Player-coach Michal Dobron has “high expectations” for his Edinburgh Capitals side – but only if they continue to play smart following their convincing recent wins over Coventry Blaze and Dundee Stars.
Caps travel to a sold-out Cardiff Devils tomorrow before facing-off against Manchester Storm on Sunday, an away double header that will surely prove the Murrayfield men’s toughest test of the season to date.
Looking back over Wednesday night’s 5-1 home win over Dundee, Dobron said: “Everybody played the game our way and the way we wanted to. We researched all the players we signed in the summer and the style we play is a good fit for them so I’m not surprised at how we are doing.
“Our long season is one big learning process and, if we keep building on our results, we can have high expectations.”
Dobron was delighted to see Edinburgh cut out their slow starts – a trait evident in their last defeat, a 4-2 loss away to Sunday’s opponents Manchester. Edinburgh conceded twice in the first 70 seconds before losing a third in the first minute of the second period.
Although disappointed with his team’s early efforts in that match, had what appeared a good goal from Capitals defenceman Mike Oratorio been allowed to stand, the result could have been different.
Dobron said: “Last time in Manchester we had a bad start to both the first and second periods and conceded three goals, which made it such a hard game. In the second period, we scored but the ref said ‘no goal’. I think if that had stood it could have been a different result, But there’s no point in feeling sorry for ourselves, we need to start periods strong, that was our big problem.
“In our last two games, we played smart right from the beginning of the match, starting well in each period. It’s something we must learn and continue for the rest of the season.”
Edinburgh can expect a red-hot reception from tomorrow’s opponents Cardiff, who in a pre-game ceremony will be retiring the No.26 shirt of former Devils fans’ favourite Brad Voth, who played for the club between 2005-2012. Caps will hope history does not repeat itself after the Welsh outfit retired Jason Stone’s jersey two years ago, also in a match against Caps, before going on to win 10-0.
History is of no concern to Canadian summer signing Mike D’Orazio who, although aware of the tough task ahead, believes Edinburgh can go into their first match at Cardiff’s new home, Ice Arena Wales, in confident mood.
D’Orazio said: “It’s going to be a tough road trip, but that’s two good wins in a row from the boys. We can be confident and we’re looking forward to it.
“I’ve never seen Cardiff play, although I’ve played with a couple of their players before so I have a rough idea what sort of team they are, and from what I’ve heard they’re a very good hockey club so we’re going to have to be on our top game. I feel, though, all the teams in this league are pretty evenly matched so if we put our best foot forward we can be successful.”
Caps are no stranger to a win away from Murrayfield this season, having picked up Challenge Cup victories at Braehead Clan and Fife Flyers. However, D’Orazio admits home comforts are missed, especially on long bus trips south of the Border.
“There’s a big difference” said D’Orazio: “But as a professional hockey player after a long bus ride you know what you have to do to get ready for the game.
“Having your home crowd behind you is a huge help, but we have great fans who travel on the road with us and they’re always loud. It’s things like sleeping in your own bed, making your own meal and being able to drive yourself to the rink that you really miss. Your comfortable with your home routine, and that’s what I think is the big difference.”