Fife Flyers head coach has Todd Dutiaume pointed to Sunday’s 20-minute demolition of Edinburgh Capitals as proof of the team’s capabilities.
Flyers scored five times in a stunning second period blitz at Murrayfield to win 5-1 and secure only their third victory in the last 14 games.
On the one hand, Dutiaume was delighted with the performance, while on the other he was frustrated that the team has not produced it more often.
“It was the same guys and the same systems – we didn’t alter anything,” Dutiaume told the Press.
“We just pointed out some subtle little differences to their game that they should be doing.
“Instead of waiting for things to happen, we had to go our and make things happen.Things like driving to the net, and instead of giving a hopeful pass, actually reading the game and making something happen.
“It’s things that should come instinctively to players but it doesn’t always to this squad. It’s our job as coaches to point these things out, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
“We haven’t seen this team break out like that since the win in Coventry and it’s been a long time in between. This team has potential we just haven’t found that consistency this year.”
With a four-goal cushion, Dutiaume used Sunday’s third period to give the likes of Chris Wands, Euan Forsyth, Alan Anderson and Josh Scoon, players who haven’t featured recently, some ice time.
“We’ve had a lot of guys sitting on the bench for a number of weeks just because the pressure has been on to win games,” he said.
“We put them in on Sunday and the big difference was that when we did make a bunch of mistakes, we didn’t get scored on.
“There was no heads going down or bitching on the bench. That third period was probably the closest I’ve felt this team was for a long time.
“It was a positive atmosphere, and guys were cheering on the likes of Wando and Euan, who haven’t been on the ice a lot. I’ve felt for the guys sitting out but it’s been a choice I’ve made as coach and I stick by it.”
Flyers are still nine points behind the play-offs after Wednesday night’s 7-3 victory in Hull and with 15 games left, Dutiaume admitted that any victories now may come too late to make up lost ground.
“At some point we’re relying on teams to do favours for us,” he said.
“For us we’ll take it one game at a time and until someone tells us that our season is complete, we’ll keep fighting.
“Hopefully Sunday night goes a long way to re-instating the guys faith.”
Flyers are expected to take around 100 travelling fans to Belfast on Saturday before welcoming Dundee Stars to Fife Ice Arena on Sunday for a 6.30 p.m face-off.