Player coach Riley Emmerson blasted Edinburgh Capitals’ “selfish players” following last night’s 6-2 home defeat by Dundee Stars at Murrayfield, promising under-performing imports have ten days and three games to save their jobs.
Coupled with Saturday’s 3-0 loss to Fife Flyers in Kirkcaldy, it’s now seven straight defeats for Emmerson’s men who look a shadow of the team they were a month ago, and the frustrated Canadian said: “We have selfish players here, who don’t think about the team first. It’s not going to happen any more and we’re going to have to make changes. It’s been the same problems several games in a row, there is no commitment and we won’t have that. We need to have guys who want to be here and work hard for our club.”
Releasing players and bringing in replacements has proved notoriously difficult for cash-strapped Caps in previous seasons, and asked whether wholesale changes were a realistic proposition Emmerson replied: “It is, and I think it’s something that needs to happen. Just because Edinburgh is not a big budget team doesn’t mean we can’t shake things up and get some fresh faces in.
“We’ve got too many players who want to be the skilled go-to-guy and have no forwards committed to being the high-man and helping out on the back-check to help us win games.
“I’m hoping they can turn this around but if it doesn’t get any better in the next week to ten days changes will be happening.
“We’ve got a big home game against Fife on Hogmanay and then two games next weekend against Nottingham and Sheffield. These three games are going to be the deciding factors for a lot of my players.”
Despite taking the lead after only 40 seconds through a goal from Paul Zanette, it was a dreadful opening period from the home side who trailed 4-1 after 20 minutes.
Blunders gifted a hard working Stars team three quick goals from the sticks of Bobby Chaumont, Lou Dickenson and Riley Wetmore.
Led by strong performances from former Caps’ players Curtis Leinweber with four assists, and Dickenson who scored twice, the Tayside outfit, who had started the game almost as badly as the home side, grew in confidence and scored a well worked fourth through Justin Fariyna at 19 minutes and ten seconds.
Chaumont had already scored Dundee’s fifth midway through the second period before Fariyna was assessed a match penalty for a check-to-the head of Capitals blue-liner Nate Fleming, closely followed by a tripping penalty to Dundee’s Jason Gray. Despite a two-man advantage for a full two minutes, plus the major five minute Fariyna penalty, Caps could only score once, Jacob Johnston finishing a break-away in the 38th minute after Stars had almost scored short-handed.
A clearly dispirited Caps team devoid of ideas rarely troubled Dundee in the final 20 minutes and Stars completed the scoring early in the third period through Dickenson’s second goal of the night.