After a run to the Stanley Cup Final, team teal will still make only 11 national appearances during the 2016-17 NHL season.
Now that is a bit surprising considering team teal made 11 national TV appearances a season ago when they were coming off a year in which they had missed the postseason. This year, San Jose made its first ever appearance in the Stanley Cup Final, and yet, NBC decided to feature just 11 Sharks games for a national TV audience.
For the third-straight season, San Jose will kick off their year on NBCSN as they take on their rivals to the South in the Los Angeles Kings. After beginning at Staples Center the past two seasons, it will be the Sharks turn to host the Kings as they will be the second featured game on opening night of the 2016-17 regular season.
The next game on the docket for team teal comes just 13 days later when San Jose will host their other Southern California rival in the Anaheim Ducks as the Sharks will get an early look at how they stack up against their biggest competition for the division crown.
Both of these contests will give NHL fans across the country a peek at how competitive the hockey is in California.
San Jose will then make three appearances during the month of November, beginning with a somewhat surprising matchup against the Coyotes. In fact, this will be the only nationally televised broadcast of the season for Arizona.
Wrapping up the month, the Sharks will host the Chicago Blackhawks the day before Thanksgiving in what should be a dandy of a matchup. Speaking of Chicago, in unsurprising news, the Blackhawks once again lead the NHL in national appearances with 21.
Team teal then concludes November with another meeting against the Kings, this time in L.A. where the Sharks didn’t lose a game last season.
San Jose won’t feature on national TV during the month of December but two more meetings versus Los Angeles will be shown to a national audience as the NHL clearly wants to showcase this rivalry between the two clubs. Four of their five meetings this season will be shown on NBCSN.
Rounding out the appearances for team teal as matchups against the Avalanche, Panthers, Bruins and Wild. The meeting against Boston will be part of a quadruple header across the NHL networks as the Sharks will host the Bruins on the final matchup of Hockey Day in America on Sunday, Feb. 19th.
While San Jose does lead the Pacific Division in most appearances nationally, it’s still disappointing to not see the Sharks featured in more broadcasts. Especially disappointing was the league decided not to put one of team teal’s contests against the Penguins on national TV in a rematch of the Stanley Cup Final.
Guess we will just have to settle for our Sharks-Kings games then because it’s clearly one rivalry the league has chosen to showcase.