We talked earlier today about how defense is a strength of the Phoenix Coyotes. One thing that sticks out as a sore point for the team, however, is offense.
Take a look at their goals per-game averages have looked each of the last five seasons (NHL rank in parenthesis):
2012-2013: 2.52 (21)
2011-2012: 2.56 (18)
2010-2011: 2.76 (14)
2009-2010: 2.57 (24)
2008-2009: 2.50 (26)
That kind of offensive output isn’t very good. It also shows the bell curve of how things have gone recently.
In speaking with Coyotes GM Don Maloney, he recognized the lack of offense as an issue he’d like to still address. Adding Mike Ribeiro as a free agent this summer will help. His past with coach Dave Tippett saw him produce his best offensive seasons in Dallas. That history appealed to both player and GM alike.
Will it be enough to add more goals? That’s debatable.
Maloney has said there’ll be competition for as many as three forward spots in training camp. Youngsters like Max Domi and Henrik Samuelsson will get a shot at making the team along with players from their AHL team in Portland (Chris Brown and Lucas Lessio to name two).
The Coyotes have done well enough in the past to fill needs from within, but if that’s what they have to do this season you can almost expect more of the same from last year. That puts pressure on Shane Doan, Radim Vrbata, and Antoine Vermette to step up their games.
If that’s what it boils down to, goalie Mike Smith has to have a strong bounce-back season for the Coyotes to make a run at the postseason.