We’re all very busy and important people and have to learn to prioritize which hockey games we feel like watching. After all, an 82-game season is long and while watching the Sharks absolutely throttle the Kings five times a year is fun, it can get repetitive. Here are five dates you won’t want to miss this season:
December 1, at Ottawa Senators
This is sure to be an emotional affair. Erik Karlsson will be returning to the city he’s called home for his entire NHL career, where fans will still be morning his loss. Much like P.K. Subban returning to Montreal, the city and the fans are always going to hold a special place in Karlsson’s heart and being back there means he’s gonna cry, I’m gonna cry and Pierre Dorion is going to spend the whole day insisting he won the trade.
We’ll also get to see a laundry list of former Sharks wearing Senators jerseys. It won’t even be weird.
November 15, vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
The Sharks and Leafs are the two teams everyone has been talking about this off-season, as they’ve both been attempting to build an unfairly good team. When they face off in San Jose, it’ll be the first time we see one of the best forward groups in the league against one of the best defense groups and it’s gonna be fun.
Plus, winning against Patrick Marleau is like winning the break up and John Tavares is like that guy you never actually dated, but you had a weirdly intense and brief thing you thought could go somewhere and you’re still kind of upset about how he played your emotions because that’s a pretty shitty thing to do to someone and we thought you liked us, John!!!
What was I saying?
January 5, vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
Sharks fans, this one is for you.
I mean, playing Tampa Bay is fun and all and that does mean it’s pretty much guaranteed to be an exciting match up, but more importantly, this is the Owen Nolan Calls His Shot bobblehead giveaway, leading up to San Jose hosting the All Star Game for the first time since 1997 and this iconic moment:
The Sharks have plenty of other excellent giveaways and bobbleheads lined up for the season, but none of them are so central to the history of the franchise as this. Even the broadcast is sure to be filled with plenty of reminiscing about the Sharks legend.
February 16, vs. Vancouver Canucks
As much as the previous game is for Sharks fans, this one is for... well, Bay Area sports fans. Specifically, Golden State fans. This is the Sharks’ annual Bay Area Unite night, where the Sharks will wear Golden State themed warm up jerseys and fans in attendance will receive a Sharks/Warriors mash up jersey.
If the Sharks are looking to become a super team, who is better to learn from than their Bay Area neighbors? Plenty of Sharks players are Warriors fans and the mash up jerseys are always sick.
This is also the day before the NBA All Star Game and bye week, so it seems unlikely any Warriors will be in attendance, which is really the only bummer.
January 25 & 26, at SAP Center
The Sharks are hosting the All Star Game and while it’s not exactly Sharks hockey, it’s still sure to be filled with plenty of goofs on day one and 3-on-3 chaos on day two. Plus Karlsson and Brent Burns have got to be going for the Sharks, right? I could live off the content that will breed for the next ten years.
And if you really just want to chant “Beat L.A.,” you’ll get the chance on October 5.