No pressure on Capitals as mega-bucks Panthers call

Jan Safar and Michal Benadik. Picture: Lesley Martin

Jan Safar and Michal Benadik. Picture: Lesley Martin

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Jan Safar and his Edinburgh Capitals team-mates will let their hair down this evening as the club host a fund-raising racenight at the Murrayfield Bar ahead of their only fixture of the weekend.

Misfiring Caps go into their Elite League match-up on home ice against last season’s treble winners Nottingham Panthers, having lost 13 games in a row. Richard Hartmann’s men are fast becoming marooned at the bottom of the table. And, while Safar admits any punter willing to place a bet on an Edinburgh victory on Sunday would receive generous odds, he is adamant their season can still be turned around.

He said: “We need to do everything in our power to break this losing streak, but we will have to be at our best, in fact beyond that, if we are going to beat such a strong team like Nottingham. I believe in our team, I believe we can do it. We just need to pull everything together. We have mistakes in our game that we need to cut out, but everyone is remaining positive. There is no negativity in the locker room.

“I think we’ve started to play some attractive hockey over the last couple of weeks but the results didn’t go our way. We will need to tighten up defensively, but our main problem this season is we’ve not been scoring enough goals. We need a few scrappy ones to get us going. They’re the sort of goals that win you games. We just need to get some bounces going our way in front of the net.”

After a stretch of seven straight games against Gardiner Conference rivals – matches fans and management alike would have looked upon as winnable – the visit of big-budget Nottingham, who have a squad that includes four GB internationals and 15 foreign stars, in some respect sees the pressure off Edinburgh as they bid to pick up that long overdue win.

Safar explained: “Nobody is going to expect us to go out there and beat them and maybe that is something we could do with right now. It will give us a chance to loosen up, play with no pressure and have some fun.

“They have a strong squad with a lot of depth, so much that they have good players who have to sit out but, at the end of the day, everyone wants to play, they have guys hungry to keep their place in the team, so there is no way they’re going to take it easy against us. All we can do against that is compete and try our best.”