LOS ANGELES -- Even if they wanted to try, the San Jose Sharks can't avoid it now.
High above their heads when the puck drops on the Sharks' 2014-15 season Wednesday at Staples Center against the Los Angeles Kings (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN, SN1) will be a new Stanley Cup championship banner that for all intents and purposes could have been theirs.
The Sharks would have at least had as good a shot as any team had they avoided a historical collapse.
"Any time I think of the Kings or our team thinks of the Kings we remember what happened last year," Sharks center Logan Couture said. "The memory of last year will still be pretty fresh for a lot of guys."