To celebrate the San Jose Sharks history properly, the duty of choosing the San Jose Sharks 25th Anniversary Team was handed to the fans. Over the course of several months, fans voted via twitter using the hashtag #Sharks25thTeam and online entry forms to determine the team that consists of six forwards, four defensemen and two goaltenders. Only Arturs Irbe, one of the two Latvian great Sharks was voted in the 25th Sharks Anniversary Team. The San Jose Sharks is very special team not only for Arturs Irbe and Sandis Ozolinsh but for the most Latvian hockey fans.
San Jose, which was awarded an NHL franchise on May 9, 1990, played its first two seasons near San Francisco at the aging Cow Palace while its new arena was under construction. In that quarter of a century, the Sharks have made the Stanley Cup Playoffs 17 times, won the Pacific Division six times and reached the Western Conference Final three times.
The Sharks lost 58 games in their inaugural season and an NHL-record 71 the next year. But in their third season, the Sharks moved to their new arena in San Jose and stunned the NHL by going 33-35-16 to finish third in the Pacific Division and make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They finished with 82 points, 58 more than they had the previous season. That's still the greatest single-season turnaround in NHL history.
The eighth-seeded Sharks opened the playoffs by upsetting the top-seeded Detroit Red Wings in seven games. In the Western Conference Semifinals, the Sharks fell in seven games to the Toronto Maple Leafs. That season helped the Sharks solidify a solid hockey fan base in San Jose.
Arturs Irbe statistics in San Jose Sharks
Arturs Irbe in ceremonial puck drop in 24th January, 2016
Arturs Irbe San Jose Sports Hall of Fame Induction Video
Arturs Irbe Like wall Tribute video
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1 - http://sharks.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=798927
2 - http://sharks.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=798509
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