Pavel Vorobyev is fired up to shoot Capitals into play-offs

Edinburgh Capitals forward Pavel Vorobyev, right, is desperate to add to his goal tally
Edinburgh Capitals forward Pavel Vorobyev, right, is desperate to add to his goal tally
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Edinburgh Capitals forward Pavel Vorobyev, who ended a run of ten games without a goal in Wednesday’s 3-2 win after penalty shots at Dundee Stars, is hopeful his confidence has been restored ahead of Tuesday night’s trip to Coventry Blaze.

Edinburgh have a rare weekend off from Elite League action but are treating fans to a fun skills competition ahead of Capitals’ Scottish National League fixture with Aberdeen Lynx next Sunday.

But, with four games next week, including trips to Sheffield Steelers and Manchester Storm before a home clash with league leaders Cardiff Devils at Murrayfield next Sunday, the respite is brief to say the least.

Caps are embroiled in a three-way battle with Dundee and Coventry for the final end-of-season play-off spot.

But Vorobyev, who perhaps hasn’t been finding the net as regularly as earlier in the season, still leads his team in scoring with 18 goals and 30 assists.

“Before I scored in Dundee I hadn’t scored in ten games and it was difficult for me because I’m an experienced forward and I need to be scoring almost every game,” Vorobyev, 34, said. “I’m working hard but sometimes I struggle and it doesn’t happen for me. That goal will give me some confidence and help me in the difficult road games we have coming up.

“For us every point is important – 12 games left of the season and we’re still in the battle, we can still make the play-offs.

“Now we prepare for three away games, starting with the two back-to-back against Coventry and Sheffield.”

Coventry travel to Cardiff tonight before entertaining Manchester tomorrow, and despite the long journey down to the West Midlands, Caps will surely be the fresher of the two teams going into Tuesday’s clash.

“There is a little problem in that we don’t have any practices over the weekend as there is no ice time for us, but we practised yesterday and have one planned for Monday, which is usually our day off, so it should be okay,” the Russian explained. “We’re working hard and we have the skills competition on Sunday too so we’ll be fine.”

Caps are now just four points out of a play-off spot courtesy of Wednesday’s win on Tayside and Vorobyev, who as well as his first period goal was the only successful candidate in the shoot-out, didn’t look like a player low on confidence, pulling a fancy move on Stars Joe Fallon then flicking the puck high into the space vacated by the goalkeeper just a second before.

Vorobyev, who spent three years with Chicago Blackhawks in the NHL and made more than 200 appearances in the Russian dominated KHL, said: “It’s a move I’ve used a lot over the last seven years in Russia and now I can use it here because the local goalies don’t know about it yet, will it work again? We’ll have to wait and see.”

Capitals co-owner Scott Neil, was the man behind Vorobyev’s, and team-mate Yevgeni Fyodorov’s summer moves to Murrayfield, the first Russian-based players to play in the Elite League and a trend that could continue next season and beyond. “Why not?” said Vorobyev, “it’s up to Scott and the other Elite League managers whether they want to invite Russian players but I will talk to a few guys because I know they want to come here and they’ve called me during the season asking about the hockey over here and the lifestyle and I told them all good things.

“They said they would be interested in a move over here next season. It’s up to Scott, but we’ll talk about that.

“Personally, I’m just focused on the rest of the season and hopefully the play-offs.”