Edinburgh Capitals player-coach Riley Emmerson believes a four-point haul from their home double-header this weekend against Nottingham Panthers would “send out a huge message to the rest of the league”.
The Caps are currently riding a seven-game home-win streak and welcome the current Elite League leaders to Murrayfied tonight (face-off 7.30pm) before the two renew hostilities 24 hours later in what will surely be the biggest test of the city outfit to date this season
Panthers have won their last five matches and arrived in Edinburgh yesterday full of confidence in preparation for the two game series, which concludes tomorrow with a 5.30pm face-off. “We’ve got to be ready from the puck-drop,” said Emmerson. “This weekend is an important 120 minutes of hockey for us and we need to take it period by period.
“They have some great players like Andy Bohmbach, guys who can score like David Ling (who is an injury doubt) and (GB-Intentional forward) David Clarke. We’ve got to make sure we take their best players away, but really most importantly we need to take care of ourselves and control the puck like we can because that will determine the pace of the game. If we do that we can beat any team in this league.
“This is our biggest test of the season so far, but we can win both games, and a four point weekend would be a huge statement to the rest of the league.”
Emmerson is looking for a repeat of Edinburgh’s performances last weekend, when he felt his team controlled the majority of the play both away to Dundee Stars in a 3-2 overtime loss, and last Sunday’s 4-2 win over Fife Flyers.
“We kept Fife down to 30 shots, in Dundee we gave up 40 but a lot came towards the end of the game when they really pushed the pace. I felt in both games last weekend we controlled the majority of the play, and we created a ton of opportunities in Dundee. Their goalie won them that game.
“Against Fife we came out hard looking for redemption because last time we played them (an 8-3 defeat in Kirkcaldy) it was embarrassing. We were very focused and stuck together when we had to kill all those penalties in the third period and I was pleased to see that.”
Emmerson revealed Edinburgh, missing Jordan Steel with a long-term shoulder injury and Italian international forward Paul Zanette, have no fresh injury concerns ahead of tonight’s game, as he continued: “Everyone is raring to go. Paul hopefully will be back in a week or twoand once we have him back we’ll have three really good forward lines.”