The Arizona Coyotes look to win at the SAP Center for the first time this season when they visit the San Jose Sharks. Both of these Western teams are out of the playoff picture and aren’t playing for much so it’s anyone’s guess who comes out on top here.
The NHL odds have this as a dead pick’em at -110 for both teams. They’ve split their season series with each team having three wins apiece though the Sharks (21-26-6) have won the last two. Either way, the winning team has scored at least four goals and we can expect lots of scoring.
Darcy Kuemper: Still Solid
It’s been a rough season for Darcy Kuemper. He’s usually the best player on the ice for the Arizona Coyotes (22-26-6), but injuries and chronic brain farts from his defensemen have pushed his numbers down this year. His 90.8 even strength save percent (SV%) and 85.1 scoring chance SV% are both lows as a Yote.
He’s had two solid performances against the Sharks sandwiching a horrible one thus his 86.8 SV%. His stats are not flattering, but he’s managed to stop over 27 shots in the two games he didn’t get pulled. The Sharks are more of a quantity over quality team when it comes to shots so expect Kuemper to make plenty of saves.
Pick: Darcy Kuemper (ARI) Total Saves – Over 27 Saves (-125)
Christian Dvorak: Home Sick
The 25-year-old Dvorak has come on strong for the Arizona Coyotes lately with three points in his last four games. He started the season strong with 16 points in his first 19 games but went through a cold stretch in March and April with just 10 points in 30 appearances.
Against the Sharks, he has five points in six games though all of that came in the desert. Dvorak has gone scoreless in San Jose and has just one shot in 50 shifts compared to having five points in four home games. He has just 10 points in 26 road games, and his cold spell continues.
Pick: Christian Dvorak (SJS) Total Points – Under ½ Points (-135)
Highest Scoring Period: Third Time’s The Charm
Something about these two teams makes them put the pedal to the metal when it’s the final period. Maybe it’s because both of them tend to be playing from behind. Either way, their already questionable defense and/or goaltending gets even worse in the third.
The Sharks score and allow the most goals at home in the third where 58 of the 157 goals scored at the SAP Center come from. Arizona, on the other hand, has only scored 21 road goals in the third but allowed 37 in 26 games. The latter is the most in the league. It’s a recipe for some third period shenanigans.
Pick: Highest Scoring Period – 3rd Period (+200)
Totals: Going Overboard
Flip a coin when choosing who of these two teams will come out on top. Instead, bet on the goal total to go over 5½. The Sharks and Coyotes have a way of giving up plenty of goals.
San Jose has averaged over 32 shots a game against Arizona yet it’s allowing 3.83 goals. The Sharks are allowing the second-most goals at home at 3.52 while Arizona’s road defense isn’t much better: 3.35 goals allowed. Five of their last six games have gone over 5½.
Maybe there’s a bit of a market correction here via Kuemper standing on his head and blanking San Jose (the only under that hit was a shutout against the Sharks) or it’s the other way around with G Josef Korenar turning back Arizona. I won’t bank on it.
Pick: Over 5½ (-115)