San Jose Sharks vs Phoenix Coyotes Preview
The Sharks are only a few hours away from taking on the division rival Coyotes, and both teams are looking to build on impressive victories in their respective season openers. San Jose downed the Vancouver Canucks for the 10th consecutive time, while Phoenix stomped out the New York Rangers 4-1.
Keys to Victory For San Jose
The Sharks won by a 4-1 final against the Canucks, but that was a close contest throughout much of the night. San Jose allowed Vancouver to stick around by going o-for-8 on the power play. Coach McLellan, more than anything, would like to see a few power-play goals go up on the board to prevent this from becoming a real issue. Another game without a marker and it could become cause for mild concern.
It took San Jose too long to get bodies to Roberto Luongo during the opener. He was able to settle in after making big saves early, and it took the Sharks until the middle of the game to take him out of his comfort zone. Mike Smith can’t be allowed to see pucks cleanly tonight. He’s not Patrick Roy incarnated, but he’s a solid goalie that will stop what he sees.
Aside from fixing the power play and getting bodies to the net, don’t look for the Sharks to change much. The forecheck was tenacious and the depth looked outstanding.
Three Players to Watch For San Jose
- Tomas Hertl was outstanding in game one of the regular season. He’s had praised heaped in his direction for his performance, and he should come out looking even more confident.
- Brent Burns was able to generate a ton of chances while shooting from odd angles down low. His shot is wicked and he was able to make it work once. Look for him to continue to work that nasty one timer.
- Joe Pavelski had several outstanding chances to score short handed but couldn’t quite get it to click against the Canucks. He seemed fired up to start the season and will try to keep it going tonight.
San Jose will be without Raffi Torres for at least three months, who used to lace up the skates for the Desert Dogs. Brad Stuart still won’t be in the lineup tonight, while Martin Havlat and Adam Burish are both still on the mend.
For Phoenix, Rostislav Klesla is still suffering whiplash and concussion-like symptoms due to this Jordan Nolan hit. Paul Bissonnette hoped off the bench to defend Klesla on that bench and will be unavailable tonight due to suspension.