EDINBURGH CAPITALS snapped a 13-game losing streak last weekend and Curtis Leinweber hopes he and his Caps team-mates can take that momentum into tomorrow night’s match at Murrayfield against Elite League leaders Belfast Giants.
The Canadian, whose two goals and two assists won him the man-of-the-match award in last Sunday’s 7-6 win over Nottingham Panthers, said: “It was an ugly one, but it was one we needed for sure. We definitely needed to prove to ourselves that we could win, and that we could score more than a couple of goals in a game. The guys played as hard as they could. There was nothing left afterwards, everybody was pretty gassed.
“We’ve learned that we’ve got to keep fighting regardless of the score and we need to stick to making the right play at the right time and that should help eliminate some of the goals we’ve been conceding. It’s given us some momentum and we’ll try and carry that forward into tomorrow night.
“Belfast is a good skating, physically strong team, and I think they will be a very good test to see how we continue after the game on Sunday. Over the past few weeks we’ve started to focus on playing our own game and we’ve played well at times, even if we didn’t come away with as many wins as we would have liked.”
Belfast, with ten players in their squad over the age of 30 who, combined, have played more than 1000 games in some of the world’s top leagues, bring a wealth of experience to their game which has seen them open a four-point gap at the top of the league table ahead of Dundee Stars.
For Leinweber, it’s important not to get too caught up in the calibre of the opposition. He said: “You try not to factor that into it, because when it comes down to it, everyone puts their skates on and it’s a matter of doing the right things on the day. Whoever does that is going to win the game and that’s the way you’ve got to look at it.”
Belfast, who beat Edinburgh 5-0 in Northern Ireland on the opening day of the season, not only have experienced players on the ice, but have gone for experience behind the bench after recruiting veteran coach and former GB-Internationalist Paul Adey, who replaces ex-Caps player-coach Doug Christiansen after his move to Sheffield Steelers.
Canadian-born Adey had an 11-year playing career with Nottingham between 1988-1999 and Capitals co-owner Scott Neil and bench coach Jock Hay have fond memories of battling against him as players for the Murrayfield Racers.
Neil said: “Both Jock Hay and I played against him when he first came over; he was a great wee player. I remember the battles he used to have with (former Racers Captain) Chris Kelland. In fact, the first game Adey played at Murrayfield, Chris two-handed him over the head with his stick. Nowadays you’d get banned a long time for that.
“Paul has always been a classy guy and so far has done an excellent job in Belfast.”
Caps, who complete their weekend with a trip to Tayside to face-off against Dundee on Sunday, hope to be at full strength, although there are concerns over the fitness of forward Tomas Horna, who failed to finish the game against Nottingham after picking up a knee injury. The former Czech International has not trained this week.