Edinburgh Capitals player-coach Richard Hartmann, ahead of tonight’s trip to Braehead Clan, is adamant he was right in benching himself for the club’s last two games, but warned he’s ready to get back on his skates should one of his players fail to pull their weight.
The 39-year old Slovakian, widely regarded as the club’s best play-maker, decided he would be the one to miss out after Edinburgh, who now have 13 fit import stars to chose from, one more than the 12 allowed to ice in any one game, came from behind to beat Coventry Blaze 3-2 on Saturday before clawing back a four-goal deficit to eventually lose 6-5 after a penalty-shoot-out in Sunday’s derby with Fife Flyers.
“Ok, I didn’t play the last two games,” said Hartmann. “But we got three points from four. So you could say if I didn’t get the decision 100 per cent right, I got it 75 per cent right.
“I’m happy with the fight and character the boys showed but a little disappointed in the level of performance, especially on Sunday.”
Hartmann missed 11 games through injury earlier in the season, and Edinburgh’s win over Coventry was the club’s first without him in the line up.
“Having this extra import is fantastic,” continued Hartmann, “it gives us some depth which is something I’ve never had in my four years at Edinburgh and allows us to do different things with the team.
“There are benefits watching the game from behind the bench and If someone is not putting the effort in that I expect from them I’m ready to come back.”
Despite Edinburgh’s recent good run of eight wins from their last ten games, they are still making it hard for themselves by starting slow – a bad habit that must be stopped.
Hartmann said: “Braehead are near the top of the standings and playing great hockey right now. We must start well. Recently we’ve started games poorly, and it’s acted like a kick in the backside. We can’t really afford to do that against anyone, but against a big team like Braehead in their own building, if we find ourselves losing 4-0 like we did on Sunday we’ll never be able to get it back.”