Mar 30, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; Phoenix Coyotes goalie Jason LaBarbera (1) blocks a shot by San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski (8) during the first period at the HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Coyotes preview: first of a pair at home vs. San Jose

NO MARGIN FOR ERROR. Every game going forward is a must win for the Phoenix Coyotes.  No hoping for the other teams to lose but only that we win.

With the biggest portion of the stretch ahead, a 3-game Midwest road trip, the pair of home games vs. the Sharks has to be hockey the hard way. Phoenix has done well vs. San Jose but have given away leads a few times. One of those were a 3-1 lead mid 3rd that ended 5-3 Sharks. Unforgivable when you have a 2 goal lead and leave pointless when 9 minutes earlier you were controlling the game.

Of course the Sharks have that big top line but other than that I like the Coyotes chances. San Jose doesn’t exactly have an easy road and even though they are the 5 seed now, they will fight to hold onto a playoff spot with several tough games with 2 back to backs. Both include the Coyotes with the latter being more favorable for Phoenix as that would be the 2nd night. Making this one the most important game of the season. Fans will be raucous and know the ramifications of the game. The Dawgs should be smarting from the Calgary game they let a point slip away.

Mike Smith has played well and it seems each game he give up 1 goal and allows a 2nd on crazy circumstances. Seems like 3 is the magic number. If Phoenix scores 3 goals they are hard to beat.

It all comes down to 11 teams for 8 spots. 4 are a near lock while 2 are close to that. Meaning realistically we’re talking 2 spots for 5 teams. If Phoenix wants to make the post season they should keep up the hard work and upbeat push they display at times. I like pinching a defensemen, charging to the net, and getting vulcanized rubber at the goal.  Most of their goals lately have been tough angle wristers that found their way into the back of the net.

It all starts today and I hope the ‘Yotes go OBama on them and collect that tax.

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