second in the NHL with 65 assists. Patrick Marleau also topped 70 points, with 33 goals and 37 assists. The Sharks also got a solid season from Goalie Antti Niemi, who posted a record of 39-17-7, with a 2.39 GAA and a save percentage of .913. Backup Alex Stalock was also strong when given a chance to play, with a 12-5-2 record with a 1.87 GAA and a .932 save percentage.
2014 Playoffs: After a strong regular season, the Sharks true test would come in the playoffs. With realignment and reformatted playoffs, the Sharks faced a tough foe right away in the Los Angeles Kings. The Sharks dominated Game 1 at the SAP Center, getting six goals from six different scorers to win 6-3. In Game 2, the Sharks would get seven different goals scorers winning 7-2. The Sharks continued to control the series at it shifted to Los Angeles, winning Game 3 at Staples Center 4-3 on an overtime goal by Patrick Marleau. Looking for the sweep, the Sharks suffered a 6-3 loss in Game 4. Looking to close the series in San Jose, the Sharks again suffered a letdown, losing 3-0 in Game 5. The Kings continued their comeback in Game 6, winning 4-1 to even the series. The Sharks collapse would be completed with a 5-1 loss in Game 7, as they completely unraveled in the third period, allowing three goals. The Kings would go on to win the Stanley Cup, as the Sharks continued to search for answers.
2014/15: After the San Jose Sharks epic playoff collapse management sent a message to the team by vacating the captain position. The message appeared to be well received in the early going, as the Sharks won four of their first five games, with the lone loss coming in a shootout on the road. The good start would be quickly be erased by a four game losing streak. Such inconsistency would symbolize the Sharks in the season’s first two months as they entered December with a mediocre record of 11-10-4. The spirit of the Holidays was to the Sharks liking, as they won nine of ten games, and went into the New Year playing solid hockey at a 20-13-5. The Sharks continued their strong play into January, winning seven games as they were in strong playoff position. However, February would see the Sharks unravel, posting a 3-7-2 mark in 12 games. The Sharks were particularly bad at home, losing six straight at SAP Center and the Stadium Series game at Levi’s Field in Santa Clara. Facing the rival Los Angeles Kings, the Sharks suffered a disappointing 2-1 loss before 70,205 fans the largest crowd ever for a hockey game in the State of California. The Sharks would break out of their slump in March, winning four of five, but they were unable to sustain any success down the stretch as they ended up missing the playoffs for the first time since 2003, posting a record of 40-33-9. Among the Sharks having disappointing seasons was Goalie Annti Niemi who had an average looking 2.59 GAA while posting a record of 31-23-7. Joe Pavelski led the team in scoring with 70 points and a team best 37 goals. Following the season the Sharks would dismiss their entire coaching staff, including Todd McCellan who had been behind the bench since 2008 and was the all-time winnigest coach in San Jose.
2015/16: After missing the playoffs the San Jose Sharks underwent a host of changes, as John Scott and Scott Hannan departed via free agency, while Goalie Antti Niemi was traded to the Dallas Stars for a seventh round draft pick. Along with naming Peter DeBoer as their new coach the Sharks acquired Goalie Martin Jones and winger Joel Ward, while signing Defenseman Paul Martin. The new moves appeared to have a positive effect right away as the Sharks won their first four games. However, the Sharks struggled the remainder of October and finished 5-5-0. The Sharks would continue the trend of being streaky over the next two months as a six game winning streak in November was cancelled out by six game losing streak in December. After entering the New Year with a record of 18-16-2, the Sharks began to play with more consistency in January, as they won eight of their last ten games, with their only losses coming in overtime. The Sharks continued to play in February as they won eight games, while adding another nine wins in March to secure a spot in the postseason. The Sharks would go on to finish third in the Pacific Division with a record of 46-30-6. Joe Thornton led the Sharks in scoring with 82 points, led by an incredible 63 assists, while Joe Pavelski who was named captain at the start of the season led San Jose with 38 goals. However, the player with the biggest impact was Brent Burns who started his playoff beard in the pre-season and had career highs with 27 goals and 48 assists as he was finalist in the Norris Trophy voting, given to the best defenseman in the NHL. Martin Jones, meanwhile was the perfect addition in goal, finishing with a 2.27 goal-against average, .918 save percentage as he posted a record of 37-23-4. Jones also ranked second in the NHL with six shutouts.
2016 Playoffs: The San Jose Sharks would face a major test right away in the playoffs as they were matched up against the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings had handed the Sharks some of their most frustrating setbacks in the postseason, including rallying from down 3-0 two years earlier. In the opener the two teams combined for six goals in the first period at the Staples Center, as each team swapped the lead, with Tomas Hertl tying the game, just 30 seconds after the Kings scored a potentially back breaking shorthanded goal. Joe Pavelski started the second period fast giving San Jose a 4-3 lead at the 17 second mark. The rest of the way the game would be a defensive struggle as Martin Jones did not allow another goal, to make the 4-3 win stand. Game 2 would see defense reign again, as Martin Jones a former backup to Jonathan Quick stopped 26 of 27 saves, to lead the Sharks to a 2-1 win. Things looked good early in Game 3 as Joe Thornton needed just 30 seconds to give San Jose the lead. The Sharks would not score again and lost in overtime 2-1. Needing a bounce back at home in Game 4, the Sharks appeared to be cruising with a 3-0 lead early in the third period. However, the Kings got back in the game with goals by Trevor Lewis and Luke Schenn. The Sharks would not allow another as Martin Jones made 26 saves to preserve the 3-2 win. Up three games to one, the Sharks knew not to take the Kings for granted as they returned to Los Angeles for Game 5. Joonas Donskoi scored early as the Sharks jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second period. The resilient Kings would answer back and quickly scored three goals to tie the game. The Sharks settled down during intermission and regained control on second goal by Donskoi, Joe Pavelski would add another as Melker Karlsson added an empty netter to win the game 6-3 as the Sharks exercised the demons and beat the Kings in five games. Facing the Nashville Predators in the second round, the Sharks got off to a slow start in Game 1 at the SAP Center as they were unable to find the back of the net in the first two periods. Trailing 1-0 entering the third, the Sharks finally beat Pekka Rinne as Tomas Hertl scored on the power play. The Sharks would later take the lead on a goal by Joel Ward, as Logan Couture scored twice to power San Jose to a 5-2 win. Game 2 appeared to be heading down the same track as the Sharks did not score until late in the second period, when Couture gave them a 1-0 lead. The Predators would even the score in the third period, but with just under three minutes left Joe Pavelski answered with his sixth goal of the playoffs. Joe Thornton would add an empty net goal as the Sharks won the game 3-2 with Martin Jones making 37 saves. Despite a first period goal from Patrick Marleau in Game 3, the Predators were reenergized by going home to win the game 4-1. Game 4 would be a marathon as Brent Burns scored twice with the game going into overtime tied 3-3. The game would remain tied until Mike Fisher scored 11:12 into triple overtime to win the game 4-3, evening the series for Nashville. Back in San Jose for Game 5 the Sharks answered in a big way, dominating the Predators to win 5-1 and regain control of the series. However, the Predators would force a seventh game, by with another 4-3 overtime win in Game 6. With Game 7 at home the Sharks had nothing to worry about as the home team won all seven games. The finale was a complete white wash for the Sharks, as five different goal scorers and 20 saves from Martin Jones backed a 5-0 win. The Sharks would move on to face the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference Finals. Game 1 would be a struggle for the Sharks as they suffered a 2-1 loss on the road. Martin Jones helped the Sharks bounce back in Game 2, as he stopped all 26 shots, while Brent Burns scored twice to even the series with a 4-0 win. As the series shifted to San Jose, Martin Jones continued to frustrate the Blues stopping 22 shots for second straight shutout with Tomas Hertl scoring twice for a 3-0 win. However, in Game 4 Jones struggled as the Blues evened the series with a 6-3 win. Back in St. Louis in Game 5, the Sharks got two goals each from Joe Pavelski and Joel Ward to regain control of the series with a 6-3 win. One win away from their first trip to the Stanley Cup Finals, the Sharks made sure not to disappoint their home fans, as Pavelski and Ward again had big games, while Martin Jones made 24 saves to win the game 5-2. The trip to the Finals was a longtime coming for Joe Thornton who had played more postseason games without playing in the Stanley Cup Final.
2016 Stanley Cup Finals: The San Jose Sharks would face the Pittsburgh Penguins with the cup on the line. The Sharks would get off to a slow start in the opener as the Penguins scored twice in the first period. The Sharks answered back with goals by Tomas Hertl and Patrick Marleau in the second period, but it was not enough as Nick Bonino scored with 2:33 left to win the game 3-2. Martin Jones did his best to keep the Sharks in Game 2, stopping 28 shots, but the two goals he allowed were enough to give the Penguins a 2-1 victory. As the series shifted to San Jose, the Penguins continued to get the jump on the Sharks as they twice took one goal leads. The Sharks though were able to answer as the game went to overtime tied 2-2. In overtime it would be Joonas Donskoi that raised the roof at the SAP Center, scoring at 12:18 to win the game 3-2 as Martin Jones was terrific with 40 big saves. However, the Penguins continued to control the ice in Game 4, winning 3-1 to take a 3-1 series lead. Facing elimination for the first time in the postseason, the Sharks came out firing in Game 5 at Pittsburgh as Brent Burns and Logan Couture scored in the game’s first 2:53. The Penguins though answered back just as quickly to even the score. The game would finally settle down as Melker Karlsson scored to give the Sharks a 3-2 lead late in the first period. Martin Jones, meanwhile kept the Sharks in front making 44 saves as Joe Pavelski capped the scoring with an empty net goal to win the game 4-2. However, despite a fired up home crowd the Penguins continued to have the answers, as Kris Letang’s second period goal gave the Penguins a 2-1 lead midway through the second. The Sharks were unable to get any offense the rest of the way, as the Penguins clamped down allowing just two shots in the third period. The Penguins would eventually add an empty net goal to win the Stanley Cup with a 3-1 win in Game 6. The Sharks though had nothing to be ashamed of as Logan Couture led all scorers with 30 points in the postseason highlighted by 20 assists, while Joe Pavelski led the way with 14 goals.
2016/17: After their loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Final, the San Jose Sharks looked to finish their mission and win the Stanley Cup. The Sharks would play well early in the season at home, as the won their first four games at the SAP Center in October. However, on November 5th, suffered an ugly 5-0 loss in their first regular season match up with the Penguins. Overall the Sharks were strong in November and December as they went into the New Year, on top of the Pacific Division with a record of 23-13-1. After a nine-win January, San Jose began to sputter as they lost five games in overtime in February posting an overall record of 5-1-5. Things would get even rougher for the Sharks in March, as they lost eight of nine and six straight and found themselves sliding down the standings. The Sharks slump would end in April, as they won three of their final four games to finish in third position in the Pacific Division with a record of 48-29-7. The Sharks leading scorer was Brent Burns, who had 76 points, and won the Norris Trophy as the best Defenseman in the NHL. Burns also matched Joe Pavelski for the team best in goals with 29.
2017 Playoffs: Looking for another magical spring the San Jose Sharks postseason began against the Edmonton Oilers. Things got off to a good start for the Sharks as they rallied to win Game 1 in overtime 3-2 on a goal by Melker Karlsson after trailing 2-0 in the first period. However, the Sharks offense was non-existent in the next two games as they lost 2-0 in Edmonton and 1-0 at home, to fall behind in the series. The Sharks found their scoring touch in Game 4, as they got a seven-goal outburst to even the series with a 7-0 win as Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture each scored twice. Things looked good for the Sharks in Game 5 in Edmonton, as they held a 3-1 lead in the middle of the second period. The Oilers would rally to force overtime, where David Desharnais scored to win the game 4-3 to put the Sharks on the brink. In Game 6 at the SAP Center the Sharks looked tired and old, compared to young and energetic Oilers, losing 3-1 to see their season come to an end.
©MMXVIII Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the National Hockey League. This site is not affiliated with the San Jose Sharks or the NHL. This site is maintained for research purposes only.
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Page created on Page created on April 23, 2003. Last updated on April 16, 2018 at 11:40 pm ET.