Sharks Analysis

Why Sharks-Kings game presents hope for revival of epic rivalry

NBC Universal, Inc.

Editor's Note: Sheng Peng will be a regular contributor to NBC Sports California’s Sharks coverage. You can read more of his coverage on San Jose Hockey Now, listen to him on the San Jose Hockey Now Podcast, and follow him on Twitter at @Sheng_Peng

A decade ago, the San Jose Sharks-Los Angeles Kings rivalry was perhaps the best in the NHL.

The memories, good and bad, are unforgettable. Joe Thornton’s water slide celebration after eliminating his Southern California rivals in Game Six OT in the 2011 playoffs. The Reverse Sweep. Shutting Drew Doughty up in the first round in 2016, en route to the franchise’s first-ever Stanley Cup Final.

You can perhaps look at San Jose’s 2-1 loss to Los Angeles on Thursday night, before an almost-pro Kings’ 12,266 crowd at SAP Center – certainly, Kings fans were more enthusiastic – in two ways.

Simply, a sad reminder of how things used to be? Or more, a reminder that there’s still a fire there, that just needs to be stoked?

Certainly, the 30-or-so Kings fans sitting below the press box, chanting, “You have no Cups! You have no Cups!” haven’t forgotten. Certainly, many of the unresponsive Sharks fans here, numbed by all the losing this season, haven’t forgotten.

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