FIFE Flyers need to collect between 10 and 12 points from their last 13 games to make the Elite League play-offs.
That is the view of player-coach Todd Dutiaume ahead of his team’s toughest run of the season.
With six points the gap to eighth-placed Edinburgh, the Flyers chief believes the play-offs are still within reach.
But with the next five matches all against the top three clubs, Dutiaume admits a big improvement is required on Saturday night’s performance against Braehead Clan to make it happen.
“We just have to keep going,” he said. “The noose is tightening around our neck, and we’re haemorrhaging points all over the place.
“Fortunately nobody is playing good around us, but I reckon we’re going to have to gain 10 or 12 points to make the play-offs.
“After Saturday night my question was, where are they going to come from? But we’ve had a look at the tape and we’ve addressed a few things.
“Now it’s up to all of us to go out and do it.”
Flyers travelled to Cardiff yesterday (Wednesday) – the match taking place after our print deadline – ahead of Saturday’s journey to Belfast and another midweek fixture in Sheffield next Tuesday.
“We’re entering what is probably our most difficult run of the season, especially since most of the games are on the road,” Dutiaume expressed.
“But there’s enough games left for us to pick up the points we need – and that means beating Edinburgh, Dundee twice and Hull.
“We also reckon we’re going to need to pick off at least one of the top teams. If that happens we’ll be around the 30-point mark and that is probably where the last play-off spot will land.
“With Hull picking up two wins at the weekend they’re pretty much home and dry - for me it’s now a three-horse race for that last play off spot.”
Despite all Flyers troubles this season, which saw them start the campaign with just six imports, and lose their two top scorers over Christmas, Dutiaume remains adamant the play-off goal is realistic.
He said: “Under the circumstances we‘ve had, with the late set-up and Brits with no experience, the guys have done well. It’s just that my expectations were, and are, higher.
“I want the play-off spot bad, and as a club, it’s extremely important we get it to get a crack at the top eight and see where it goes from there.
“It would be great for the team and the folk who have supported us all year if we could do it.”
Jamie Wilson was ruled out of last night’s match in Cardiff with a shoulder injury sustained against Braehead, while Willie Nicolson is aiming to start light skating next week as he recovers from a dislocated shoulder.