Hartmann urges Caps to start firing on all cylinders

Richard Hartmann is asking his players to be more ruthless when given the chance
Richard Hartmann is asking his players to be more ruthless when given the chance
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Edinburgh Capitals player/coach Richard Hartmann has backed his misfiring troops to start hitting the back of the net on a regular basis.

Caps host Braehead Clan in an Elite League clash tomorrow night (face-off 6pm), having lost their last four matches. The Murrayfield men failed to bury their chances in last week’s home and away Challenge Cup games with Fife Flyers, scoring only twice despite having 68 shots on goal.

For many a worrying statistic, but Hartmann remained positive, saying: “In both games we created chances. We just didn’t put them away.

“We’ve been working on our finishing all week and it’s only a matter of time before we start scoring more goals.

“The effort and performance is there. Soon it will all click into place and the goals will come.”

In contrast, Braehead are firing on all cylinders in front of goal, to which recent 7-4 and 8-6 wins at Dundee and Hull respectively prove testament. Hartmann expects a difficult game, but is hopeful for a better outcome than when the two sides met last month as finishing was again a problem for Edinburgh in a 3-0 loss.

“The last time we played them was a little difficult,” said Hartmann. “At that time, we had a lot of injuries plus it was our third game in three nights so to say we should have done this or that better is a little harsh.

“For sure, they are a good team, but we’ve had a lot of time to prepare and rest up for this game. I think if we play the way we did against Fife last Sunday we will be all right.”

Edinburgh will again be short-benched as their early-season injury problems show little sign of letting up. Defenceman Joe Grimaldi is doubtful with an undisclosed injury and Hartmann will definitely not play after twisting his knee last weekend.

Hartmann revealed: “We don’t know yet if it’s serious or how long I will be out. The knee is still swollen and we’ll have to wait until the swelling goes down before we can have a proper look at it and see what’s going on.”

Perhaps one reason Edinburgh have struggled to light the lamp of late is the limited opportunity Hartmann has had to link up with former Elite League leading goalscorer Rene Jarolin, who rejoined the club this season after a year playing back home in Slovakia.

The countrymen playing in a line together has proved a devastating combination in the past. However, with Hartmann previously playing in defence to cover for injuries, he admits frustration at not being able to play in his favoured position.

He said: “It’s been a little bit frustrating, but it’s all about what’s best for the team and I believed that playing me in a defensive position has been the best option for us. As soon as a better option comes up, I will take it. When we’re short, it’s up to the other guys to step up and score goals or make plays and I have every confidence they will do that.

“I know it’s not the best set-up that we have right now but, overall, we’re sitting seventh in the league and have a lot of games ahead of us.

“It’s too early to think about changing things. If the right player became available at the right time then fine, but I’m happy with the performances I’m seeing.”