Todd Dutiaume was left to reflect on the two sides of Fife Flyers this weekend - a team that can shoot nine goals past a title-chasing opposition, but one which can fail to show up.
While the rink buzzed with excitement after a stunning 5-1 third period sealed a thrilling 9-5 comeback victory over Belfast Giants, Fife Flyers’ head coach was far from fully impressed. The manner of the defeat in Altrincham at the hands of Manchester Storm 24 hours earlier clearly still rankled.
Fife went down 7-3, but two of those goals were in the dying seconds, applying some gloss to a sub-par performance in the conference.
It was a display Dutiaume labelled ‘’amateurish’’ and ‘’unprepared’’ and ‘’one we should not be proud of.’’
A hint of his anger could be detected as he continued:: ‘’I was not happy for a number of reasons I will deal with myself through the coming week.’’
Flyers were second best against a Manchester side that skated at them from the face-off, taking a 2-0 first period lead and hoisting it to 5-0 before Ryan Dingle could get them on the board.
But the same team, icing the same lines, came out on Sunday and built up a solid 4-1 lead against Belfast, and then blitzed them with a 5-1 final period to wipe out the losses sustained in the middle session.
It was a result, and a finale, that brought the rink to its feet.
But Dutiaume didn’t share the buzz of victory immediately after the final buzzer on Sunday as he balanced it with Saturday’s dreadful display.
Dutiaume said: ‘’It was probably good that people saw both sides of our team tonight – the team that played like we wanted to play, and are capable of playing, and also the team that took its foot off the gas and made some common mistakes.
‘’There were zero system changes, no line changes, and we saw the difference in results.
‘’I’m happy that people got what they came for and were entertained. We had a good couple of periods, but I’m pissed off that we did not win the game we set out to win this weekend.’’
‘’Usually I come in here elated after a win, but I am getting to the point that I’m thinking the way we played in period one was not something special. That’s how we should expect to play every night for three periods.
‘’We needed a response against Belfast. We are professional hockey players, it’s important that we are not satisfied playing one good game and three bad. We’re grown men - we’re not dealing with children.
‘’I don’t think it is too much to ask someone to come to work six to 15 hours a week including practice.’’