Two huge banners hang prominently outside of Cambria County War Memorial Arena.

The billboard-sized banners are nearly impossible to miss.

Johnstown Chiefs forward Jean Desrochers is depicted on a large portion of the poster, and even larger is the word: “Believe.”

The one-word slogan is intended for Chiefs fans hoping to see a new era and a lengthy playoff run.

But after an 0-4-3 start, maybe the message should be redirected to the Chiefs themselves.

The Chiefs had never gone more than five games without a win during 17 previous ECHL seasons.

But after Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the Wheeling Nailers at Cambria County War Memorial Arena, Johnstown is reeling.

Four one-goal losses and Saturday’s two-goal setback that was padded by an empty-net goal indicate that the Chiefs are in nearly every game.

In fact, over the first two weekends, Johnstown held leads in each game but couldn’t win.

First-year coach Frank Anzalone frequently has mentioned the number of new faces in his locker room and the challenge of learning and executing the Tampa Bay Lightning system.

But Anzalone and even some of his players said Saturday night that there must be accountability for the slow start, not excuses.

“I think, myself personally, we all have to take more responsibility upon ourselves to do our jobs and do what got us here,” said Chiefs second-year forward Joe Tallari, who has one goal and three points.

“There comes a time where we have to execute our systems and do well out there,” Tallari added. “Frank can only say that for so long, then we’re responsible for the rest.”

Most alarming is the Chiefs’ 0-2-2 home record. In four games at the War Memorial, Johnstown scored 10 goals, or five fewer than the opposition.

“It’s not an easy situation,” Anzalone said. “We’ve lost games at home where we’re supposed to have that edge. I expected certain guys on this team that have scored in the past to score at home. I thought they would be very productive at home. They have not been. We’re losing home games because the other team’s top scorers are scoring.”

There are no miracle fixes. It comes down to execution, work ethic, and, yes, luck.

The Chiefs haven’t been able to put all three of those items together for a sustained period of time.

Maybe, it’s all about to come together.

Maybe not.

“I think the players need to be accountable and responsible also,” Anzalone said. “They need to accept the challenge. Things don’t always go the way you want them to.

“Yeah, you dig holes. Sometimes you dig them yourself. Sometimes the other guys dig them for you.”

Seven games without a win is the type of drought that can divide a team. That’s a scenario the Chiefs must avoid or this slow start might mushroom into a season-long disaster.

“The main thing is not to get down on each other,” Desrochers said in a totally quiet locker room. “Obviously, it’s a new system and a lot of new faces. We’re trying to find the right combinations. Right now, things are not going our way. Hopefully the bounces are going to start going our way.”

Of course, as the face on those larger-than-life “Believe” banners, Desrochers had perhaps the most optimistic outlook.

“The chances are there,” he said. “We’ve just got to battle through it. Once one goes in, they’re going to start going in bunches.”

Minus a single win to this point, the Chiefs have no choice but to believe as much.

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