Fife farce was grim but Capitals can recover

Dennis Rix

Dennis Rix

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Edinburgh Capitals forward Dennis Rix admitted watching a re-run of last Sunday’s 9-3 thrashing at arch rivals Fife Flyers made for difficult viewing.

However, learning from their mistakes can them a “stronger team” amid hopes they can avoid striking out against Belfast Giants at Murrayfield on Sunday (face-off 5.45pm).

Ahead of the club’s only game of the weekend, Rix said: “Last time out was so disappointing, definitely not the result we were looking for. We’re eager to get back to work against Belfast and get that game out of the system.

“What happened just wasn’t acceptable. Earlier this week we went over the tape before training and it was clear that Fife didn’t have to do anything special to beat us. We made too many mistakes, and we’ve been working at ways to clean those up. When we minimise our errors, we’re a match for any team in the league.”

Despite Edinburgh’s poor run which now stands nine games without a win for the Murrayfield men, Rix is adamant Caps are confident of causing an upset and picking up their first victory over Belfast this season.

“In this league any team can win on any given night,” Rix said, speaking at a player/fan bowling night organised by the Capitals’ Supporters Club. “When we go into a game, we expect nothing less than a win. We’ll be going into this weekend with confidence and in a position to put our best foot forward. We kick-started a good run with a win against Nottingham, which sprung us for a ten game points streak.

“Both losing and winning becomes a habit, so one big win on Sunday will get us back in the right direction.”

In terms of the Elite League form book counting for little this season, Rix is right in his estimations. Belfast, from the stronger Erhardt conference, which makes up four of the league’s top-five teams, have lost four straight games – a run that includes two defeats to Gardiner Conference opposition, Hull Stingrays and Sunday’s defeat to bottom club Dundee Stars, all sandwiched between a Challenge Cup quarter-final exit at the hands of Cardiff Devils. However, they did look comfortable in beating Edinburgh 5-2 at Murrayfield last month, which included a hat-trick from their ex-NHL forward Kevin Westgarth.

Capitals co-owner and former GB International, Scott Neil, insists Edinburgh have a lot more to worry about than Westgarth, who has a Stanley Cup medal to show for his time with the Los Angeles Kings.

“It’s not about concentrating on one player, it’s about concentrating on our defensive responsibilities,” said Neil. “That could have been any player from Belfast in that game because we gave them far too much time and space in key areas. That defeat was down to slack defensive marking and we need to tighten up in that area because we’re not a team that can score a bundle of goals.

“The longer we keep the game tight and within our grasp and the harder our team works, we’ve got to try and keep ourselves in games for longer. When we were winning games they were tight affairs and we were scoring greasy goals to come out on top.”

Neil continued: “Yes we’ve been poor over the last few weeks, but we’re still in a better position than we were a couple of month ago. We are in a play-off place and I’m sure it’s going to be a dogfight right up until the end of the season. We are good enough to be winning games and if we can find the way to do that right again, we could put ourselves in a relatively comfortable position.”