Misfiring Flyers forwards to be given more time

Rok Pajic pictured celebrating his goal against Dundee. Pic: Steve Gunn.

Rok Pajic pictured celebrating his goal against Dundee. Pic: Steve Gunn.

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Fife Flyers misfiring forwards will be given more time to prove that they can score the goals needed to lift the club off the bottom of the Elite League table.

Flyers are the EIHL’s lowest scorers this season so far, and they managed only two goals over the weekend, both scored by Rok Pajic, in defeats to Hull and Dundee.

Some fans are already calling for changes to be made, but head coach Todd Dutiaume told the Press that he will give his forwards more time to start finding the net.

“We know we have a good ice hockey club, with good personnel,” he said.

“We’re finding that we’re not clicking as far as offence goes.

“We’ve had words with a few guys and made a few changes as far as positioning is concerned, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that guys jerseys are on a shaky nail.

“We don’t want to make idle threats. If it ever came to that then a person would be given plenty notice and we’d look for a suitable replacement. We’re not at that stage yet.

“I’ve looked back at tapes of the weekend, and although I was very frustrated after the Hull game, we had a lot more quality scoring chances than they did. We just didn’t bury any.

“And on Sunday night in Dundee we spent 22 minutes in the penalty box for minors. We’re spending a lot of time in the box and that’s where we’re getting punished.

“We’ve only given up two or three even strength goals all season - but we’re giving up an awful lot of powerplay goals.

“Our penalty killers are doing a great job but if you give a team two or three five-on-threes per game, they will score goals against you. That’s what’s happening.”

Flyers welcome Sheffield Steelers, who have strengthened their attack with the signings of Italian internationalists Nate DiCasmirro and Rob Sirianni, to the rink this Saturday, face-off 7.15 p.m.

Flyers then travel to Murrayfield Ice Rink on Sunday to take on Edinburgh Capitals in the Gardiner Conference, face-off 6.00 p.m, just two weeks after thrashing their Forth rivals 5-0 in the Challenge Cup.

“There are over 50 games left in the season and every team will have their dips - I’d like to think we’ve had our dip early,” Dutiaume said.

“The guys are hungry for wins so hopefully we come out firing on all cylinders.”

Flyers are expected to be without captain Justin DaCosta for up to a month after the defenceman was injured following a check from behind from Billy Bagron on Sunday that earned the Dundee forward a four-game ban.

Jamie Wilson returned to light work-outs this week as he battles back from a severe concussion, while player-coach Dutiaume remains on the NHS waiting list for an operation to have metal pins removed from his injured knee.