As Edinburgh Capitals go into tomorrow’s Elite League match with Cardiff Devils at Murrayfield (face-off 5.30pm), fans will be eager to see if they can pick up where they left off after last Sunday’s stunning third-period fightback saw them pip rivals Fife Flyers 5-4 after overtime.
Capitals player-coach Riley Emmerson, meanwhile, admits it would be “every coach’s dream” if his side were to repeat the same intensity and determination shown in that 20-minute spell over the full game against the current league leaders.
He said: “The main thing we focused on after the Fife game was that we played terribly for forty minutes. We watched the video and saw how easily our goals against could have been prevented. We also looked at the positives and how we redeemed ourselves in the third period – that last twenty minutes was great.
“It’s every team’s goal to play a full game like that. In hockey, you make mistakes and there are ups and downs but, if we can all continue to buy into the programme and put together a sixty like that, well, that’s every coach’s dream. It’s certainly something to strive for.”
In truth for Edinburgh, missing injured forward David Rutherford and still working on a replacement for Everett Sheen who left the club last week, it could take something not far short of a flawless performance to take anything from a red-hot Devils side. The Welsh outfit have yet to lose at home this season and impressed last weekend taking three out of four points in a double-header at Belfast Giants.
But Edinburgh do have momentum of their own, something Sunday’s match-winner Paul Zanette believes is important as the Murrayfield men look for their fifth straight win on home ice. The Canadian, who also holds an Italian passport, said: “It was a great character win for us – the way we didn’t give up after we fell behind. The leaders in the dressing-room took this team and gave us momentum going into a big game tomorrow. We don’t quit. We try our best to go out there and get it done.”
Edinburgh will be boosted by news that tough ‘D’ man Kyle Bigos is cleared to play after Fife Flyers complained to the league’s Department of Player Safety following Sunday’s game over a hit made on Michael Dorr during the third period.
Bigos was not penalised at the time and, after reviewing video evidence DOPS, revealed no further action would be taken against the player. Bigos was a stand-out performer when the two clubs met last month in Wales, despite Cardiff running out eventual 4-0 winners.
Zanette, Caps’ assistant captain – signed a two-year deal this summer – continued: “We’re going to be ready. The game down there, that rink was tough to play in. It’s fun but they play really well there. I didn’t think it was a 4-0 game. We had plenty of chances but their goalie played great. We made a few mistakes and they jumped on us. They’re first in the league and are a good team for a reason but, with this being our only game this weekend, we can leave it all out on the ice and just see what happens.”
Zanette added: “It’s awesome that Riley made me one of the assistant captains and it’s a role I take pretty seriously. I just try to lead by example on and off the ice and bring to the table the good things I’ve seen from leaders I’ve played for, and avoid the bad things I’ve seen over the years.”