Being a faithful Edinburgh Capitals fan isn’t often easy. However, ahead of the Murrayfield men’s home-and-away double header with Dundee Stars this weekend, supporters of the club have become experts at finding silver linings in even the bleakest of situations.
Caps and Stars face off on Tayside tonight, ensuring there will be no love lost when the two sides go at it again tomorrow on Valentine’s Day at Murrayfield (face-off 5.30pm)
One current good news story, amidst Edinburgh’s record of two wins in their last 21 games, has been the performances of two of the club’s recent signings Brandon Thompson and Garrett Milan, who arrived in the wake of the departure of three of Edinburgh’s most experienced players in Ryan Hayes, David Rutherford and Paul Zanette.
Thompson, a former team-mate of current active Edinburgh top-scorer Trevor Gerling in the Canadian junior leagues, signed his first professional contract last month after graduating from University in America, and has scored two goals and contributed three assists in his first six games in a Capitals shirt.
In an effort to finish the season as a competitive force in the Elite League, Edinburgh continue to add to their squad, evidenced by yesterday’s signing of utility player RJ Berra from NIHL side Blackburn Hawks, and with the possibility of further players being announced prior to Monday’s signing deadline, this should lighten the load on Edinburgh’s existing threadbare roster.
Thompson said: “There are some talented players in this league, and it’s comparable to where I played for in (NCAA) division one last year, so I don’t think there was much of an adjustment.
“The city here is beautiful. I would spend every day down-town if I could. We really don’t have anything to compare it to back in British Columbia, so it’s a really nice change.
Asked how he is coping with the big minutes he has been asked to play since his arrival, he continued: “Personally after my first two games here I thought I was going to puke, it’s certainly been a crash course in conditioning. Since then it’s been good, we’ve got a few extra bodies in and are hopeful of more, so if we can get three solid lines and five or six ‘D’ that will make a big difference and help us make some noise from now until the end of the season.”
Garrett Milan played his third game for Edinburgh last night at Braehead, after starting the season playing in the Hungarian top-flight. So far, playing on a line with Thompson and Gerling, the 24-year-old has impressed, winning man-of-the-match in a heavy 8-1 loss to Fife Flyers and scoring one goal plus two assists in Sunday’s 13- 9 home loss to Manchester Storm.
Milan said: “Since arriving from Hungary, I didn’t have a chance to practice before my first two games but the guys here have made it really easy for me to adjust to the tempo of the league. I’ve played with Tommy before (Milan and Thompson played together for the Vancouver Giants at junior level) and I know Gerling from the British Columbia Hockey League so all these things make the transition pretty smooth
“The three of us have a similar style, we all have some speed which goes well with Gerling’s skill-set. We mesh well together, and now that we’ve had some time to practice hopefully it gets better from here on in.”