Following Edinburgh Capitals’ 9-3 thrashing by Fife Flyers in Kirkcaldy last night, furious player-coach Richard Hartmann admitted his side now find themselves “back in crisis”.
The Murrayfield men reverted to their early season form of going 14 games without a win in Fife and Hartmann stressed that it’s up to him to get the team’s season back on track. As the gusts of wind increased outside the Fife Ice Arena, they seemed to funnel through the rafters and straight into the sails of the home side, whose direct style and hard skating saw them coast into a 7-0 lead inside half-an-hour.
Edinburgh could count themselves unlucky early on. A rebound fell perfectly for Flyers forward Ned Lukacevic to open the scoring, before an error from Caps blue-liner Marcel Petran, when trying to keep the puck in the Flyers zone while on a power-play, led to a shorthanded breakaway goal for Jordan Fulton.
Caps’ heads were down far too early though, and the team quickly lost their shape and belief, a sight that is becoming all too common for Hartmann and Edinburgh fans alike.
“First of all, I need to apologise to the fans,” said Hartmann. “This is totally unacceptable. I’m taking responsibility for this result and I’m really sorry for the effort we put into the game.
“They got some early momentum, and if you let them score a couple of quick goals they’re a really good side. We trailed 4-0 after the first period. I told the boys, ‘we can’t play like this, but if we stay strong we can get back into the game’, but we didn’t take the words to our hearts and we started playing like we were doing a few months ago.
“We have no team discipline right now, and by that I mean playing your position and sticking to it, and changing (lines) every 40 seconds so we keep our energy levels up.
“We’re missing all those little things.
“Let’s get one thing straight: we are not going to win games if guys don’t keep to their position.
“We’ve got our right ‘D’ over in the left-hand corner of the attacking zone, then somebody else switches and soon we have no-one where they’re supposed to be on the ice. It’s so bad – it’s recreation hockey stuff.”
Matt Reber and Fulton’s second goal completed the first period scoring before a cannon from the point by Jamie Milam and a goal from Scott Fleming in the 28th minute put the hosts six ahead. Flyers’ associate player-coach Danny Stewart added a seventh less than a minute later.
Edinburgh scored twice early in the third period through Dennis Rix and a power-play marker from Riley Emmerson, and pushed for a third, although any thoughts from the travelling support that the final score would have some form of respectability were dashed when Caps conceded two cheap goals, Reber and Bobby Chaumont the beneficiaries.
Capitals’ American forward Greg Collins completed the scoring with a power-play goal in the final minute.
Reflecting on his torrid night, Hartmann concluded: “Earlier in the season I described us as a club in crisis. With a lot of hard work we got ourselves out of that, but we’ve let things slip and we’re back in a crisis again. It’s going to take a big effort to get us back to where I want us to be.
“This all feels like déjà vu, but it’s up to me to fix this bad run of results.
“It’s not that we’re losing games – I can take defeat – but not like this. We need to stick together and work hard, and our leaders need to bring their game every night.”