EDINBURGH CAPITALS captain Martin Cingel believes his team “owe it to the fans” to put right last Saturday’s 7-1 defeat to fierce rivals Fife Flyers in Kirkcaldy.
In a mirror reversal of last week’s fixtures in ice hockey’s Elite League, the two sides meet again on Sunday at Murrayfield. However, not before tomorrow’s trip to Braehead Clan, who themselves will be looking to set the record straight after Edinburgh kept their play-off hopes alive with last Sunday’s 5-2 home victory over the Glasgow outfit.
Cingel said: “Flyers games are one of the biggest of the season for us, everybody realises the history and rivalry between the two teams. Fans can accept defeat if we give 100 per cent and go down fighting, but not losing 7-1 without showing any fighting spirit.
“Saturday was a shocking performance and very disappointing. We owe it to the fans to do something about that.
“Whereas tomorrow, Braehead, who didn’t have their best performance against us last week, will be ready for revenge. They will be pumped up to take the points, and we will need to be ready for that.”
Capitals currently sit in ninth place, two points outside the eighth and final play-off spot occupied by Fife, who have two games in hand over the men from Murrayfield. The fact Edinburgh played poorly last week only to bounce back the following night, typifies a season which has just 12 games remaining. Cingel admits that playing angry after a disappointing result can work well as a motivational tool. He said: “You look in the mirror and you say, ‘I can do better than that’. It certainly works for me on an individual level. I know if I have a game when I don’t play to the level I should, it gives me extra motivation to go out and achieve more.”
As for the team reaching that level of on-the-ice intensity without first throwing in the occasional stinker, Cingel joked: “If I knew the answer to that I would be playing in the NHL and winning the Stanley Cup year in, year out.”
Cingel missed three days of training this week recovering from a virus, but the Caps expect to be at full strength for tomorrow’s match, whilst Braehead will be without hard-nosed English forward Robert Farmer, who is in Latvia on international duty with Team GB as they attempt to reach the winter Olympics for the first time since 1948.
Cingel, who scored Edinburgh’s winner in a 4-3 victory the last time the two sides met at Braehead Arena, said: “If you look at their roster the Clan have very skilful players, and every one of them skates well, and can handle the puck, which can be a big advantage. We need to match their skating and their movement. If we can’t do that then we’re in trouble.
“Secondly we need to stay out of the penalty box, as their powerplay is very good.”
Of the home clash with Fife on Sunday (face-off 6pm), Cingel said: “We need to focus on a little bit of toughness in front of our net. Last time we played them they scored two of their first three goals from rebounds and that can’t happen in our building. They play a style of hockey where they have two or three guys crashing the net and trying to get those rebounds, we need to help out our goalie and restrict their second chances, and clear everything from around the crease.”