Edinburgh Capitals face Coventry Blaze in their only game of the weekend on Sunday at Murrayfield (face-off 6pm), and forward Taylor MacDougall has assured fans there is no chance of looking beyond the Elite League clash ahead of Wednesday’s Challenge Cup quarter-final first leg with Sheffield Steelers.
It’s now five games without a win for the Murrayfield men, including a 6-2 home defeat last Sunday by Belfast Giants in the Challenge Cup group stage. The fact that both teams had already qualified for the next round – it is Edinburgh’s first time – was of little comfort to MacDougall.
“Anytime you’re in a game you’ve got to have some pride and play it the same way regardless of the circumstances and we weren’t even close to good enough,” he said. “We have to take that on board, we’ve had a very positive week in practice.
“Coventry is where our focus is, we have to take care of business on Sunday and put in a good effort. After that, we can set our sights on the Challenge Cup. It’s something we’re excited about and we realise that it’s new territory for us and when the time comes we’re looking forward to getting ready for it.”
Errant passing and cheap giveaways have been at the forefront of Edinburgh’s recent run of poor results, especially on Murrayfield’s big ice where Caps have lost their last four games. Player-coach Michal Dobron, who watched from behind the bench, was furious after last Sunday’s effort, and MacDougall’s line-mate Mason Wilgosh said the big Czech relayed that disappointment back in training this week.
“Without him having to say, we all knew we didn’t play well, we were all unhappy with how we played and obviously it showed in the result,” said Wilgosh.
“Dob’s was relaying to us that we can’t afford to ever take it easy. We can’t play hard for 60 minutes one game and then not show up at all for the next. We’ve got to be ready to play every night.”
Only two points separate seventh-placed Coventry and Edinburgh, who sit bottom of the ten-strong table, although Blaze have a chance to put further daylight between the sides when playing in Dundee tonight and Fife tomorrow.
So, will Coventry’s heavy schedule play a factor on Sunday? Wilgosh said. “It does take a toll on your body. We’re fresh and we’ve got to take advantage of that as much as we can. Get pucks in deep behind them and make them skate the whole way, don’t make it an easy game for them. It’s their last game in three days, they’re probably going to be a bit tired or banged up so we’ve got to take advantage. To do that, we jut need to worry about ourselves, though, and make sure we play hard for 60 minutes.
Capitals received good news on the injury front with both Ian Schultz, whose hand injury last week was not as serious as first feared, and Rihards Grigors, back in training.