As team teal gets ready to make appear 11 times on NBCSN, let’s rank the matchups in order to see which one will be can’t viewing.
For the second straight season, the San Jose Sharks will be making 11 national TV appearances on NBCSN for the upcoming 2016-17 season. In fact, San Jose is the most featured team within the Pacific Division nationally as team teal ranks ahead of both the Kings and Ducks in this respect.
Now that those particular games have been released, we thought it’d be a good idea to rank them from 11 to 1 to see which ones are can’t miss contests.
Before we get started, here’s a reminder of the schedule and who San Jose’s opponents would be in each of those matchups.
Alright, without further adieu, let’s jump right in and see how the different contests stack up:
11. San Jose Sharks vs. Florida Panthers (Feb. 15th, 7:30 p.m., SAP Center)
This seems like a very odd choice to feature on NBCSN as these two teams have absolutely nothing in common. While Florida is a good, young team, this is a puzzling selection for a national audience, but what the heck.
10. San Jose Sharks at Arizona Coyotes (Nov. 1st, 7:00 p.m., Gila River Arena)
Another interesting choice here, but at least San Jose and Arizona play within the same division. This will be the Coyotes only appearance on national TV all season long so it should be an intriguing watch from that standpoint to see what kind of young talent is being assembled and developed in the Valley of the Sun.
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9. San Jose Sharks at Colorado Avalanche (Jan. 23rd, 6:00 p.m., Pepsi Center)
For some reason, San Jose always seems to have a nationally scheduled broadcast against the Avalanche in Colorado. This year is no different as the Sharks will take on an Avalanche team that will be looking to bounce back after a couple of tough campaigns.
Colorado still possesses some high-end offensive talent, but their defense leaves plenty to be desired. However, these games have usually been high-scoring and have the potential to produce some very entertaining hockey.
8. San Jose Sharks at Minnesota Wild (March 21st, 5:30 p.m., Xcel Energy Center)
San Jose travels to the state of hockey for a matchup against a Minnesota team that is trying to rediscover itself after a down season.
The Sharks will be very familiar with the style of play the Wild will be looking to implement as Bruce Boudreau takes over after spending the past five seasons in Anaheim. Minnesota made a somewhat splashy move by adding Eric Staal to try and bolster their offensive punch as they try to get past the first round of the playoffs.
7. San Jose Sharks at Los Angeles Kings (November 30th, 7:30 p.m., Staples Center)
One week after a primetime matchup against another game further down this list, San Jose will travel to L.A. for the first time in 2016-17 as they return to Staples Center where they finished the Kings off in five games a season ago.
The Sharks will be looking to continue their good fortune against the Kings away from the Bay Area as they won all five matchups in SoCal, including three in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
6. San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings (January 3rd, 7:00 p.m., SAP Center)
Team teal kicks off 2017 the same way they started the season by hosting their bitter rivals in front of a national audience. This will be the second of a back-to-back between the two clubs who will square off at Staples Center on New Year’s Eve.
It will be interesting to see how this one plays out after the holiday in what is sure to be a growing animosity between the two rivals as this will be their fourth of five meetings between divisional foes who will have their sights set on the crown.
5. San Jose Sharks vs. Boston Bruins (February 19th, 5:30 p.m., SAP Center)
As the fourth game of Hockey Day in America, this will be a primetime chance for the Sharks to take on an original six franchise in the Bruins. Joe Thornton will surely relish the opportunity to show he’s still got plenty left in the tank against the team that originally drafted him back in 1997.
4. San Jose Sharks at Los Angeles Kings (January 18th, 7:30 p.m., Staples Center)
It’s almost a shame that the Sharks and Kings’ final matchup of the season has to come in mid-January, but this will be the fourth nationally televised contest between these two rivals.
It goes to show what the NHL thinks of this rivalry to feature it this prominently throughout the season.
3. San Jose Sharks vs. Anaheim Ducks (October 25th, 7:00 p.m., SAP Center)
Two weeks into the season, team teal will get their first opportunity to take on the four-time division champs as the Sharks will host the new-look (or maybe flashback?) Ducks who brought back Randy Carlyle behind the bench.
San Jose wants to impose themselves on Anaheim and let them know they’re going to push the Ducks for the title. These matchups always get a little physical and feisty which should make for prime viewing this early in the season.
2. San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings (October 12th, 7:30 p.m., SAP Center)
Hockey is back and for the third consecutive year the Sharks and Kings will square off on opening night. San Jose has gotten the better of L.A. in each of the previous two meetings, outscoring the Kings by a 10-1 margin.
This time the contest will be held at the SAP Center where team teal will look to re-establish their home ice advantage and make an opening statement to their rivals and the rest of the league that they intend to make another push for the Stanley Cup.
1. San Jose Sharks vs. Chicago Blackhawks (November 23rd, 7:00 p.m., SAP Center)
While the games against their SoCal rivals warranted consideration in this spot, it’s tough not to see Chicago as the class of the Western Conference still. Despite their first-round exit against the Blues, the Blackhawks are still the gold standard in the NHL.
In what’s become an annual contest right before Thanksgiving, the Sharks should get a chance to test themselves against one of the elite teams to see how they stack up in 2016-17.