With Edinburgh Capitals now eliminated from play-off contention, forward Taylor MacDougall is remaining tight lipped about future plans, insisting both he and his team-mates must “stay in the moment” ahead of the first of two home games with Nottingham Panthers this weekend.
Edinburgh were mathematically knocked out the play-off race last week, following a 4-0 loss at Manchester Storm. They have four games remaining starting tomorrow and Sunday, face-offs 6pm.
MacDougall, who won two Canadian college championships with the University of New Brunswick before signing his first professional contract with Edinburgh last summer, is not used to being an also-ran this early in the year, and it clearly stings.
“It’s a frustrating situation and one not any of us wanted to be in, but that’s the schedule we have,” said MacDougall who is studying for an MBA in Business with Heriot-Watt University. “This is pro hockey, you continue to come to the rink and make sure you put the time and effort in, to put on an entertaining product.”
MacDougall, a face-off specialist with a strong two-way game, is only one of five players in the Capitals squad signed to multi-year deals.
Asked whether this season’s disappointment would have any effect on him returning to Murrayfield in September to complete the second year of his contract, MacDougall said: “Right now it’s about staying in the moment, it’s about the group we have here now, and we have a big weekend coming up in front of our very loyal fan base that we want to play hard for, that’s what we’re all thinking about right now.”
Nottingham were expected to challenge for the league title but have, by their own high standards, had something of a disappointing season domestically, including a 4-2 home loss to Edinburgh. However, dissapointments were off-set by their terrific Continental Cap win earlier this year, the first European trophy lifted by a British club in the history of the sport.
MacDougall added: “Nottingham have a great team, good players with lots of firepower up front, we’ve had some success against them earlier in the year so hopefully we can manage more of the same.”
Capitals’ player-coach Michal Dobron insists nothing has changed, or should change, in the mindset of his players, but in a league dominated by imported talent there could be more scope for Edinburgh’s home grown players to shine, including recent netminder signing, Jordan Marr.
Marr, who impressed in a two game loan spell from previous club Hull Pirates earlier in the season, has now signed on full-time at Murrayfield as back-up to regular starting goalie Travis Fullerton, and Dobron said: “I’ve had a meeting with (bench-coach) Jock Hay this week about Jordan and our other British guys and we’ll see.
“Two home games against Nottingham is a good chance for our young guys to show what they have, and an important test for their future. But the goal remains the same, it’s hockey and we play to win.
“Despite our situation, to pick up points against Nottingham would be great and make everyone associated with the club feel good. The season is not over, and we will play to the end.”