Sharks

Sharks' 2021-22 schedule: Open vs. Jets, close vs. Kraken

Sharks

The Sharks believe they can end their two-year playoff drought, and now we know the path they must take to do so.

The 2021-22 NHL season schedule was released Thursday, marking a return to normalcy for the league. Coming off a shortened season that featured temporary divisional realignment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NHL will return to an 82-game regular season in 2021-22, with the division alignment returning to its pre-pandemic structure.

Here is the Sharks' complete schedule for the 2021-22 season:

The Sharks will begin the 2021-22 season at home against the Winnipeg Jets on Oct. 16, and conclude the campaign on the road against the expansion Seattle Kraken on April 29.

San Jose will play four games against five of their Pacific Division opponents -- Calgary Flames, Anaheim Ducks, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings and the Kraken -- throughout the season, and three games against the other two -- Vegas Golden Knights and Vancouver Canucks. The Sharks will face the other eight Western Conference teams three times each, and every Eastern Conference team twice.

RELATED: Kraken shouldn't be threat to Sharks' playoff chances

The Sharks' first-ever matchup with the Kraken will take place at SAP Center on Dec 14. San Jose will make its first visit to Climate Pledge Arena on Jan. 20.

The Sharks have never missed the playoffs three seasons in a row throughout the franchise's entire existence. Now they know the road they must navigate to avoid that fate.