The Phoenix Coyotes struggled mightily last season to put the puck in the net—finishing 26th in the league for goals per game. That hasn't changed so far this season, as they rank near the bottom in goals for. What has changed, is their goals against.
Through the first five games the Coyotes have averaged an outstanding 1.40 goals against per game. In the process, they shut down two of the leagues most offensively powered teams in the Pittsburgh Penguins and the San Jose Sharks.
Dave Tippett and his coaching staff seem to have put in a defensive system that works for the Coyotes. It seems like the team can finally have a true identity for the first time in a long time.
Ilya Bryzgalov is on pace to amass 33 shutouts, a stat that obviously would be near impossible to reach. Although he will have a tough time keeping up his early season stats, Bryzgalov should improve greatly on his numbers from last season.
So the question is—will this defensive system hold up for the Coyotes or will they have to start putting the puck in the net more often? Only time will tell.