clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

San Jose Sharks vs Arizona Coyotes preview: back in California

New, comments

The Coyotes play their fifth game of the preseason against the San Jose Sharks.

Christian Petersen

After splitting games against the Los Angeles Kings and shutting out the Anaheim Ducks the Arizona Coyotes face off against the final California team, the San Jose Sharks.  These two teams haven't met since the next to last game that the Coyotes played last season, where the Coyotes sealed their playoff fate with a 3-2 loss on home ice.

Matchup at a Glance


Arizona Coyotes

San Jose Sharks

Points

89 (4th in Pacific)

111 (2nd in Pacific)

Goals Per Game

2.56 (20th)

2.92 (6th)

Goals Against Per Game

2.73 (18th)

2.35 (5th)

Power Play Percentage

19.9% (4th)

17.2 (20th)

Penalty Kill Percentage

79.0 (26th)

84.9 (6th)

5v5 Fenwick For Percentage

50.0% (16th)

54.6 (3rd)

PDO (SH% + SV%)

100.3 (10th)

998 (18th)

View From San Jose

Last season the San Jose Sharks did little to quell the narrative that they choke in the playoffs.  Up 3-0 against one of their biggest rivals, the Los Angeles Kings, in the first round they allowed the Kings to turn the corner and win the remaining four games and the series. In the first three games of the series the Sharks outscored the eventual Stanley Cup Champions 17-8, but the final four saw their fortunes reversed as they were outscored 18-5.

San Jose took this historic loss pretty hard, as most teams would. There was talk of a rebuild (which never seemed to materialize), Joe Thornton was stripped of his captaincy, and they signed free agent John Scott saying "he brings an element of security."  To paraphrase former British Prime Minister John Major, if the answer is more John Scott, you are asking the wrong question.

Although there was talk of blowing the Sharks up and starting anew the team remains relatively the same for now, and they are just as dangerous as last season. John Scott was the only addition the Sharks made this offseason and although Thornton isn't the Captain anymore he still produced 11-65-76 last season.  The Sharks are coming off their own split squad game against the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday, and like the Coyotes the home team took both games.

View From Arizona

While one Arizona team lost to the Calgary Flames on Wednesday, the team that will play against the Sharks was resting up after beating the Ducks 4-0.  The team had previously come from behind to push the Kings to a shootout which they ultimately lost in the fourth round.

Justin Hodgman proved to be a surprising dark horse to make the team on the away side, with 2 goals against the Ducks on Tuesday and a goal against the Kings on Monday.  With Mikkel Boedker and Antoinne Vermette sitting against the the Ducks Hodgman was given more responsibilities, leading the forwards in both time on ice and power play time on ice. If he can continue to generate offense he may have a shot of starting the season in Sedona Red.

The Coyotes roster will not be exactly the same as it was in the previous game against the Flames. Justin Hache, James Melindy, and Marek Langhamer were all sent down yesterday leaving the Coyotes with a total of 45 players. After this game Coyotes brass is likely going to make another round of cuts, so expect a lot of the fringe players to be pushing themselves looking to make a good impression on the coaching staff.

Keys to the Game

  • Make a good impression. This may be the last game with the Coyotes' this season for some of these players; they need to give it their all and make it a tough decision for the coaches on who they should send down.

  • Power play. The other Coyotes squad went 0-5 with the man advantage against the Flames. Hopefully this group has someone who can inspire hope that our special teams will be better next season.

  • Don't get hurt.  Preseason injuries are starting to stack up, and as we learned last year they can have a big impact on the team in the regular season.

Who's Hot

As stated above Justin Hodgman is making a strong case to make the team this year with three goals in two games. Lucas Lessio also had a goal against the Ducks and David Moss had a power play goal and an assist as well.

In their game against the Canucks Joe Thornton had two goals. However the Sharks may decide to sit their veteran guys to give some of their rookies a chance to show what they can do.

Injury Report

No new injuries to report so far.  Mark Visentin and Brendan Perlini were sidelined during the Coyotes rookie camp while Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Raffi Torres have been out since the offseason.

Puck Drop

Tonight's game starts at 7:30pm Arizona time. There will not be a local broadcast.