The Phoenix Coyotes are expecting a great deal more out of their offense in 2013-14. A team built on defense and goaltending, the Coyotes have seen a lack of offense lead their demise over the course of the last couple of years, including the playoffs in 2011-12 before missing out on the postseason last year.
One player that they could use more from is Martin Hanzal, the team’s second line center. Hanzal has gotten off to a pretty decent start this year, with a couple of points in the first two games of the season, but this is ultimately a player that should be an offensive centerpiece for the Coyotes.
Hanzal’s career high for points in a season is only 35, which came in his rookie season back in 2007-08. He’s approached that mark in two of the last three seasons, before the lockout shortened 2013 year, but has been limited by injuries that cost him almost 40 games in each of his last two full campaigns.
In the event that Hanzal was able to play out a full 82-game season (he’s only surpassed the 80 game mark once in his career), he’s easily the type of player that could put up 40 or 50 points for the Coyotes. Production like that would make all the difference for a team that needs all of the offensive help they can get.
Playing next to Radim Vrbata should mean easy points for Hanzal. That should equate to a handful of assists, just dishing to the right winger alone, not to mention his other side. In addition to the goals he’s able to get, and he’s a guy that could pot 15-20 or more as that big body down around the net, a 50-point campaign in 2013-14 shouldn’t be at all out of the question.
The Coyotes need to be more effective offensively. This is a completely obvious statement. That offense is going to have to come more from players stepping up than anything. One player who needs to do it, and has the tools to do it, is Martin Hanzal. If he can remain healthy throughout the year, it shouldn’t be a problem. If he’s able to remain in the lineup, this club will be that much better off as the season wears on.