The Arizona Coyotes are working on becoming the new Buffalo Sabres for the San Jose Jose Sharks. Mike Smith has always been a pest in the absolute worst sense of the word for San Jose. He of the 11-7-3 record and .944 save percentage when playing against the Sharks compared to a paltry .913 career save percentage. Smith is one of San Jose’s greatest nemeses.
So too are the Coyotes. San Jose holds a 70-60 mark against the Coyotes with seven ties all time. I didn’t look at overtime losses because Jesus Christ how is it even that close. San Jose has won 21 of the last 34 meetings, which frankly is more than it feels like after winning just one of its first three meetings this season (and it took overtime to win that one).
To be clear, the Sharks haven’t played poorly against the Coyotes; far from it. More often than not, San Jose racks up shots, scoring chances and loses after running into a wall made of stringy hair and brick-colored sweater. The Sharks averaged 42.67 shots on goal in their first three games against the Coyotes and lost two of those games. That’s the sign of an unlucky hockey team.
Bad luck and Smith’s hair notwithstanding, San Jose heads home for one game to try to extend its winning streak to three games against the worst team in the Pacific. This is the Sharks’ last game at home before heading on a four-game road trip that takes them to the East Coast. They return to SAP Center on Feb. 15 to take on the Panthers for the second and final time this season; it may be your last chance to see Jaromir Jagr in person, so act accordingly.*
*Yes, it is my third or fourth time saying that.