Sharks

Sharks jersey rankings: Why original white sweater is second-best uniform

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AP

Sharks jersey rankings: Why original white sweater is second-best uniform

Editor's note: The Sharks have been in existence for 28 years and have worn a variety of jerseys in that span -- teal, black and white. NBC Sports California ranked the five best sweaters since San Jose first took the ice in 1991. We continue with the second-best Sharks jersey: The original white sweater.

The Sharks did not play their first game in their original white sweater, but they did win their first game in it.

The third time was the charm for San Jose during its inaugural 1991-92 season, as the Sharks picked up their first-ever victory in their third-ever game. Goals from David Bruce, Pat Falloon, Craig Coxe and Kelly Kisio were enough to seal a 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames at the Cow Palace, and the Sharks did so wearing their white jerseys. 

San Jose did most of its winning in its then-home set in the early days of the franchise. Home teams wore white in the NHL up until the 2003-04 season, and the Sharks won 94 games at the Cow Palace and SAP Center in the first seven years of the franchise, compared to just 67 on the road. 

The Sharks wore their original set of sweaters for all seven of those seasons, and the white duds were fresh. San Jose's first white sweater featured a teal strip underneath the original Sharks logo on the chest, with a gray stripe in between black piping in the center of the strip. The alternating strip dominated the sleeves, too, giving an abundance of color to an otherwise-neutral base.

The teal numbers really popped in contrast to the white sweater, too. Plus, the fin-featuring shoulder crest stood out in greater detail on the white sweater than it did on the teal jersey, thanks to the white background

The result was a sweater with a color scheme screaming "1990s" and a jersey design screaming anything but. It's no wonder that the Sharks' best results -- if not the most iconic moments -- of their early history occurred while wearing their white sweaters. 

[RELATED: Why Sharks' current teal sweater is their third-best ever]

The only thing holding it back in our rankings? The white jersey is not the more iconic part of the Sharks' original set, and white certainly isn't the color most fans -- whether they follow the Sharks or not -- associate with the team. 

That leaves only one possibility as the sweater that tops NBC Sports California's rankings. Check back Friday to found out why. 

Watch Sharks' Joe Thornton, Capitals' Tom Wilson talk trash on benches

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AP

Watch Sharks' Joe Thornton, Capitals' Tom Wilson talk trash on benches

The ice got a little hot Tuesday night in San Jose. Towards the end of the Sharks' 5-2 blowout loss against the Capitals, tempers began to flare. 

Sharks winger Evander Kane was ejected for elbowing Washington defenseman Radko Gudas in the head with slightly over five minutes left in the third period. Gudas' teammates Tom Wilson and Alex Ovechkin each took exception, with Wilson hitting Kane. 

Kane and Wilson were seen chirping all the way to their respective benches, with Kane exiting the game.

It didn't stop there, too. Sharks center Joe Thornton chimed in before Wilson hit him with a "kiss the ring" comeback. 

[RELATED: Kane fined $5K for elbowing Gudas in Sharks' blowout loss]

Kane avoided suspension, but received the maximum fine of $5,000 for his hit on Gudas. 

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Sharks must handle challenging road trip better than last time around

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AP

Sharks must handle challenging road trip better than last time around

Just four days into December, the Sharks are facing a new level of adversity. They suffered a disappointing loss to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night and are dealing with some injuries at forward that are keeping the position in flux.

To top it all off, San Jose is about to begin a four-game road trip, three games of which are against Eastern Conference teams. And the last time the Sharks went on a roadie out east, things didn't exactly go well.

In order for the Sharks to keep their good fortunes going, they must pass this test.

"Good teams, tough buildings, a big test," head coach Peter DeBoer said after Tuesday's loss when asked about the upcoming trip. "Our last time on an extended trip we didn't handle it well. So, hopefully, we're in a different place this time."

When you look at the big picture, the Sharks are in a better place than they were at the end of October, when they went 1-3-1 on their east-coast swing. San Jose staged a big rebound in November, showing it could win games in different ways and stand toe-to-toe with just about anyone. After going 4-8-1 in October, the Sharks went 11-4-0 in November and reinserted themselves back into the pack with the other competitive Pacific Division teams.

Nevertheless, the Sharks' upcoming trip -- which kicks off Thursday in Carolina against the Hurricanes and includes a back-to-back against the Lightning and Panthers -- isn't going to be a cakewalk. After the rough outing San Jose's defense had Tuesday against the Capitals, the trip looks even more daunting.

"It's not getting any easier," Brenden Dillon admitted Tuesday. "We're going into some tough buildings. A couple of back-to-backs here with Tampa and Florida. I think we're seeing if we don't play to our identity, if we don't play the right way, what happens."

The Sharks' defense isn't the only area of concern following the loss to Washington. San Jose was starting to see some production from its bottom six at the end of November, but injuries to Tomas Hertl and Antti Suomela are forcing the Sharks to shuffle up their lines yet again. Even with fourth-liners Dylan Gambrell and Noah Gregor finding their stride and contributing more, San Jose's mission to have a four-line team on the ice every night remains an ongoing project.

[RELATED: Kane fined $5K for elbowing Gudas in Sharks' blowout loss]

This isn't to say that the Sharks can't rebound from their loss to the Capitals and have a successful road trip. Their resilience was on display just last week when they bounced back from a tough loss to the Jets to win back-to-back games against the Kings and Coyotes. Plus, Carolina is the only team on the trip that currently has more points than San Jose, and the Hurricanes have lost three of their last four games, including a 2-0 shutout at the hands of the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night. 

Still, though, the Sharks can't afford to play as they did against the Caps on their upcoming road trip. San Jose is about to encounter a major test, and class is in session starting Thursday.