With San Jose and the Vegas Golden Knights just hours away from playing their first regular season action since the Sharks dramatic come-from-behind Game 7 win and just days after an emotional preseason meeting, it only seemed fitting to relive some of the greatest rivalries in Team Teal history.
These rivalries have led to some of the biggest and most emotional moments in Sharks history and have made for some very stressful, but really great hockey along the way.
5. Anaheim Ducks
Video: ANA@SJS, Gm4: Sharks, Ducks shake hands after series
Anaheim left a bitter taste in the President's-trophy-winning Sharks' mouths after being eliminated by the eighth-seeded Ducks in 2009. But in the latest meeting between the two, the current shifted in the Sharks favor, as they outscored their intrastate rivals 16-4 and swept the Ducks in the First Round during the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
4. Dallas Stars
Video: 2008 Round 2, Gm6: Evgeni Nabokov with glove save
In the Sharks most recent playoff series matchup with the Dallas Stars in 2008, Team Teal found themselves down 3-0 in the Western Conference Semifinal but managed to cling to life after stringing together back-to-back wins. Again, facing elimination in Game 6, San Jose and the Stars played the equivalent of a Game 6 and a Game 7 with the score tied 1-1 through four overtime periods. Dallas ultimately advanced to the next round.
3. Detroit Red Wings
Video: 1994 Round 1, Gm7: #8 seeded SJ "shark" the #1 Wings
Before Detroit departed for the Eastern Conference as part of the NHL's realignment in the 2013-14 season, the Sharks and Red Wings were familiar foes. Not only have the two faced each other in 29 playoff contests, but the Red Wings were the Sharks first-ever postseason opponent. In the 1994 First Round series that heavily favorited Detroit, the Sharks forced seven games, while a game-winning goal from forward Jamie Baker - since coined "the greatest goal in Sharks franchise history" - helped eliminate Detroit.
2. L.A. Kings
Video: 2011 Round 1, Game 6: Sharks eliminate Kings in OT
While the rivalry had cooled a bit from its white-hot status of a few years prior, it is far from being forgotten in the classic SoCal versus NorCal matchup. Facing each other in four out of six postseasons from 2011 to 2016, the Sharks were eliminated twice in seven games in back-to-back years to close out the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons. San Jose eventually took revenge in the 2015-16 First Round series, eliminating the Kings in just five games.
1. Vegas Golden Knights
Video: VGK@SJS, Gm7: Sharks rally with four goals, win in OT
When the Golden Knights entered the league just two years ago there was no question that a rivalry might unfold, but the past two postseasons has helped this relationship escalate. After being ousted by the eventual Stanley Cup contending Knights in 2018, San Jose defeated Vegas in seven games with three straight wins, including one in the not-so-friendly confines of T-Mobile Arena, while facing elimination. One five-minute major and an iconic overtime goal later, we have ourselves quite possibly the best rivalry in the NHL.