Chilliwack Chiefs head coach Harvey Smyl doesn’t expect his team to light the league on fire offensively. But he does expect them to score more than one goal a game.
With six games now in the book, his BCHL club has scored just eight times.
They’ve yet to score more than two in a game and Jaret Babych’s four points leads the team in scoring.
“We’re going to have to face the fact that we’re not as gifted as we have been the last few years,” Smyl said. “But we’re also not nearly as bad as it looks right now. Confidence and frustration is an issue, and I really think it will come.”
The Chiefs got one goal Saturday night in a 2-1 home ice loss to the Prince George Spruce Kings.
Zach Diamantoni got it.
“Zach played really well this weekend, and did some good things,” Smyl said. “His puck protection skills are incredible.”
Diamantoni was held off the scoresheet Sunday as the Chiefs fell 5-2 to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.
Ben Butcher and Kurt Black got the goals in that one.
Butcher’s was pretty, with the Bellingham native charging down the middle and snapping a feed from Cooper Rush past Salmon Arm’s Adam Clark.
Black’s was a greasy goal as the Winfield native got his stick on a Rush wrister from the point.
“We also missed a lot of Grade A opportunities,” Smyl lamented.
If there was any positivity from the weekend, it came from improved defensive play.
After bleeding shots and goals through the first four games, a tighter Chiefs D kept things tidy. Sunday’s game was 2-1 late in the third period before Salmon Arm scored two quick ones to put it away.
An empty netter made the final score look worse.
“Our defensive coverage was much better this weekend — our play without the puck, our positioning and assignments — much better,” Smyl noted. “The little things you need to do as a group, I thought we were much better at.”
Smyl will spend this week looking at a couple players who were healthy scratches Sunday night.
Blake Gober and Jacob Hand were both held out of the lineup, eyebrow raising scratches for a team in need of goals.
“When you’re battling and doing the types of things you need to do, you want to make sure you’re working hard on a consistent basis,” Smyl said with a read-between-the-lines explanation. “We didn’t think it was happening with certain guys. We put guys in based on try and effort and we’ll go back to work today and see how the week goes.”
October starts with a home-and-home versus Coquitlam, Friday in Coquitlam and Saturday night (7 p.m.) in Chilliwack.
See chilliwackchiefs.net for more.