Capitals coach Hartmann wants to instil killer instinct

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Player-coach Richard Hartmann has urged his Edinburgh Capitals to keep “cool heads” in front of goal when they play host to Braehead Clan in ice hockey’s Elite League at Murrayfield tomorrow night (face-off 6pm).

The experienced Slovakian is looking for his men to bounce back after last Sunday’s 5-3 home defeat to Dundee Stars and he said: “It was frustrating to lose last week, but I was happy with the performance because the effort was there. In terms of our game-plan we don’t need to change too much, and we know what we need to do to be successful. We need to give it 100 percent for the entire 60 minutes, and I’m sure we will continue to create chances, we just need to take more of them by keeping a cool head in front of goal.”

Edinburgh have been boosted by the news that Canadian forward Jade Portwood is likely to return to the line-up this weekend after missing two games with a back injury.

They have also drafted in goalie James Flavell as starting net-minder. Flavell, 24, currently plays for Billingham Stars in the UK wide National Ice Hockey League. It was expected that teenage back-up net-minder Craig Holland would continue to deputise for starting goalie Tomas Hiadlovsky, who still has two games to serve of a five-match ban, for kicking out at Hull Stingrays player-coach Sylvain Cloutier in Yorkshire last month, but the 19-year-old has failed to recover from a knee injury he picked up playing for the Capitals last weekend.

On Sunday, Hartmann’s men will have a chance to avenge last week’s loss to the Stars when they travel to Dundee on league business. The season may only be a month old but it is the third time the two teams have clashed.

Hartmann believes the league’s new Conference system which promotes derbies, and sees sides from the same conference play each other eight times during the regular season, will be good for ice hockey in Scotland.

He said: “It’s certainly not hard to get the boys up for these games, and I think the conference set-up will be good for the Scottish teams.”

Meanwhile, Hartmann revealed the club had made an offer to a star name as they try to use the current NHL lockout to their advantage.

“We are definitely looking to sign one more quality player. We’ve made an offer; we’re still working on it, only time will tell if he wants to join us.

“We can see that NHL players are beginning to sign for teams in the lower leagues and we’ll see how that develops over the next couple of weeks, as other players get cut as a result. That being said, I really believe in the players that we already have, they’ve shown that they can play hockey.”