Sharks will start the season on the road

Joe Thornton will have another chance to take on his former teammates on Oct. 18 — hopefully, it will last longer than the 2 minutes, 31 seconds he got the first time he played them.

Thornton returned to Boston on Jan. 10, 2006, to take on the Bruins for the first time as a Shark. Before breaking a sweat, he received a game misconduct and automatic ejection when he checked Hal Gill from behind.

The second time Thornton faces his former teammates should be a special one as it will be the home opener for the Sharks at HP Pavilion. But before the Sharks can get the pomp and circumstance ready, they must first face a four-game road trip to start the season.

San Jose will be in Edmonton to face the Oilers on opening night Oct. 4. Games will then follow in Vancouver, Colorado and Chicago in a six-day span.

Hated rival Chris Pronger and the Stanley Cup champion Anahim Ducks will make their first Bay Area visit on Nov. 17 — part of a possible pivotal month that has 11 of the Sharks’ 12 games against Pacific Division teams.

Teams from the Northeast Division will make their way to HP Pavilion as well. President’s Cup winner Buffalo will visit the Bay Area on Dec. 8 while former Sharks Vesa Toskala and Mark Bell and the Toronto Maple Leafs come to town Jan. 12. Then, the Eastern Conference champion Ottawa Senators make their way to San Jose March 5.


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