NHL Picks: Sharks & Coyotes

David Lawrence

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 2:47 PM GMT

One more loss for the Phoenix Coyotes and they’ll be spending the next couple of months at spas and golf courses instead of the NHL playoffs. In the middle of March, they looked like they’d be part of the postseason party but a massive slump has derailed those plans. They need a win in the worst way on Wednesday as they have just three games remaining.


Record: 140-155 (-364) 

 

The San Jose Sharks can win because… 

The Coyotes are not just in a slump; they are a bad team. Phoenix has lost four of five and 13 of 19, but it’s not like they were a Stanley Cup contender before that. The Coyotes have been hovering around the .500 mark all season and are in this position for a reason.

Worse yet, the Coyotes should be playing with some desperation these days but they are coming off a 4-0 shutout loss to Detroit on Monday. On top of that, they’ve scored just six goals in their last five games. Keep that in mind before you consider adding them to your NHL picks on Wednesday

The Phoenix Coyotes can win because…

The Sharks are inconsistent. They should be playing with some fight to them since they are battling for home-ice advantage in the playoffs but the Sharks are coming off a 5-3 home loss to Columbus. The Sharks are just 4-4 in their last eight, which shows that there really isn’t a huge difference between these teams. 

Goaltender Mike Smith plays great against the Sharks. The Sharks have beaten the Coyotes three of the four times this season but the lone time the Coyotes won (1-0), Smith was in net. People examining the NHL odds should note that he’s 5-1-1 in his last seven against San Jose while allowing just 13 goals. He’s the reason the Coyotes have a chance on Wednesday.

[gameodds]7/225535/43/us[/gameodds]

Outlook & Pick 

The two teams have squared off four times this season and the Sharks have taken three meetings. That includes a 4-0 shutout by the Sharks in Phoenix two Mondays ago. Smith should give the Coyotes a shot but he’s playing through a lower-body injury, which means he won’t be at 100%. Given how the two teams are playing these days, there’s no reason to back the Coyotes in this spot. 

Free NHL Pick: Sharks +102 at Pinnacle