The Sharks 2013-14 schedule for the regular season has been announced. Aside from the disappointing news that the realigned divisions would have creative “new” names (San Jose is now in the Pacific Division!), this is one of the most exciting parts of the Summer for hockey fans. The Sharks 2013-14 schedule gives fans in San Jose the opportunity to see every single NHL club play at
HP Pavilion the SAP Center this season. They will not, however, have the luck of a seven game homestand to bring them out of a slump this season, their largest stretch at home is five. Here is a list of the Sharks match-ups that fans should mark on their calenders.
Sharks 2013-14 Schedule Fast Facts
- Longest homestand: five games (November 21st-30th)
- Longest road trip: five games (twice: October 21st-30th, November 10th-17th)
- Longest break: 3 days off (four times)
- Toughest week: 5 games in seven days (March 11th-18th)
- Last time Sidney Crosby played in San Jose: November 7th, 2009
- Number of back-to-back games: 10 (fewest in the league)
- Times on National TV: 5 in the US, 4 in Canada
- Days off for the Olympics: 20
October 3rd, vs Vancouver Canucks
The Sharks open their season against the very team they displayed very little difficulty dispatching the year before. In 2013, the Sharks won each and every meeting with the Vancouver Canucks. The new division rivals definitely come into this season and game with a massive chip on their shoulder. With Luongo surviving the goalie controversy, it adds up to an exciting continuation of an already heated rivalry. Oh, and it’s Sharks Opening Night. Duh.
October 30th, at Los Angeles Kings
The first game since being eliminated by the Kings comes right before Halloween. Raffi Torres will face down the LA crowd for the first time after his suspension-earning hit on Jarret Stoll. He will likely feel the wrath of the fans there, but look to silence them early. The Sharks will need to find a way to solve the problem that plagued them last year. Jonathan Quick will face virtually the same offense that he dispatched in the playoffs last season. Whether it’s Logan or Raffi or Brent. Someone in a teal jersey needs to step up against Quickster.
November 17th, at Chicago Blackhawks
The defending champions welcome San Jose to the Mad House in mid-November. By this point in the season, both squads will be in full swing. The Sharks 2013-14 schedule sends them to Chicago right before their longest homestand of the year. The Blackhawks will likely come back just as skilled as previous years. And of course, every team wants a crack at the defending champs. It is the best barometer of how good your team is. Want to know how the Sharks stack up to the league? Watch this game.
November 27th, vs Los Angeles Kings
LA comes to town for the first time the day before Thanksgiving. If last year’s home record carries over, this should be a very good day. This is in the middle of the five game homestand and could carry San Jose into a long winning streak. Around this time, we should all know if young shooter Thomas Hertl has worked out or not. Hertl looks to replace TJ Galiardi on Thornton’s line. If he has impressed and made the big show, the Sharks offense could look very different. And maybe since he has never faced him, Quick will not already know his every move.
November 30th, vs Anaheim Ducks
Can anyone predict whether or not the Ducks will be any good? Ever? The Ducks have displayed one of the most bi-polar attitudes in the league in the last few years. Anaheim sank and rose like the waves in Orange County all season long. Yet, they earned the second seed in the playoffs last year, but failed to make it out of the first round. A first round that experienced strange momentum swings in itself. The rival Ducks come to SAP Center to round out the Sharks longest homestand. If the home cooking is just as good as last year, the Sharks should be flying high into this game. And besides, Sharks fans always love to get loud to chomp the Ducks.
December 10th, vs New York Islanders
Here is a bold prediction: the Islanders will finish in the top four in the Eastern Conference. Too bold? Well, just take a look at how they navigated last season. In the old Atlantic Division, arguably the most talented and toughest division in the entire league, the Isles managed to tread water and pounce at just the right time to secure a playoff spot. Playing teams like Pittsburgh, the Rangers, Devils, and Flyers more than any other team gave the young Islanders talent. John Tavares will be an MVP one day and seeing him this early in his career at SAP Center will be a treat.
December 29th-31st, against Anaheim Ducks
Remember last season when the Sharks could not score to save their lives? This had gotten so bad that the Sharks fell out of playoff seeding for a few days. In San Jose, the fans are not used to that. But then, out of nowhere, a beacon of hope arrived in the form of a home-and-home series with the Anaheim Ducks. As mentioned before, the Ducks are a teetering tower of talent. Another sweep of a home-and-home right before the New Year could vault the Sharks up in the division.
February 7th, vs Columbus Blue Jackets
There was something about Columbus that really stumped the Sharks last year. The Sharks lost all three games getting outscored 5-14 along the way. Was it Sergei Bobrovsky and his Vezina trophy? Was it the scrappy play that had them come back after the Sharks had tied it late? Whatever it was, not even the home ice could help the Sharks. But the Blue Jackets move east will take away the Sharks chance for revenge. Having them come back to California will be a great send off before the Olympics.
March 6th, vs Pittsburgh Penguins
The team that lit up scoreboards in the East and famously fell from grace in their playoff series with the Bruins. Pittsburgh is arguably the team with the most talent on a single roster. But what they have in talent, they lack in team chemistry. This is likely going to be the most sought-after game for the home fans, so the Tank will be rocking to boo Sidney Crosby for whatever reason they have. No doubt, the Pens will still have the talent to be the class of the Eastern Conference. They will be a great way to measure how good the Sharks really are at this point in the season.
April 9th-12th, Final 3 Games
It seems like every year, the Sharks season comes down to the last week. The last game knocks someone out and boosts someone else a spot in the playoffs. The Sharks play 3 games in four nights to end their regular season campaign. In the Sharks 2013-14 schedule, they face the Ducks in Anaheim, the Avalanche back in San Jose, and then face the Coyotes the next night in Phoenix. The two division match-ups will definitely shift playoff seeds. But can the Sharks play at a high level that many times in that many nights? It will be a good way to check the pulse of the team. Go into the playoffs flying high? Or limp their way in? Only time will tell.