The Arizona Coyotes have scored just one goal in their first two games of the 2019/20 NHL season and already there is panic brewing.
The biggest concern for the Coyotes last season and over the past few years has been a lack of scoring, which has led to a number of struggles on the ice before a surprise push towards the playoffs in 2018/19.
Now, just two games into the new season, the Coyotes are showing very similar production that is undoubtedly worrying fans.
Despite dropping to a 0-2-0 record and registering just one goal, the Coyotes have looked good on the ice - largely thanks to their strong defensive play and goaltending from Darcy Kuemper, both continuing where they left off last season.
With a lack of goals, however, fans will still be worried that the team is in for another long, difficult season despite so much optimism heading into the new campaign.
But goals will come for the Arizona Coyotes, as long as they continue to play with the same persistence they have shown in these opening two games.
Arizona out-shot the Ducks 33-29 in their season opener while keeping the Bruins to just 26 shots and having 35 of their own in their home opener.
The 68 combined shots over their first two games is a positive sign, showing that the team is getting the opportunities but are just not being as clinical as they need to be in order to hit the twine.
Against the Bruins, the Coyotes’ top line of Clayton Keller, Derek Stepan and Phil Kessel combined for 13 of their 35 shots, with Keller and Kessel getting five each.
The team’s top line is looking like a real threat this season, with another goal or two helping to keep confidence high and push the team forward.
Tocchet may need to look at his forward lines, with the early stage of the season an ideal time for experimentation.
Nick Schmaltz, who built up some great chemistry with Keller before his season-ending injury last year, failed to register a shot the entire game, with his linemates combining for five total.
A mix up of offensive lines may help the team figure out a system that works and increases their goalscoring rate. With the top line producing so many shots, perhaps rotating the likes of Keller with someone such as Conor Garland, who has an excellent drive and work ethic on the ice, could produce even more.
Having depth in scoring is desperately needed to compete in the NHL and if the Coyotes rely too heavily on their top line to be to fruit bearers, it could become a difficult season very early on.
But with so many chances, maybe it is just too early to start panicking and things will correct themselves in time, leading to the Coyotes getting their campaign on track without too much needing to happen behind the scenes.