San Jose Sharks Road Woes Linger at Arizona Coyotes


The San Jose Sharks road woes continued with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Arizona Coyotes Saturday, Nov. 19…

After three wins started the longest trip of the 2016-17 NHL season, the San Jose Sharks road woes returned. They were unable to score enough against the defensively-challenged Arizona Coyotes Saturday, Nov. 19.

Mike Smith was the latest goalie San Jose was unable to beat more than twice. In fact, that has been accomplished just five times in 18 games. Arizona came in giving up 3.38 goals per game, worse than every team but the Philadelphia Flyers.

Thus a once-promising road trip ends just 3-2-1. Worse, the Sharks are where they started—coming off a third consecutive defeat that includes losing to the Coyotes.

Related Story: Scoring Woes Costly for San Jose in Arizona

San Jose is now just 5-6-1 on the road on the 2016-17 NHL season. This after being the best road team last season and in the top third the year before despite a losing record overall.

The biggest challenge both home and away has been scoring. The Sharks are 1-0-0 at SAP Center and 3-1-0 away from it when they score three on a manned net. They are 3-2-0 and 2-5-1 respectively when they do not.

They have now failed to score three against either Arizona goalie. Louie Domingue held them to two on 41 shots Nov. 1. San Jose peppered Smith even more Saturday.

Oct 3, 2013; Glendale, AZ, USA; Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith (41) looks on during the second period against the New York Rangers at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
The 2016-17 San Jose Sharks road woes continued vs. Mike Smith and the Arizona Coyotes Saturday, Nov. 19. Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports /

The Sharks dominated most event summary statistics: 35-34 faceoffs, 2-7 giveaways, 45-26 shots and 79-46 attempts. The Coyotes won takeaways 5-2 and hits 32-15 because of spending twice the time defending but still managed just two more blocks (15-13).

Bad Start, Strong Finish

San Jose had a 17-4 shooting edge in the first period. However, Paul Martin got caught pinching in the first two minutes. That was the first of three errors leading to an odd-man rush score.

Brent Burns played the passer rather than keeping his eye on the pass target. Martin Jones failed to adjust, leaving himself no chance at the one-timed shot that followed. Tobias Rieder started a monster night by punching home a Jordan Martinook pass to the slot.

Arizona was the better team for most of the second period despite a 10-12 shot deficit. The only score came when Max Domi buried a soft goal, making Jones pay for not properly sealing the near post.

The Sharks came back in the third. Captain Joe Pavelski deflected home a Justin Braun shot 41 seconds in. Tommy Wingels did the same with a Matt Nieto shot under 10 minutes later to tie the game.

The Coyotes were outshot 18-7 in the third but owned the brief overtime. Martin Hanzal deflected an Alex Goligoski shot-pass home 76 seconds in to win it.

Nevertheless, coming away with a point left San Jose with the positive of an over-.500 road trip. Moreover, no team has played as many games away from home this 2016-17 NHL season.

Having a dozen road games behind them gives the Sharks reason for Thanksgiving beyond simply being home to enjoy it. Finding the scoring they have only flashed so far this fall would give them even more.