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Sharks vs. Coyotes Preview: Can we just beat these guys?

Get it together, Shorks.

NHL: San Jose Sharks at Arizona Coyotes Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

They didn’t play well in the first game and then Mike Smith stood on his head in the second meeting. Sorry, wasn’t your question “how in the world are the Sharks 0-2 against the Coyotes this season?” No? Well there’s the answer, anyway.

Arizona wins the season series against the Sharks if the Coyotes win tonight. That, while not particularly meaningful, would be a stain on San Jose’s resume. Getting fired from McDonald’s after two weeks probably won’t keep you from getting hired after college, but it doesn’t look good, anyway.

The Coyotes are the worst possession team in the NHL (5v5 FF%, score and venue adjusted, from while the Sharks are still one of the league’s best. That territorial advantage came to fruition in San Jose’s overtime loss to the Coyotes, but Arizona got great goaltending from Smith and got two points.

San Jose will get some bodies back tonight, it appears. Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Melker Karlsson were full participants in Monday’s practice and I expect both to play tonight. Ryan Carpenter will probably stick around as the fourth line center, and my guess is we’ll see either Mikkel Boedker or Tommy Wingels skate with him and Matt Nieto.

That would put Kevin Labanc with Chris Tierney and Karlsson on the third line. Would that look better with Tomas Hertl? Sure. Does it still look pretty good? Hell yeah it does.

This game starts a back-to-back that finishes on Wednesday in Los Angeles against the Kings. As such, Aaron Dell will almost definitely start tonight so Martin Jones gets another chance to play against his former team. Jones is undefeated in Staples Center as a member of the Sharks.

You can see the game on CSN-California, while Wednesday’s contest will be broadcast on NBC Sports. Go Sharks.