Why the Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks Rivalry Can Be the Best in Hockey

September 28th, 2012 by Bobby Kittleberger Leave a reply »
Perhaps two of the best teams to come out of the NHL's Western Conference in the last decade have been the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks.

During the post-lockout era, the Sharks have yet to miss the playoffs, while the Ducks have only missed the postseason twice. Perhaps what gives their rivalry so much untapped potential is that the two teams, with all that playoff experience, have met only once for a seven-game series.

During the 2008-2009 Stanley Cup playoffs, the Sharks and Ducks met in a series in which the Ducks decisively defeated the heavily favored Sharks four games to two. Backstopped by stellar goalkeeping from Jonas Hiller, the eighth-seeded Ducks became only the fifth team to beat the NHL's Presidents' Trophy-winning club in the first round since 1968.

If the Sharks and Ducks meet again in the postseason before the Ryan Getzlaf and Joe Thornton eras run their course, the 2009 series will be fresh in everyone's mind. That series did a lot to reshape the Sharks moving forward, as it marked the beginning of the end of Evgeni Nabokov's tenure in San Jose.

Adding to the rivalry's spark is the similarity between ...

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