Edinburgh Capitals’ coaching team of Richard Hartmann and Jock Hay were left red-faced after an embarrassing 10-0 loss at Cardiff Devils last night.
Player-coach Hartmann struggled to find words to describe an Edinburgh performance which lacked quality and intensity in every department.
“We were disgraceful, what more can I say?” said Hartmann. “All night we played like selfish individuals, who pointed fingers at one another when things went wrong.
“I’d like to apologise to our fans that made the long trip down to see us play or paid to watch the game on the webcast. We all let you down.”
This year’s Capitals team, that after a very poor start to the season looked to have turned a corner in their Elite League campaign with three straight wins, had on paper the size and presence to deal with what was always going to be a physical game on Cardiff’s small ice pad.
Capitals’ bench coach, Jock Hay, said: “Every year Cardiff put together a team built to play in that rink. We should have been able to match them, but from the start we didn’t do that.
“We allowed them so much time and space, we were two paces behind them all night, and lost all the physical battles.”
Hay defended Edinburgh’s brand of “possession hockey” that would appear more suited to the Olympic-sized rink at Murrayfield than the Cardiff Ice Arena, known affectionately as the Big Blue Tent.
“The size of the rink should not affect how we play,” continued Hay. “If anything, the lack of space should mean we play tighter together as a unit, and it should have been easier to close down the space and pick up our guys. Okay, you don’t get as much time on the puck as you would do at Murrayfield, but we have experienced players on this team who should have been able to deal with it.
“This performance was not down to tactics or systems – it was down to not showing up. Everyone in that dressing room knows that simply was just not good enough.”
The Cardiff performance was a fitting tribute to Devils’ home-grown legend Jason Stone, who played with the Welsh outfit for 21 seasons, and had his shirt retired to the rafters in a pre-game ceremony that delayed the opening face-off by 20 minutes.
For the watching, Stone, who fittingly wore the number ten shirt, the night couldn’t have been scripted any better. It’s just a shame for the Caps’ faithful that the Edinburgh players learned their lines just a little too well.
“It’s not the best situation,” admitted Hay. “You warm up and then you stand waiting on the ice for 15-20 minutes, but it’s no excuse. It was the same for the Cardiff players and whilst we were sluggish they came out flying.
“We have to learn from this – this kind of performance cannot happen again, but at the same time we need to forget about it and move on. We have two very important conference games this weekend and that is what we will be focusing on.”
Cardiff opened the scoring in the third minute and at 5-0 ahead were home and dry by the end of the second period. The scoring was spread around the Devils’ line-up, with doubles from Jessie Mychan and man-of-the-match Joey Martin, plus goals from Jake Morisette, Matthew Myers, Brent Walton, Doug Clarkson and Joey Haddad.
Meanwhile, Capitals’ Scottish National League side continued their unbeaten start to the season, winning both their games this weekend. They followed up Saturday’s 6-0 defeat of Dundee Tigers in the semi-final of the Autumn Cup with a 6-2 league win over Solway Sharks SNL at Murrayfield last night.