It wasn’t as heartbreaking as the last exit from LA, but not the one the Sharks were hoping for before returning home from an otherwise promising 10 game road trip. On the road they were nigh unstoppable, coming home 3-1-1 and tonight they’re set to match up against a surging Phoenix Coyotes team. Dan Boyle makes his reappearance alongside 3rd star of the month of October goaltender Antti Niemi and the leagues’ rookie of the month (teenage mutant ninja aka Tomas) Hertl.
After 10 games away from home, the team (and the fans) are ready for a Saturday night on home ice. The Sharks look to corral their penalty kill unit which, after being flawless in the first four games of the trip, dropped 2 power-play goals in 6 chances, including the one that led to their demise in OT at Staples Center.
Opponent: Phoenix Coyotes
Opponent Record: (Last 10) 7-1-2
Offense: Good. After toppling Nashville 5-4 in a shoot out in their last game, and erasing a 3-0 deficit the Desert Dogs may give Niemi a little trouble.
Defense: Sketchy. 16 goals allowed in the last 4 games leaves plenty of room for San Jose to open the flood gates
Power Play: Decent. (21.2%, 12th in the NHL)
Penalty Kill: Mediocre: (18th in the NHL with 81.1%)
Players to Watch: Sharks: Dan Boyle makes his return to the ice tonight, expect the veteran to come out on all cylinders. Coyotes: Keith Yandle has a 5 game points streak going, with a goal and eight assists.
Phoenix turns to Mike Smith in net who is 4-0-0 in the last 5, despite a nasty 3.00 GAA. Don’t let that fool you Sharks fans, he’s stood tall against the Sharks with a 6-1-1 record against us in the last 8 games, a 1.23 GAA and an impressive outing stopping 47 shots.
The Sharks turn to the trusty Nemo in net, who has played impressively against the Phoenix squad going 6-0-1 with a 1.81 GAA in the last 8.
Fun Fact of the Day:
Congrats to our play by play man Dan!