EDINBURGH CAPITALS player-coach Richard Hartmann has hit out at his defence following last night’s 7-3 defeat by Braehead Clan at Murrayfield.
Hartmann demanded that his players – including goalie Tomas Hiadlovsky – stand up and make a difference as his team look to shore up at the back after conceding 19 goals in their last three games.
An angry Hartmann said: “The last three games we’ve conceded so many goals, it’s making it impossible for us. Defensively we are terrible. It doesn’t matter what anyone says – the stats don’t lie.”
Edinburgh have the worst defensive record in the league, having conceded 132 goals in 28 games, and Hartmann continued: “Our goalie and our defence are not working the way they should and they need to improve. He (Hiadlovsky) needs to step up and be a leader on this team. I’m not accepting any excuses. If I’m getting a hard time then they should be too. Tomas wants to be here and be a number one goalie but he needs to work hard and get his confidence back.
“The same goes for our defence – they need to show me something and make a difference, stand up and say we’re not taking this any more.”
Edinburgh started the game well and hit back after an early Shane Lust marker to lead 3-1 through goals from Tomas Horna, Martin Cingel and Hartmann who scored on the power-play in the 17th minute. That was as good as it got though for the home side, Clan forward Joel Champagne pulling a goal back a minute later.
Hartamann reflected: “Up until that point we were playing the game at our tempo, and taking some chances, but we lack consistency and we took some penalties in the second period that changed the momentum of the game, and we started making mistakes. I’ve tried everything to get more from the players, now it’s back to basics.
“We can still turn this round and start getting some positive results, but even if results don’t improve I’m going to make sure we’re the hardest working team in the league.”
Three goals in a devastating two minute spell midway through the second period, power-play markers from Neil Trimm and Champagne plus a shorthanded strike from Matt Towe, saw Braehead take complete control and from that point on an Edinburgh side that began the game so full of purpose did little to trouble Clan goalie Kyle Jones. Late goals from Lust and Aidan Fulton completed the rout.
Last night’s result, coupled with Saturday’s 7-1 thrashing at the hands of Hull Stingrays, has fuelled discontent amongst much of the Caps fan base – with some questioning the players’ commitment. But Capitals Canadian forward Curtis Leinweber, who picked up two assists and was awarded his side’s man-of-the-match award, wished to assure fans that nothing could be further from the truth.
“To lose 14 goals in a weekend is brutal,” he said. “It’s not down to any one player, we’re a group and we have to tow the same line and right now it isn’t happening. We appreciate our fans and the fact they come out to watch us means a lot. I’m not going to criticise, but I want them to know, this is our job, this is what we love to do and we care more than probably anyone I know. We’re trying to perform well for our supporters and turn this thing around.”