The Re-Watch: Road to the NHL Stadium Series, Episode 1

If history is gonna repeat itself, I want to remember what we’re in for.

Welcome the The Re-Watch, a series where I revisit video of the San Jose Sharks of the past.

The 2019-20 season has been a weird and bad one for Sharks fans. What better way to kick off this series than to take a journey back to another season of heartache and pain: 2015. Jump in to the wayback machine with me and let’s double down on feeling bad together by re-watching EPIX’s Road to the NHL Stadium Series.

First, here’s coverage of the series right here on Fear the Fin back from when it originally aired, if you want a true stroll down memory lane. Next, I’ll be watching the series on [popular video streaming platform here], but since the upload doesn’t seem to be all too official, I’ll let you work out watching along at home on your own (it’s not hard to find, I promise).

Let’s get into it!

Episode 1 — original airdate: February 3, 2015

00:11: Folks, we start this off with an absolute banger of a fact here:

Well that’s just not true.

03:23: Introducing the San Jose locker room with an ass shot of big John Scott doing push-ups is bold choice that I approve of.

“I’m only gonna play four minutes, I gotta get ready!” Man, in the aftermath of the 2016 All-Star Weekend, he has become infinitely more endearing.

04:00: Four minutes in, we get the first sighting of a player I don’t immediately recognize as a former Sharks player. I wanna say that’s former Western Michigan University Bronco and former San Jose Junior Shark Matt Tennyson.

04:07: I’ll take “Things You Say In Hockey And In Bed,” for $500, Alex:

The voiceover is describing this team as still trying to find their identity this late in the season. Boy howdy, wonder what that’s like.

05:31: First use of sad Joe Thornton from the Series That Shall Not Be Named.

06:07: Second player I don’t recognize and after some Googling, it’s Tyler Kennedy.

06:25: The bottom half of this Sharks line-up is utterly incomprehensible to me:

07:00: Now I’m not saying this is why the Kings started to fall apart or anything, but I’m not exactly sure what I’m supposed to be getting out of this coaching style:

“Marleau, Thornton and Pavelski especially. Single ‘em out and being fuckin’ hard on ‘em.”

Darryl Sutter F-bomb count is at five after this scene. Every Kings player they show as he is talking looks absolutely dead behind the eyes.

10:00: Damn, I’m not gonna lie, I miss the rivalry being this intense.

11:54: Jesus, Drew Doughty basically slapped Logan Couture across the face with the blade of his stick. Maybe not this kind of intense.

And I believe Justin Williams is chirping him for falling and he gives a delightful “huh?” What a sweet and precious child he was.

14:50: Is Brent Burns driving a giant ass unmarked van? That’s just his ride? Incredible. That man is something else.

15:58: Doughty says the goal is for the Kings to win their next cup before the Chicago Blackhawks win their next cup. Well, that aged poorly for him.

17:13: They were still doing the All-Star draft! I forgot that at least one thing about the All-Star Game used to be good.

Alex Ovechkin missing out on getting the car by one pick is so funny.

18:46: My heart melts when Burns earnestly refers to his infant daughter as a “little pile of mashed potatoes.”

20:32: Burns talking about wanting a big cat is so relatable. This was before he went full Joe Exotic, huh?

24:22: It is so weird to look at Joe Thornton’s naked face now. Like watching a cat walk on its hind legs.

Regardless, I could watch hours of him fishing. Where’s the footage, EPIX???


Look how large Joe Thornton’s hand is compared to that child. I’m losing my mind.

29:13: I think this intimate view of the All-Star Game is really neat. It feels more authentic than a lot of what we typically see of the All-Star Weekend.

I actually have a shirsey from this All-Star Game. It’s got Jonathan Toews’ name and number on it. Remember when he was on a line with Couture in the World Cup of Hockey? I think of it often.

33:27: Is it better or worse that now instead of being the team that has “never made the Stanley Cup Final” (as the voiceover just mentioned) or to be the team that only made it once and lost?

40:26: I lost count of the number of times Sutter has dropped the “fuck” word, but it doesn’t help that he’s also yelling “puck” a lot and context is maybe 50/50 at best.

Anyway, it’s Blackhawks versus Kings, so either way, it’s like the trash is taking itself out, am I right, fellas?

44:20: Oh no, Joe Pavelski talking about how much he loves San Jose. Holy shit, the voiceover called San Jose “the city that’s always believed in him.” Oh no. Oh, that did not age well. Oh, my heart.

I was not ready for that. Kind of hurt, not gonna lie.

46:04: Man, Todd McLellan is reading the starters and the construction of this team has changed so much.

47:37: Ugh, I forgot that they show Matt Nieto getting face stitches. Been there, pal. Twice. It’s no good.

48:25: Wow, there were still a decent number of players without face shields then.

50:00: McLellan referred to depth scoring as “the unusual suspects came up big.” I like that. It’s very poetic, especially set to this background music.

51:26: Saw Martin Jones and was very confused as to why he was surrounded by Kings before I remembered.