Canadian ice hockey forward Jade Portwood admitted Edinburgh Capitals “have just not been good enough all year” after they lost 2-1 at home to Cardiff Devils last night.
The result, coupled with Saturday’s 4-3 loss at Dundee Stars, sees the Caps rooted to the bottom of the Elite League and now nine points outside of an end-of-season play-off spot.
A frustrated Portwood said: “Over the weekend, we lost two games by a single goal and it’s just not good enough, we haven’t been good enough all year and that’s why we’re in this position and not in a play-off spot.
The guys that should be scoring aren’t doing their job, the power-play isn’t doing its job and we’re kind of letting the team down.”
In contrast, Cardiff completed a wonderful weekend, winning their third road game in as many nights and cementing themselves as firm favourites to hold onto eighth spot and the final play-off berth.
Marcis Zembergs gave the home side a lead in the first period, in what was a hard-fought encounter, with defences on top and quality scoring chances a premium at both ends. Portwood warned Capitals’ fans to expect more of the same, because with 15 games of the season remaining, he vowed the club would battle to halt what is now a six-game losing streak.
“Every game from here to the end of the season is going to be like that,” he said: “It has to be a win or go home mentality from here on in. Last night, they had two big chances out front and scored on both of them. Hiadlo (goalie Tomas Hiadlovsky) played great for us but they got two lucky goals.
“Give Cardiff credit, it was their third game in three nights and they still had some bounce in their step. I thought we out played them in that first period but only had one goal to show for it. They tied it up and got a lucky one in the third. We’re just not getting the bounces, which is something we need to battle through and hopefully we can start to notch up some wins because we can’t afford to give away more points.”
Devils forward, and man-of-the-match, Mac Faulkner scored the equaliser late in the second period, and, with less than seven minutes left, made the winner after out-muscling Peter Holecko on the boards and centring the puck for Tyson Marsh to rip a fierce slap-shop past Hiadlovsky .
Caps new signing, Jaroslav Cesky, brought in as cover for injured team captain Martin Cingel, won his side a power-play opportunity with just over two minutes remaining, but in a passage of play that typified the Caps performance, the puck was passed around in the Devils zone for 90 seconds without a single shot being registered on Cardiff goalie Phil Cook.
“We’re over doing things, you can see that,” added Portwood. “Simple hockey works, we need to get more shots on the net, that’s what Steely (Jordan Steel) did for our goal and it gave Zembergs who had followed up an open net.
“Either we have games where we score goals but can’t keep the puck out of our own net, or we play well defensively but can’t score. To win games you need to be able to do both, but this has been something that has haunted us all year.”
Ex-Capitals forward, Jeff Hutchins, scored twice in Dundee Stars’ 4-3 win. Jan Safar, Zembergs, and player-coach Richard Hartmann replied for Caps.