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Sharks vs. Coyotes Preview: So ... now can they beat Mike Smith?

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San Jose battles Arizona and its greatest nemesis.

NHL: Arizona Coyotes at San Jose Sharks Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

San Jose gets back in action against the Arizona Coyotes in a Saturday Night on Ice contest against the Desert Dogs at 5 p.m. PT. In other words, if Randy Hahn wants your liver to suffer, he will make sure it does tonight. The game gets going in Glendale to start a back-to-back before the Sharks get their CBA-mandated bye week and San Jose could really use a win against an opponent far below their weight class; though that hasn’t meant much this season because of Mike Smith.

The Sharks are 1-1-2 against the Coyotes this year and again take the season series against the Desert Dogs with a regulation win tonight. To do that, they’ll have to find the back of the net against a goalie that has had their number all year. San Jose has a little help on the way in the form of rookie Nikolay Goldobin, who could make his 2016-17 NHL debut tonight.

Timo Meier played with the San Jose Barracuda on Friday, potting a goal and an assist, and further proving he doesn’t belong with the kids. No player stops learning, least of all someone with as little pro experience as Meier, but we can stop fawning over head coach Pete DeBoer’s masterful youth management if Goldobin sits tomorrow and Micheal Haley plays while Meier feasts on children in the AHL.

San Jose plays Arizona tonight before heading back home to host the Boston Bruins on Sunday before taking a much-needed vacation. The Sharks have looked a bit gassed of late thanks to the compressed schedule and this break should do them a world of good. Getting Goldobin into the lineup might finally be the piece that helps the Sharks solve Smith, too. While the defense (and Martin Jones) have struggled lately, perhaps another offensive dynamo is what San Jose needs to succeed against its goaltending bogeyman. It can’t hurt, right?