The Arizona Coyotes started their three game road trip into western Canada extremely well. A 4-3 overtime win against the Vancouver Canucks and a 3-2 win against the Edmonton Oilers were solid wins for a team only six points back from a playoff spot. But playing in a back-to-back game, with significant injuries, against a playoff bound team like the Calgary Western Conference leading Flames would prove to be too much. Arizona would be unable to counter Calgary’s high offense players, and they lost the game 7-1.
Thanks to a weak Western Conference the Coyotes in a very unique situation. They are six points out of a Wild Card spot but three points back from the bottom of the conference. For comparison in the Eastern Conference the Detroit Red Wings have the same amount of points, and while they are four points from the bottom they are 13 points out of the playoffs. The Western Conference still seems wide open, but it remains to be seen if Arizona can make up the ground.
Like the Yotes last opponent, the San Jose Sharks are one of the top teams in the Western Conference. At 63 points they are second in the Conference and third in the league. Arizona and San Jose met twice in December, and the Sharks have been wildly successful since they last met. The Sharks have won nine of their last ten games, and are undefeated in 2019. The lone loss was a 8-5 loss to a familiar team, the Calgary Flames.
Unlike the Flames, San Jose’s scoring is a bit more spread out. Only one player has scored more then 20 goals, Joe Pavelski with 26 goals. Six players have between 10 and 20 goals, players you would expect like Veterans like Logan Couture, Evander Kane, Tomas Hertl, and Joe Thornton as well as less experience players like Timo Meier and Joonas Donskoi. Besides Evander Kane (37 points) those players all have over 40 points though, along with Erik Karlsson who has 42 points. For the Coyotes this means they won’t have to attempt to defend against as many goal scorers, however San Jose is still going to be attacking in waves.
Players to Watch
Arizona: Jordan Oesterle - Oesterle had the Coyotes’ lone goal against the Flames but also a goal against the Edmonton Oilers. With injuries on the blue line Oesterle has been given more ice time then he may have received, and he has been relatively successful in his first season with the Coyotes.
San Jose: Tomas Hertl - Hertl is coming off a hat trick against the Pittsburgh Penguins which led to the headline “That’s Gotta Hertl” on the Sharks website.
Arizona: Kevin Connauton (questionable, lower body), Brad Richardson (upper body), Nick Schmaltz (lower body), Michael Grabner (eye), Antti Raanta (lower body), Jason Demers (knee), Christian Dvorak (pectoral)
San Jose: Marc-Eduard Vlasic (wrist)
Will the Coyotes give San Jose their first loss of 2019?
This poll is closed