The Phoenix Coyotes ended San Jose's lengthy reign as Pacific Division champions in 2011-12, but the Sharks have shown that they may be ready to reclaim that crown. Until their most recent game, the Coyotes didn't have the look of a team that was poised to repeat.
San Jose will seek to remain unbeaten in its home opener and might have caught a break if Mike Smith can't go for the Coyotes on Thursday night.
The Sharks (2-0-0) had won four consecutive division titles before finishing one point behind the surprising Coyotes last season. Phoenix also made its way to the conference finals while San Jose was defeated in the first round of the playoffs and failed once again to make a long-awaited run to the Stanley Cup finals.
The Sharks, though, have been ready for the start of this shortened season. After winning 4-1 in Calgary on Sunday, they jumped on Edmonton early in a 6-3 victory Tuesday.
San Jose scored a franchise-record six goals in the opening period with Patrick Marleau and...