The Sharks had an early playoff exit last season, losing in the first round to the St. Louis Blues in five games, so fans will look for immediate improvement from a team they've expected to go deep into the postseason for almost a decade now.
Despite missing the postseason for three straight seasons now, Calgary should be in the hunt for a postseason spot in the Western Conference this season, too, so the Sharks certainly want to set the tone for the 48-game season right now, especially on the road against their former backup goalie.
Miikka Kiprusoff once knocked the Sharks out of the postseason in heartbreaking fashion (2004), on the door of the Stanley Cup Finals, so San Jose is no stranger to disappointment against the Flames.
The Sharks return their top nine scorers from last year's team, and they also return 2010 Cup-winning goalie (albeit for the Chicago Blackhawks) Antti Niemi.
Strange as it seems to admit, San Jose is now the only California hockey team without a Stanley Cup title, and this team would no doubt like to remedy that sad reality.
Despite years of sustained success neither the Anaheim Ducks or the Los Angeles Kings can match, those organizations have won the National Hockey League title while the Sharks have never gotten there.
Vegas has San Jose listed as a 20-1 shot to win the Cup, which seems tough to swallow considering teams like the Edmonton Oilers are given the same chance. No offense to the Oilers, but even though they recently made the Cup Finals, they also more recently were the worst team in hockey.
So where does that leave the Sharks?
Same place they've always been: still seeking that first championship. To do so, they will have to put together a consistent regular season, something San Jose has struggled to do every season since they finished with the best record in the NHL back in 2009.
If they have a midseason swoon or a slow start, that could spell doom for the Sharks.
With an experienced roster and motivation in hand, San Jose can start their march to a Cup today in Calgary.
All they need to do is win.