Fife Flyers will not give up the chase for the play-offs despite falling nine points behind Cardiff Devils.
That was the message from head coach Todd Dutiaume this week who insisted that the play-offs are still within reach.
Flyers have 18 games remaining, 12 in conference, while eighth-placed Devils have 16 games left, but have the harder run-in on paper.
Dutiaume is clinging to the hope that this could work in Flyers favour.
“We have to think positively about these things,” he told the Press.
“Cardiff have a big tough schedule coming up, and anything can happen in hockey, especially in this league.
“In seasons past most things at this point were decided but nothing is done and dusted yet.
“Maybe Belfast have a hand on the trophy but the rest of league is pretty tight and everyone has something to play for.
“All we can do is go out and play the best we can and see where we are when the dust settles.
“It may come to a point where we’re relying on other people to do us a favour.
“As of now we’re still in control of our own destiny and we have to go out and win hockey games.”
Dutiaume’s belief that Flyers can still reach the play-offs also stems from the team’s improved performances, if not results, in recent weeks.
“The team’s performed very well, but just not won games,” he said.
“It’s no consolation because of the position we’re in - I’m stressed out about it every day - but the guys have been playing some pretty decent hockey.
“We just need a little catalyst to get us going.
“I know time is of the essence, and we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty, so it’s pretty vital that we get a move on.
“This team needs to start winning or we’re in real danger of missing the play-offs by the end of deadline.
“And two months is a long time to play hockey without any hope.”
Flyers next four matches are all away from home with trips to Hull this Saturday, Edinburgh on Sunday (6.00 p.m), back to Hull on Wednesday, followed by a ferry trip to Belfast next Saturday.
“The last time we went down to Hull we played extremely well,” Dutiaume said.
“Edinburgh are always a tricky side, they hang in there in every game, but at this point we can’t sit back.
“We’re going to have to start brushing teams aside and just stealing the points - that’s it.”
Flyers are next at home on Sunday, February 9, against Dundee Stars.