Edinburgh Capitals forward Greg Collins expects a strong showing tomorrow night at Dundee Stars in the first of two crucial Gardiner Conference games for the Murrayfield club this weekend.
Caps return home on Sunday to face-off against Hull Stingrays and Collins is adamant confidence gained after three recent wins has not been crushed by last week’s horror show in Wales which saw the Caps lose 10-0 to red-hot Cardiff Devils.
“After going down to Wales and losing the game like that, it’s really important that we put in a strong showing this weekend,” said Collins. “The good thing about hockey is after a bad performance it’s never too long until the next game so you can forget about it quickly.
“Take nothing away from Cardiff, they’re a good team – especially at home. But we basically rode a bus for ten hours to turn up and play. To put in a performance like that is not what everyone wanted, but we need to suck it up and turn a new page.”
With Edinburgh one point clear of tomorrow night’s opponents, the Taysiders rocked by the news that experienced assistant player/coach Matt Ryan has quit the team to return to Canada – and one place below Hull in the league table, both fixtures are hugely important at this stage of the season.
Collins continued: “We’ve got two games against Conference opponents. It’s a big weekend for us in terms of rebounding and getting back on track.
“We’re really close [in the standings] with both of these guys and every game we’ve played with them has been really tight.
“We’ve gone against both teams before, you soon start to see what they’ve got and what particular guys bring to the table, but we just like to concentrate on our own game and as long as we take care of how we play we’ll do okay.”
Capitals captain Jade Portwood, who did not finish the game in Cardiff due to an injury, has not trained this week and is a major doubt for tomorrow’s Tayside clash, alongside American defenceman Joe Grimaldi, who has not featured for the club since suffering from concussion last month after a match with Braehead Clan.
Edinburgh will be looking to build on their recent 3-2 victory at Dundee Ice Arena, although Stars, coached by former Cap Jeff Hutchins, lead the season series 2-1 having won both games in the group stages of the Challenge Cup.
Sunday sees the first of four Stingrays visits to Murrayfield this season (face-off 6pm).
With Hull having a home match with Nottingham Panthers tomorrow, Edinburgh will be keen to take advantage of any “bus-legs” amongst the Stingrays players. However, the big ice at Murrayfield should suit Hull’s fast skating forwards, including GB-International Matthew Davies, who currently leads all home-grown players in scoring with seven goals and 16 assists from 22 games.
Collins concluded: “We only have a short trip to Dundee tomorrow so we’ll be ready to go on Sunday.
“This is the start of a run of very important games for the club and, coming off last week’s difficult road trip, as long as we stick together as a team we’re confident we can pick up points.”
• AS part of the Capitals’ tie-in with Transport For Edinburgh, anyone attending the game and producing a valid Ridacard will be entitled to half-priced entry.