Edinburgh Capitals player coach Michael D’Orazio believes his troops must “take their chances” to have any hope of gaining something from tomorrow’s Elite League match with local rivals Fife Flyers at Murrayfield.
Capitals don’t play today whereas high flying Fife entertained Belfast Giants last night and travel to Coventry Blaze today before making the short trip across the Forth tomorrow to complete an energy sapping run of three games in as many days.
However, having fresh legs will be not guarantee success for Caps whose problems continue to increase.
Already short of two full-time professional players after Pavel Vorobyev and Nikita Kolesnikovs quit the club last month, they will also be without injured trio Callum Boyd, Dylan Anderson and Sergei Banashkov who faces at least two weeks out after breaking a bone in his finger towards the end of Sunday’s 3-0 home defeat by Milton Keynes Lightning.
In an effort to replace the want-away players The Evening News understands the club are in talks with a number of possible new recruits, however, with only six weeks remaining of a league campaign in which Capitals have won just won four games, Edinburgh most likely will not meet the off-ice costs – such as International Transfer Card, equipment and housing – of bringing in a new signing unless they are willing to sign a deal that include next season.
Furthermore, hard-working defenceman Rihards Grigors may also be out of the line up as D’Orazio explained: “Grigors isn’t injured, there’s an issue with a few things, which hopefully the club can sort out.
“They might be able to resolve it before the game tomorrow but as of now he’s not playing, I just hope we get him back in the line up as soon as possible.
“Fife will have played a couple of games before they face us tomorrow and that’s something we need to look at taking advantage of, but with such a short bench ourselves we just need to do the best with what we have.”
Capitals need to pick up seven more points to avoid their worst-ever showing in the Elite League. Fife, on the other hand, are on course for their best finish. Currently they sit in fourth place with at least three games in hand over Guildford Flames in fifth as well as the three teams above them in the standings. An end-of-season play-off spot is guaranteed.
D’Orazio continued: “Fife are a very fast team and to counter that we’ll need to play a certain way and clog up the neutral zone, taking away the space in the middle of the ice. If we can slow them down that will be huge for us.
“They’re also strong on special teams and have the third best power-play in the league, coming in at 27 per cent. We’ll need to try hard to stay out of the penalty box as much as possible and our penalty kill will need to be top notch.
“We need to take our chances, which is something we didn’t do in our last game (against Milton Keynes). We had two five-on-three power-plays and three or four break-away opportunities. If we can force them to turn the puck over in the neutral zone and capitalise on their mistakes then we have a chance.”
• Due to Scotland being in action at Murrayfield stadium against France in the Six Nations, tomorrow’s ice hockey faces off is at the later than usual time of 7.15pm, and parking at the ice rink will be limited.