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Phoenix Coyotes vs. San Jose Sharks: Round Two

Tonight, the Phoenix Coyotes fly up to northern California to take on the San Jose Sharks for the final game of the series and the regular season.  The Coyotes took care of business in their own barn last night as they qualified for the playoffs and finally won a game against a team that definitely had their number.  They played a tenacious game with a relentless forecheck and, at times, looked to be the more desperate team.

Even though the Coyotes qualified, there is still more work to do as a victory tonight could impact the seeding for the upcoming playoffs.

So instead of recapping, predicting, working through the angles on the ice, here's a better picture: this is what the Coyotes will play for tonight.

If the Coyotes want the best seed possible - win.  That's it.  If they play last night's game where the fourth line of Paul Bissonnette, Kyle Turris, and Andrew Ebbett impose their will physically on the Sharks, where Ed Jovanovski takes away Danny Heatley's time and space by putting him on his backside, and where they play a relentless forechecking game, they can add input into how they want their post-season to run - either with home ice advantage in the first round or without it.

But the team's in tonight's schedule can impact the situation too.  So, while winning tonight's game and spoiling the Sharks fan appreciation night would be awesome on so many levels, a Coyotes' victory makes life simpler in terms of the playoff implications.

The team that they would most likely face is the Nashville Predators and they face St. Louis tonight.  With a Coyotes' victory:

  • A Nashville loss, both in regulation and in OT, would secure the 4th seed.
  • A Nashville win would secure the 5th seed due to the number of total wins that the Predators have earned.
Now, if the Coyotes gain a point due to an OT loss, we need to take the other teams in consideration and those teams are the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks, who also face each other tonight.  Therefore, let's look at the scenario whereby the Coyotes lose in OT.
  • A Nashville loss and a Los Angeles win would secure the 4th seed due to the number of wins that the Coyotes have over Los Angeles.
  • A Nashville win and a Los Angeles win would secure the 5th seed.
  • A Nashville OT loss and a Los Angeles win would also secure the 5th seed.
Almost all of the permutations with a Coyotes' loss, would place them in the 7th seed.  What's the harm in that?  It just means we get to be real good friends from our neighbors from northern California as a Sharks victory locks in the 2nd seed for them. No big deal...

  • A Nashville loss, an Anaheim win, and a Chicago loss would place the Coyotes in the 6th spot...a San Jose victory makes a victory for the Detroit Red Wings over the Chicago Blackhawks irrelevant as they would still hold the 3rd seed...
  • I'll let you work on that for awhile...

Five For Winning

  • Use last night's playbook
  • Use last night's playbook
  • Use last night's playbook
  • Use last night's playbook
  • Use last night's playbook

Projected Goaltenders

2010 - Ilya Bryzgalov 67 4001 36 19 165 2.47 2088 1923 .921 7

2010 - Antti Niemi 59 3464 34 18 139 2.41 1705 1566 .918 6


Key Players

Ilya Bryzgalov

#30 / Goalie / Phoenix Coyotes



Jun 22, 1980

I can't imagine that with so much on the line that Bryz doesn't get the nod here.  He'll have to be stellar in tonight's game in a very difficult building to play in.

Joe Thornton

#19 / Center / San Jose Sharks



Jul 02, 1979

G A P +/- PIM
2010 - Joe Thornton 21 48 69 4 43



Phoenix Coyotes Injuries

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Martin Hanzal other-excused 03/06/2011

San Jose Sharks Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Ryane Clowe other-excused 04/09/2011

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Scott Nichol other-excused 02/20/2011
Kent Huskins other-excused 02/22/2011