Edinburgh Capitals forward Callum Boyd admits the club’s supporters are “keeping the players going” as they endure a tough season both on and off the ice, which continues on Sunday at home to Coventry Blaze (face-off 6pm).
Caps, with only three Elite League wins from 21 games, sit seven points adrift at the foot of the table. However, of even greater concern to die-hard fans is the continued wall of silence from management following news of financial difficulties and an uncertain future for the club.
With last month’s liquidation of company Capitals Hockey Limited, the club would appear to be in limbo as it undergoes what was described in a brief statement as “a corporate restructure”, with a spokesperson since promising top-flight hockey will continue at Murrayfield with full details to be released once the process is complete.
Season-ticket holders who chose to pay in instalments received a recent email instructing them to change their payments from Capitals Hockey Limited to a new company, Cool House Marketing Limited. However, increasingly impatient fans still await the promised full statement from the club.
Last Sunday’s poorly-attended home derby against Fife Flyers – which ended in a 5-1 defeat – would appear to suggest supporters are already beginning to vote with their feet.
However, crowd favourite Boyd – now in his second spell with the club after re-joining from Gardiner Conference rivals Braehead Clan in the summer – urged fans to stick with the team. Boyd said: “This season has really been tough, just trying to keep the boys going, and trying to keep the energy in the dressing-room. Things aren’t going our way right now, but the worst thing we could do would be to hang our heads. We’ve lost a lot of games, but the more positive we can keep our frame of mind the better it will be for us.
“Right now the fans are keeping us going. To have them supporting us every week is amazing and makes you want to get out there and keep playing. As long as they can keep up their support it will only push us to do better and win more games for them.”
In truth, the margin of last Sunday’s 5-1 loss flattered the visitors. However, a poor third period from Edinburgh, after losing the services of captain Michael D’Orazio to a second concussion of the season following a hit into the boards, handed the game to Fife. Soft goals were conceded and mistakes were made that cannot be repeated on Sunday against Blaze, who Edinburgh beat 5-2 when the sides met last month.
“We didn’t have any lucky bounces (against Fife) – things just weren’t going our way,” said Boyd. “We should have capitalised on some of our early chances which would have made it a much closer game, and we gave away a few stupid goals as well. We really need to tighten up in the defensive zone.
“We have to be smarter against Coventry and make sure we play for each other.”
As well as defenceman D’Orazio, Edinburgh will be without injured forward duo Dillon Lawrence and Harry Ferguson, as Boyd, whose season has also been interrupted by injury, continued: “I was out the last time we played them, but the boys played well that night and deserved the win. It’s a matter of us doing our best and playing to our systems. We know we can beat them. There’s no reason why we can’t do it again.”
Whilst Edinburgh do not play on Saturday, Coventry entertain Braehead at the Skydome that evening before the long trip north to Murrayfield. Boyd added: “We’ll have a light session in the gym just to keep ourselves fresh for for Sunday. We have just the one game this weekend and the extra rest can only help us.”