Edinburgh Capitals co-owner Scott Neil was left so angry with his side’s performance in last night’s 7-0 Challenge Cup home loss to Braehead Clan that he immediately released the news that experienced Czech defenceman Michal Dobron – a stand-out player for the club last season – has returned on a two-year deal.
Neil was originally holding off on the announcement in an effort not to unsettle any of his current squad as Dobron, who flies into Edinburgh tomorrow, becomes the twelfth import on the clubs books, and with only 11 foreign stars allowed to ice in any competitive match, the extra man is a luxury the small budget club are unlikely to afford in the long term.
Neil said: “We were hoping to release this news later in the week and under much happier circumstances. A gutsy defeat is one thing, but tonight there was no fight or spark and that’s unacceptable. We should be giving Braehead a good game, but we simply did not perform anywhere close to the way we can. We had been looking at ways to strengthen the team and when Michal, who we had been in touch with throughout the summer, contacted us we jumped at the chance, and we’ll continue to look at ways of improving this team further. We’re getting one of the top defencemen in this league and he’ll make an instant impact. He will be eligible to play in our next game on Saturday and you’ll see right away the composure and influence he’ll give to our defensive core.”
Edinburgh could have done with the 34-year old’s composure and influence at Murrayfield last night in a performance that simply disintegrated.
As the match wore on, net-minder Tomas Hiadlovsky was given no help by his defence and at times his goal resembled a shooting gallery with Clan players given space and time to try their luck.
Coupled with Saturday’s 6-2 loss to Dundee Stars on Tayside, where a Jordan Steel marker and a debut goal for Canadian forward Les Reaney were the only bright spots, Capitals forward Jade Portwood admitted everyone associated with the club was left embarrassed. He said: “I’m kind of lost for words. We’re all embarrassed. I don’t think any of us have been playing well this season, we’re not playing with our heads and at times we’ve not even been working hard enough.
“I feel bad for Tomas. We’re just leaving him out to dry. The kid is one of the best goalies in the league and we’re just letting him get lit up. This isn’t good for his confidence and we have to realise that.
“We need to turn this around and start to make the city of Edinburgh proud to come and watch us play. If we’re losing and the guys are out there giving it their all, our fans would still be proud to support us, but it looks like the effort isn’t even there sometimes.”
The 7-0 score belies the fact that the opening period was an even encounter, Edinburgh out-shooting the visitors ten to nine, but Braehead capitalised on two pieces of sloppy defensive play to skate to a 2-0 lead.
As Edinburgh tried to press home a power-play advantage, Danny McIntyre miscontrolled a puck which led to a Clan breakaway, Ed McGrane finishing smartly. Braehead added another in the 16th minute. Some hard fore-checking by Braehead man-of–the-match Ash Goldie forced Michal Benadik into a turnover, Goldie showing some great hand-eye coordination to then bat the airborne puck past Hiadlovsky.
If the first period had been a contest, the remainder was anything but, Clan outshooting Caps 24 to eight, while regularly skating rings round a static defence. A Nathan Moon double and a second goal by Goldie put the result beyond doubt. Late goals by Shane Lust and Lee Esders completed the rout.