Despite a disappointing week for Edinburgh Capitals – which included away defeats to Sheffield Steelers and, more crucially, play-off rivals Coventry Blaze – club co-owner Scott Neil is promising fans a battling performance against league leaders Cardiff Devils at Murrayfield on Sunday (face-off 6pm).
It could be a big ask. Weary Edinburgh – currently bottom of the table, seven points behind Dundee Stars and eight adrift of Coventry, who occupy the final play-off spot – still have to travel to Manchester Storm tomorrow. They could be without the injured Matt Tipoff, plus Jared Staal and player-coach Michal Dobron, who both picked up knocks late on in Wednesday’s 5-2 loss in Sheffield.
“Losing to Coventry this week has certainly made things more difficult for us,” said Neil. “We have six big Gardener Conference games coming up in March. We need to pick up as many points as we can and hope the teams we’re chasing for that play-off spot go on a bit of a slide.
“It’s still possible, but that was a big two points we didn’t get against Coventry, who have a hard run-in.
“We play in a very competitive league. I would say in terms of shots for and against, goals for and against, I think we’ve been in a lot of very close entertaining games at Murrayfield this year. Even when we were shut out recently by Sheffield at home (a 3-0 loss earlier this month), I still felt we were in a good game of hockey that our fans appreciated.
“Granted, there have been some nights where we just haven’t been firing on all cylinders, but you just need to see Nottingham winning the Continental Cup this year, and the fact that, in the Champions League, Sheffield beat a top European team in Salzburg to know that this league has improved a lot over the last few years. We face some real quality teams here, and we will continue to battle and entertain our fans at Murrayfield until it is mathematically impossible for us to get that play-off spot.”