The long road trip is finally over.
From the opening of training camp on Dec. 30 in Scottsdale through tomorrow, when the San Jose Sharks leave Phoenix for home, the players and their staff will have been on the road for 32 days. This doesn’t include players and staff who went to Scottsdale early for quarantine or logistical purposes.
Ironically, it was COVID-19 that sent the Sharks on this odyssey, and it’s the still-raging pandemic that will give them a brief respite at home. Originally, San Jose was scheduled to play “home” games against the Vegas Golden Knights on Feb. 1 and 3 at Gila River Arena, before going to Anaheim and Los Angeles for four more tilts on the road.
But on Jan. 26, a member of the Golden Knights’ coaching staff — which includes former San Jose Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer and assistant coach Steve Spott — tested positive for COVID-19. Since then, Alex Pietrangelo and two other coaches have entered the league’s COVID protocol.
In response, the NHL has postponed the Feb. 1 and 3 San Jose/Vegas games. They will be rescheduled to be played at a later date in San Jose.
The Sharks will arrive in the Bay Area tomorrow morning, before leaving on Feb. 4 for their four-game Southern California swing. If these contests are played as scheduled, these four games, combined with the eight that they’ve already played, will make up a 12-game road trip, the longest in franchise history. The previous record was a 10-game sojourn from Feb. 4, 1999 to Feb. 20, 1999.
The San Jose Sharks are now scheduled to open their home schedule at SAP Center on Feb. 13 and 15. It appears that they will be able to play their entire 28-game home schedule in San Jose.
Sheng’s Travel Fund
Help fund Sheng's travel! Every dollar goes to the cost of getting to and from Sharks road games.