Paul Adey has described the Belfast Giants 5-0 defeat to Coventry Blaze as a warning for the entire Elite League.
After blowing away both the Edinburgh Capitals and Cardiff Devils on the opening weekend of the season the Giants were left stunned by Blaze's clinical finishing as Adey saw his team fail to hit the net.
Coventry took an early lead after less than three minutes and as the Giants missed a glut of scoring chances Blaze kept turning the screw and their finishing ability, as well as a top drawer performance from goaltender Mike Zacharias, made them deserved winners.
"There is a lot of parity in the league this year and teams are going to beat each other right through to the end of the season," said Adey.
"You look at Nottingham going up to Scotland for the weekend and losing to Dundee as well as needing a shoot-out to beat Fife.
"Edinburgh have a good team, although we beat them they kept us out for almost two periods.
"We knew Coventry were a good team and that it would be a tough game – and that's exactly what we got.
"Every team has improved, every team will fight for the two points.
"There are no gimmes in this league."
Adam Henrich gave Coventry the perfect start to the game when he netted on the powerplay after Darryl Lloyd had been sent to the penalty box and at 10:46 his brother Michael doubled the advantage.
In between Evan Cheverie (pictured) and Mark Garside both brought great saves from Zacharias and even a fight between David Phillips and Matt Selby couldn't bring about a change of momentum for the Giants.
The Giants were seconds away from killing a penalty early in the second period before Ryan Ginand extended Coventry's lead and there was really no way back after that.
Both Adam Henrich and Ginand scored their second of the game in the final six minutes to give the scoreline a one-sided look, but Adey claimed that it didn't reflect the game.
"The problem was that we couldn't put the puck in the net," he said.
"We had chances, we created a lot and our overall play in general was fine.
"We out-shot Coventry by 40-21, which shows the kind of dominance we had, but their goalie had a really good night and we couldn't get past him.
"That happens, but we won't come up against that every night."
Adey did admit, however, that certain aspects of his teams play must improve ahead of home games against the Dundee Stars and Braehead Clan on Friday and Saturday nights.
"We weren't perfect. There were times when we picked the wrong passes or passed when we could have shot and it seemed that we paid for every mistake," he said.
"Every time that we coughed up the puck in the neutral zone it ended up in our net.
"I tried to tweak a couple of things to get us a goal. We had some more chances, but we couldn't get past their goalie.
"I do think that if we scored one goal then the floodgates may have opened, but unfortunately for us it just wasn't to be.
"It's not a big concern because we had chances. If we'd lost 5-0 without creating chances then that would be a problem."