Reasons to be positive

ROBIN BROWNLEE, EDMONTON SUN

, Last Updated: 11:32 AM ET

PHOENIX -- Marty Reasoner and Ethan Moreau were well into double-digits in games without a goal when the first puck dropped against the Phoenix Coyotes last night.

Moreau had gone 15 games without turning on the red light and Reasoner had reached 12. They had company in Jarret Stoll and Raffi Torres, who'd each gone seven games without a sniff.

"I'm keenly aware the offensive part of our game isn't at the level it was at three or four weeks ago," coach Craig MacTavish said.

"I think our defensive side of the game is better, which leads me to believe we'll be able to survive this stretch until our players start putting the puck in the net again on a more regular basis.

"As long as you're not getting beat night in and night out by the line you're playing against, which they're not."

Well, not in Moreau's case, at least. Moreau's managed to say on the plus-side of the ledger despite his drought. He faced Phoenix at plus-1 in his last 15 games. Reasoner was minus-8.

"It goes in cycles," Moreau said. "A lot of our time is penalty killing and there's very little 5-on-5. It's tough to provide offence when the bulk of your time is shorthanded.

"There's a lot of things you can do out there to influence the course of a game. Our focus right now is on checking. Having said that, we will provide offence. We're in a spot now where we don't really care where it comes from, we just need to get enough to win."

Reasoner's numbers have been hurt by a minus-2 game against Minnesota Dec. 26 and a minus-3 against Calgary Dec. 31. Reasoner has been even in four games during his scoring drought.

"Everybody puts pressure on themselves to produce," Reasoner said. "Especially when you go through the (three-game losing) stretch like we did before the San Jose game.

"We're being counted on two play responsibly defensively. Roles change."


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