After Devin Cooley's first NHL win, Sharks look for a second straight against Coyotes

Dec 21, 2023; San Jose, California, USA; Arizona Coyotes defenseman Matt Dumba (24) controls the
Dec 21, 2023; San Jose, California, USA; Arizona Coyotes defenseman Matt Dumba (24) controls the / Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

A great moment for the San Jose Sharks yesterday against the St Louis Blues was when Devin Cooley, the junior Sharks product, got his first career win in the Teal of his hometown team. It saw William Eklund net his first career hat trick, and the Sharks enjoyed a rare win in this miserable season. Wins seldomly come for the San Jose organization this year, but they can grab another one tonight when they host the Arizona Coyotes.

Arizona finds itself in a similar situation as the Sharks tonight. The dream of postseason glory faded many months ago, and the Coyotes currently hold the 28th position overall, 25 points ahead of the Sharks. With only six games remaining, both teams will be vying for a better draft position. However, the players on the ice are not in favor of intentionally losing games. They are playing for their careers and NHL places next year.

As for tonight's game, Cooley's great story last night means that we should expect Mackenzie Blackwood to get the nod tonight. He's been excellent for the Sharks this season despite a lackluster team in front of him. Blackwood will have to stand on his head again tonight when the Sharks play in the second half of this back-to-back. A tired team means the netminder will likely get little help tonight.

Projected Lineups

Arizona Coyotes

Clayton Keller - Nick Bjugstad - Nick Schmaltz
Lawson Crouse - Logan Cooley - Dylan Guenther
Matias Maccelli - Jack McBain - Josh Doan
Liam O'Brien - Alex Kerfoot - Michael Carcone
J.J Moser - Sean Durzi
Juuso Valimaki - Michael Kesselring
Travis Dermott - Josh Brown
Karel Vejmelka
Connor Ingram

San Jose Sharks

Klim Kostin - Mikael Granlund - Fabian Zetterlund
William Eklund - Luke Kunin - Collin Graf
Thomas Bordeleau - Jack Studnicka - Filip Zadina
Jacob MacDonald - Nico Sturm - Justin Bailey
Mario Ferraro - Jan Rutta
Henry Thrun - Kyle Burroughs
Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Calen Addison
Mackenzie Blackwood
Devin Cooley

Puck Drop

Tonight's game from the Shark Tank will start at 3 p.m. to finish off this matinee weekend. When the Sharks take to the ice, they will be looking for a second straight win, which has been the equivalent of a flying pig this season; it hasn't happened too often. It is a winnable game, and the Sharks wouldn't mess with their draft position because the Blackhawks defeated the Dallas Stars last night. Another win would be a tremendous feel-good factor for Collin Graf's NHL career.