So far, both clubs are again living up to that billing this season.
San Jose and Carolina try for only their second wins of the season when they meet at the RBC Center.
The Hurricanes lost in the Stanley Cup finals to the Detroit Red Wings in 2002, but last season, finished with an NHL-low 61 points.
San Jose had 99 points during the 2001-02 season, but its hope of improving its point total for an NHL-record seventh straight season came to an end when it finished last in the Pacific Division with 75 points in 2002-03.
Both clubs are again off to slow starts. San Jose has one win its first eight games, while Carolina has posted one victory in seven contests.
The Sharks beat the Minnesota Wild 3-2 on Oct. 12 for their only win of the season, but have since gone 0-2-3.
San Jose has earned consecutive ties, however, leading the Sharks to believe they are on the right track as they begin their longest road trip of the season.
“Any positives we can draw from these games are very important to us, because we’ve got seven road games coming up,” said San Jose forward Scott Thornton, who scored off his own rebound with 4:37 left as the Sharks tied the Phoenix Coyotes 4-4 on Saturday.
The Hurricanes may have only one win, but since losing their first two games, have gone 1-0-4. Carolina is returning home after a 1-0-3 trip.
While picking up points is a positive for Carolina, forward Erik Cole knows that earning one point instead of two in games will not help the Hurricanes get back to the playoffs.
“It’s a good road trip anytime you can get (five) out of (eight) points,” Cole said. “But I think we know we could have had all (eight) this trip. But that’s the way it goes sometimes.”
STANDINGS (through Oct. 26): Sharks - 5 points, 5th place, 5 PB, Pacific Division. Hurricanes - 6 points, 4th place, 6 PB, Southeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Sharks - Five with 2 goals; Vincent Damphousse, 4 assists; Damphousse, Marco Sturm and Tom Preissing, 4 points; Scott Parker, 23 PIM. Hurricanes - Cole and Niclas Wallin, 2 goals; Cole and Josef Vasicek, 3 assists; Cole, 5 points and 14 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 26): Sharks - Power play: 18.9 percent (7 for 37), 11th in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.5 percent (33 for 40), 19th. Hurricanes - Power play: 3.6 percent (1 for 28), 29th. Penalty killing: 82.8 percent (24 for 29), 17th.
2002-03 SEASON SERIES: Sharks, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Feb. 5; Sharks, 6-2. At San Jose, Calif., Patrick Marleau had three assists and the Sharks got goals from three defensemen as they won for the fourth time in five games.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Sharks - 1-2-0-0 on the road; Hurricanes - 0-1-1-0 at home.