Fife Flyers’ play-off hopes are hanging by a thread, and this desperate situation has taken the force out of their enforcer.
Matt Nickerson has been on his best behaviour since returning for a nine-game ban, with only a small handful of minor penalties over the last six games.
His resolve was tested during Saturday’s overtime defeat to Cardiff Devils with a number of niggly incidents that the pre-ban Nickerson may have looked to address.
The big American, however, is well aware that the need for points is currently greater than the need to settle any scores.
“It’s frustrating at the moment because everyone knows we need the wins,” he said.
“It’s hard not to get angry and lash out but talking to the guys on Saturday, they didn’t want it from me.
“I’m trying to help the team win and me being off the ice isn’t going to help us win.
“There’s a time and place to step up - and if someone needs sorted out I will still do that.
“But if I have to swallow my pride to pick up some points, then I’ve no problem with that.
“Unless we’re winning 7-1 I just have to stay in control and play my game.”
Nickerson is refusing to concede defeat in the race for a play-off spot despite the defeat to Devils on Saturday.
“We knew how important that game was and we didn’t want to give them one point, let alone the two,” he said.
“We had our chances again - we missed some open nets - and I don’t think the refereeing did us any favours either, but that’s something we’ve become accustomed to.
“It’s an uphill battle from here on out, but if we put together some wins things can still work out for us.
“We still have a chance - but we have to take the bull by the horns and do it for ourselves.”
Nickerson is looking to start a winning run with a four-point weekend away to Hull and Edinburgh.
“It has to start now,” he said. “We really need to pick up wins.
“Saturday will be the first time I’ve played in Hull this season.
“They’ve been on a good run lately so we’ll need the same effort we had against Cardiff.”