Flyers told to keep it simple

Fife Flyers head coach Todd Dutiaume. Credit: Steve Gunn
Fife Flyers head coach Todd Dutiaume. Credit: Steve Gunn

Fife Flyers head coach Todd Dutiaume has asked his players to return from the Christmas break with renewed determination to get the season back on track.

The squad broke away after Sunday’s 6-4 defeat in Coventry, with players enjoying some time off over the festive period before returning to training on Boxing Day in preparation for the Dundee Stars double-header.

Flyers have managed only two wins from their last 11 games, but Dutiaume believes that the stunning 5-1 victory in Nottingham on Saturday shows the team can turn things around.

“It shows we can have confidence in this team,” he said. “Now it’s really down to the players to bring that performance night in, night out.

“I fully understand that confidence is a big part of the game but we have to make our own breaks.

“It’s about playing smart hockey - and being committed to the simple things. That’s when the game becomes easy.

“When our game’s not simple - when guys are not committed to back checking, or we turn the puck over with a high risk play in a bad area, that affects the team’s psychology - you see the team sink.

“We have to get on top of that - and it’s mental toughness - bringing it night in, night out and not getting distracted.

“It’s good to let the guys get away from ice hockey for a few days, but they need to come back ready for the hard work that we need for a consistent second half of the season.”

Flyers are monitoring injuries to Chris Auger and Kyle Haines with both regarded as doubtful for the weekend.

“It doesn’t look like they are long term injuries, but a lot can change,” Dutiaume said. “We may be a couple of players short this weekend but we don’t want the guys to get distracted by that.

“We had the same situation in Nottingham and managed to win 5-1.”

Flyers welcome Dundee Stars to Kirkcaldy on Saturday (7.15 p.m) before travelling to Dundee Ice Arena on Sunday (6.30 p.m).