The San Jose Sharks play host to the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night in a matchup of teams that have been eliminated from playoff contention. Arizona defeated San Jose by a score of 5-2 on Friday night, and the Sharks will be looking for revenge.
Arizona comes into this game with 52 points on the season, but they were recently eliminated from playoff contention in the West. It has been a much better season than expected for the Coyotes, but it didn’t pay off with a postseason berth.
San Jose has lost four of their last five games, and it has been a long year for this team. The Sharks have managed to pick up just 48 points this season, and they sit in seventh place in the West Division.
San Jose defenseman Mario Ferraro made this statement about his team’s play on Friday night, “I thought they got behind us a little bit.” Look for the Sharks to try to tighten up defensively against this Arizona team.
NHL odds have both teams’ moneylines listed at -110 in this matchup, with a team goal total of 5 ½ goals with odds favoring the over.
Arizona Using Special Teams to Succeed
The Arizona Coyotes have been solid on special teams this season, and that is the biggest reason for the surprise success. Arizona has scored on close to 21%of its power-play chances, while also killing off 80% of their penalties.
Veteran Phil Kessel tallied his 900th career NHL point on Friday night. When asked about his goal, “It might have been my first breakaway goal of the year,” Kessel then went on to joke, “I’m happy to score on a breakaway for once. I don’t know, I stink at them. Gotta figure it out during the summer I guess.” Kessel leads the team with 19 goals and 40 points while Conor Garland has a team-high 20 assists.
The Coyotes have given up nearly 3.1 goals against this season, and that is something that must be fixed in the offseason. Arizona has been able to overcome that lack of defense more often than not, but it still puts too much pressure on the offense.
Sharks Allowing Too Many Goals
The San Jose Sharks are giving up 3.4 goals per game, and that lack of defense came back to bite them. San Jose doesn’t mind playing games at a fast tempo, but it has not been good enough at keeping pucks out of the own net.
The penalty kill has been sharp for San Jose, but this team has really struggled on the power play. The Sharks have converted on just 14 percent of their chances with the man advantage, and that just isn’t getting it done.
Evander Kane leads the Sharks with 22 goals and 26 assists, but he hasn’t gotten a lot of help from his teammates this season. The Sharks are a veteran group that has some pride, but they have just struggled to do the little things well.
Coyotes Just Too Strong For Sharks
The San Jose Sharks just hasn’t been able to slow teams down all season long, and that was the case against the Arizona Coyotes on Friday night. The Sharks aren’t going to win many games allowing five goals, but they should be better on the defensive end in this matchup.
Arizona might be eliminated from the playoffs, but this team is still looking to build for next season. The Coyotes are going to be a force in the 2021-22 season, and they will end this season on a high note.
Even though the Coyotes don’t have anything to play for at this time, they are still the better team in this matchup the Coyotes -110 over the Sharks on Saturday night.