Fife Flyers head coach Todd Dutiaume believes his side’s four remaining matches against Braehead Clan could decide both Elite League and Gardiner Conference titles.
Flyers meet Clan twice this weekend, away tonight and home on Sunday, in a three-game weekend that also includes the visit of Belfast Giants to Fife Ice Arena on tomorrow.
Flyers may currently lead the conference by two points, but second-placed Clan are in the driving seat with six games in hand, while the Glasgow club are also many people’s favourites to win the overall EIHL title.
Dutiaume hopes his side will have something to say about both.
“We have Braehead four more times and it’s my opinion that unless we put a big stick in their spokes, the league and conference is theirs to win,” he said.
“We’ll certainly have something to say about it in these four games - they have to turn into a play-off series for us, and we have to turn up to every one of those games thinking we’re going to win it.
“Four wins for us would be a huge 16-point swing in the conference.
“It would make it close up the top, and we’d then have to win our other conference games, and possibly rely on others to beat them. But these four games are massive.”
Flyers haven’t won at Braehead Arena since March 2014 but Dutiaume insists that run must end tonight.
“We have to find a way to win on Friday and Sunday,” he said. “It’s a two game play-off series, with Belfast sandwiched in between, which makes it a very busy and grinding weekend.
“We have seven conference games left and we want to win all of them. It’s a tall order, but if you want to win the conference, it’s the kind of run you have to go on at some point in the season.
“We’ve got to take it one game at a time and just demand that these wins come.”
Injured import Jeff Lee started skating this week but will not be ready for the weekend.