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San Jose Sharks

February 14, 2012 497 No of hits
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San Jose Sharks

The Bay Area in California had a National Hockey League (NHL) franchise for a decade, as the California Golden Seals called it home from 1967-76. After they moved, the NHL didn't return there until the 1991-92 season when San Jose received an expansion franchise. The nickname was chosen from thousands of ballots, but Blades was the reported winner. However, the negative connotation with the name forced the owners to take the second choice. And since there are seven different varieties of Sharks in the Pacific Ocean, that nickname appeared to be apropos.

And when the club's marketing team came up with a logo that featured a shark biting a hockey stick in half, the San Jose Sharks' merchandising skyrocketed among the most-popular teams in the NHL. On the ice, the Sharks were the worst NHL team during their opening two seasons with league-low losses and sixth-place finishes in the Smythe Division in 1992 (58 losses) and 1993 (71). The Sharks only missed the playoffs three more times in their some two decades of existence.

There were two seventh-place performances in 1996 and '97 with 55 and 47 losses, respectively, but the only other time they finished worse than fourth to miss the playoffs was a fifth-place performance in the Pacific Division in 2003. During the last decade, however, the Sharks placed second in the Pacific three times and won it on six occasions. The Sharks even had an NHL-best 53 wins and President's Trophy with 117 points in 2009. The Sharks won two playoff series in three different seasons, but they never reached the Stanley Cup finals. And during that spectacular 2009 campaign, the Sharks were eliminated in the Western Conference quarterfinals in six games to the Anaheim Ducks.

After that loss, the Sharks came back with 51 wins and 113 points in 2010. They beat the Colorado Avalanche in six games and stopped the Detroit Red Wings in five to reach the Western Conference finals for the second time (also in 2004). But the Sharks were swept by the eventual champions, the Chicago Blackhawks. And in 2011, the Sharks tallied 48 wins and 105 points, their sixth with 100-plus points in seven years. They beat the Los Angeles Kings in six games and stopped the Red Wings in seven to get to the Conference finals once again. And the result was just as disheartening, as the Sharks lost in five games to the Vancouver Canucks.

While the Sharks haven't even sniffed the Stanley Cup finals, let alone win a Cup title, with the club's recent success it's probably only a matter of time before it finally gets over the hump.

Tags:   San Jose Sharks   The Sharks   Western Conference   Pacific Division  

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The Bay Area in California had a National Hockey League (NHL) franchise for a decade, as the California Golden Seals called it home from 1967-76. After they moved, the NHL didn't return there until the 1991-92 season when San Jose received an expansion franchise. The nickname was chosen from...

By: Richard Martine Created 76 months ago

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