The Franchise Best Series comes to you to dive into the all-time best single season for every organization. This, of course, includes post-season results. Join us for a look back at some of the most memorable moments in each franchise’s history. Here is the San Jose Sharks best season.
The 2015-2016 NHL season is easily the best season in the history of the San Jose Sharks Franchise. The Sharks did not set any franchise records this season nor did they dominate the league in 2015-2016. However, San Jose did make the Stanley Cup Playoffs and advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.
San Jose Sharks 2015-2016
The Previous Season and Off-Season
In the 2014-2015 NHL season, the Sharks failed to make the postseason for the first time in ten years. A record of 40-33-9 and 89 points was the team’s worst record in a full season since 2002-2003. As a result head coach Todd McLellan and the organization decide to part ways. This ended McLellan’s run as the winningest coach in franchise history. The Sharks would hire Peter Deboer as to fill the job. The Sharks made three trades involving players in 2014-2015. The only one that would have an effect on the season would be Brenden Dillon.
In the off-season, the Sharks were very proactive at adding new playmakers to the roster. Signing player such as Paul Martin, Joel Ward, and Dainius Zubrus. San Jose also brought a key player in via trade. On June 29th, 2015 the Sharks sent Sean Kuraly and 2016 first round pick to the Boston Bruins for goaltender Martin Jones. The Sharks needed a new netminder as Antti Niemi was dealt to the Dallas Stars two days earlier.
The Regular Season
To begin the regular season the Sharks started off red hot winning their first four games, three of which were on the road. San Jose scored 14 goals while only allowing two. From there it started to get a little shaky. Losing eight of their next eleven games it, looked like the Sharks might be headed for disaster. They turned it around for the rest of November, however, winning seven of eight games to end the month. In December, San Jose went cold winning only four games all month and getting a total of 10 points. The calendar turned to a new year the Sharks found their way, going on a ten game point streak to end the month. The momentum carried into February where they would go 8-4-2.
In February the Sharks also made a trade that would help sure up there roster for the postseason. The Sharks sent Raffi Torres and two-second rounders to the Toronto Maple Leafs. In return, Roman Polak and Nick Spaling came to San Jose. Even though they didn’t show up in the stat sheet, both played over 20 games in the regular season and every postseason game.
The Sharks went 12-8 in March and April which was enough to get them 98 points and finish third in the Pacific Division.
The Stanley Cup Playoffs
As the third team in the Pacific Division, the first round matchup for the Sharks was the second place team, the rival Los Angeles Kings. The Sharks beat the Kings in five games powered behind Joe Pavelski’s five goals in those five games. The Sharks stole the first two games on the road and then split on home ice to take a 3-1 series lead. The Sharks beat the Kings 6-3 in game five to win the series in Los Angeles.
In the second round, the Sharks faced the Nashville Predators who made the playoffs via the wildcard. This was a series that would go seven games with the home team winning every game. The series featured two games that needed overtime, including a triple overtime game. Logan Couture had six goals in the series and Pavelski chipped in four to power the offense. Jones also shut down the Predators at home only allowing five goals in four games including a game seven shutout.
In the Western Conference Finals, the Sharks would face the St. Louis Blues. The Blues were the number two team in the Central Division. This was another series where Jones stood on his head for San Jose. He only allowed two goals in the Sharks game one loss, then followed that up with shutouts in games two and three. He would give up six goals in a game four loss and then three and two goals in game five and six wins. The Sharks offence was also clicking on all cylinders as well as scoring 22 goals in those six games.
The Stanley Cup Finals
In the Stanley Cup Finals, the Sharks ran into the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins were the number two team in the Metropolitan Division. The Sharks lost the first two games in Pittsburgh, both by one goal including an overtime loss in game two. In game three the Sharks got their first win of the series a, 3-2 overtime victory. However, in game four the Penguins won 3-1 giving them a 3-1 series lead heading home. The Sharks would deny Pittsburgh the Stanley Cup with a 4-2 victory and sent the series back to San Jose. With the score being 2-1 and under two minutes left in the game the Sharks pulled Martin for the extra attacker looking for the tie. Instead, Patric Hornqvist salted the game and series away with an empty net goal to secure the Stanley Cup for the Penguins.
The Sharks did not win any awards in 2015-2016, in fact, they only had two all-stars Brent Burns and Pavelski. Joe Thornton did not receive any honors even though he averaged a point per game. Jones did receive NHL first star of the week on November 23rd, 2015.
While statistically, the San Jose Sharks 2015-2016 season may not have been the in franchise history. They didn’t have the best record in franchise history or set any records they did do one thing they had never done before. The Sharks advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history. Up to this point, the Sharks had been labled as playoff chockers, unable to make it to the finals, so breaking through that celing was a major accomplishment for the team. Even though they lost in six games, it still was easily the best season in franchise history.
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