We came alive on Sunday, says Flyers coach

Todd Dutiaume reflects on his side's home defeat to Belfast Giants straight after the full-time whistle on Saturday. Pic: Steve Gunn
Todd Dutiaume reflects on his side's home defeat to Belfast Giants straight after the full-time whistle on Saturday. Pic: Steve Gunn

Two defeats in 24 hours - but two very different Fife Flyers performances.

That was the verdict of head coach Todd Dutiaume after watching his team lose home and away to Belfast Giants in the Challenge Cup over the weekend.

Dutiaume was highly critical of the performance on Saturday as Flyers were shut-out on home ice in a 3-0 defeat, but the 42-year-old was pleased with the improvements made in a more closely fought encounter in the Northern Irish capital on Sunday.

“I’ll reiterate what I said on Saturday - we were completely lacking a heart beat and guys looked disinterested at times,” Dutiaume said.

“We addressed the guys before the game on Sunday and demanded a number of things and, to be fair, they delivered for the most part.

“All they did was go out and push back when pushed, hit back when hit, and take body checks. As a result, they looked alive and involved in the hockey game all night.

“I spoke to their coach afterwards and he thought we were a completely different club from the one they faced on the Saturday.

“If we have any hope of success, we need to produce that level of performance all the time.”

While encouraged by Sunday’s efforts, Dutiaume did not mince his words after Saturday’s weak display, which led to boos from the Flyers fans at full-time.

“By the third period, we looked like we’d given up and to me that’s unacceptable,” he said.

“I felt like booing myself sometimes because that wasn’t an impressive response from guys who you would think would be in an attitude to fight for their job.

“You can’t deny that we had zero physicality tonight. We have guys in here to at least bump and grind down low, but guys are avoiding hits and looking scared at times.

“Belfast recognised that because they got a lot more physical in the second period, and you could see guys back away from it, which is disappointing.

“It’s the easiest thing in world to go out there and give someone a bump. No-ones asking you to fight, but you’re certainly asked to play physical.”

Dutiaume believes his players have learned a lesson from the two games and expects them to carry Sunday’s performance into the forthcoming weekend.

“The guys know the difference between Saturday and Sunday,” he said.

“They know what it’s going to take and that they’ve got to produce it on a nightly basis.

“The Kirkcaldy crowd will get behind a team that is working hard, whether it wins or loses.”