DANNY Stewart insists Fife Flyers still have plenty to play for despite seeing their play-off hopes extinguished.
Tuesday’s victory over Hull at Fife Ice Arena came too late to salvage their season as weekend defeats to Dundee and Coventry left Fife out of the running for eighth place.
However, assistant-coach Stewart, currently deputising for the on-leave Todd Dutiaume, wants the team to finish the season on a high.
He told SportsPress: “As coaching staff you always wonder how guys will respond in this situation, but Tuesday night was a good first step.
“The play-offs are gone, but guys are still playing for jobs and trying to impress, and these last four games are a chance to show their character.
“It can be easy for guys to see the season through but Tuesday was a good example of guys pushing through and showing some pride. We’re not going to go half-hearted, especially at home when our fans are paying their money. “We’ll play to the end.”
Flyers’ midweek win ended a run of 13 consecutive Elite League defeats and saw Czech forward Frantisek Bakrlik hit his second hat-trick in a week.
“When Franky first signed he was a little too perimeter,” Stewart said. “You could see he had the skill but he wasn’t going to the net with pucks.
“Now he’s using his size to get to those dirty areas – and he’s picking up goals.
“We’ve been preaching to him to stay in front of the net on powerplays, and to use that big body.
“And on Tuesday he outmuscled a guy and banged in a rebound. That’s how we’re going to score goals. We’re not going to score tic-tac-toe goals.”
Flyers travel to Braehead Arena on Saturday to face the Clan, before Cardiff Devils visit Kirkcaldy on Sunday.