For awhile, it had become one of the most heated rivalries in the National Hockey League, augmented by five meetings in the playoffs. The Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks didn’t much care for each other and that often showed through on the ice.
But things are different in the realigned world of the NHL. No longer playing four times a season as rivals in the Western Conference, the Sharks and Red Wings meet for the second and final time this season at the SAP Center on Thursday night.
The Red Wings were shifted to the Eastern Conference as part of the realignment back to four divisions, along with the Columbus Blue Jackets, as the NHL has opted for a 16-team East and a 14-team West, the idea being to get all of the teams in the Eastern Time Zone under one scheduling umbrella.
The Sharks won the first meeting this year in Detroit, taking a 1-0 shootout victory. San Jose is 18-19-5 at home all-time against the Red Wings and split last season’s meetings at the SAP Center.
Oh, and those playoff meetings? The Sharks won three out of the five, most recently a seven-game triumph in a 2011 Western Conference semifinal.
The rest of The Docket for Thursday is all about college hoops:
COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Sacramento State Hornets at Northern Arizona Lumberjacks, 5:30 p.m.
The Hornets are just 10-32 all-time against the Lumberjacks, who swept last year’s two games. Northern Arizona won 57-50 at home on Jan. 3, 2013, and at Sacramento 62-61 on Feb. 4. Sacramento State’s last win in Flagstaff came on Feb. 26, 2005, when the Hornets posted a 92-88 win.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Stanford Cardinal at Oregon State Beavers, 7 p.m.
The Cardinal are 58-63 all-time against the Beavers, but have won the last four meetings, including an 82-72 win at Corvallis on Feb. 21. Stanford is 24-36 at Oregon State, but has won three of the last four games there.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL: UC Davis Aggies at Cal State Northridge Matadors, 7 p.m.
The Aggies are just 6-12 all-time against the Matadors, but won for the first time in Northridge on Jan. 17, posting a 74-71 win en route to their first-ever season sweep against Cal State Northridge. UC Davis is 1-8 on the road against the Matadors.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL: USF Dons at Pacific Tigers, 7 p.m.
The return to the WCC hasn’t gone as planned for the 0-3 Tigers. USF leads the all-time series 39-26, but Pacific holds the edge at home 18-14, including a 67-59 win over the Dons on Dec. 8, 2012, at the Spanos Center. The Tigers have won the last three times USF visited. The Dons’ last win in Stockton came on Dec. 18, 2004, a 67-64 decision.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Santa Clara Broncos at Saint Mary’s Gaels, 7 p.m.
The Broncos lead the all-time series 93-55, but haven’t beaten the Gaels since Feb. 7, 2009, having lost the last nine meetings. The last time the teams played in Moraga, Saint Mary’s posted an 80-67 win on March 2. The Gaels do lead the series at home, 32-29, and Santa Clara hasn’t won at McKeon Pavilion since Feb. 3, 2007, a 63-57 triumph.
COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Cal Golden Bears at No. 17 Oregon Ducks, 8 p.m.
The Golden Bears are 70-49 all-time against the Ducks and this will be the only meeting between the teams this season. Cal took both meetings last season, including a 48-46 win in Eugene, where the Golden Bears are 21-34 all-time.
Orlando at Kings, 7 p.m.
Boston at Warriors, 7:30 p.m.
Stanford at Utah, 5 p.m.
Cal at Colorado, 7 p.m.
Topics: Cal Golden Bears Basketball, Pacific Tigers Basketball, Sacramento State Hornets Basketball, Saint Mary's Gaels Basketball, San Jose Sharks, Santa Clara Broncos Basketball, Stanford Cardinal Basketball, UC Davis Aggies Basketball, Usf Dons Basketball