Chris Auger reckons Fife Flyers can cause an upset in the play-offs after giving a battling performance against Elite League runners-up Braehead Clan on Sunday.
Flyers went down 3-2 in the last game of the regular season but dominated for long spells, and Auger believes Flyers now have the confidence to tackle league champions Sheffield Steelers in this weekend’s play-off quarter-finals.
They’re going to have a lot of pressure on them and if we can find our offence like we have in the last couple of weeks we’ll be a dangerous team to play againstChris Auger
“It’s never easy to take when you lose, but I was very pleased with the way we played for 60 minutes,” he said.
“It’s the kind of workmanlike effort you need to have every game.
“It was an amazing atmosphere, and we would’ve loved nothing more than to win and set ourselves up for Braehead in the the play-offs, because I don’t think they would’ve wanted to see us.
“They’ve had success against us but we felt confident against them.
“Instead we’re facing Sheffield and it’s going to be a tremendous challenge.
“They won the league so all the pressure is on them.
“We’re just looking forward to the first game at home and going to work against them.
“They’re going to have a lot of pressure on them and if we can find our offence like we have in the last couple of weeks we’ll be a dangerous team to play against.”
Auger believes Flyers have a genuine chance of play-off success now they have learned to control their emotions.
“It’s been up and down all year,” he said. “You never want to get too high or too low but we’ve had trouble battling our emotions.
“Over the past few weeks I feel we’ve come to a certain level where we can manage it and next week it’s going to be like that.
“You saw how small the margin for error was on Sunday night - we made three mistakes and lost three goals.
“That’s what it’s going to come down to in play-offs.
“It’s special teams and small margins of error so we’re going to have to be tighter than we were on Sunday.”
Auger is hopeful that he will have better luck in front of goal this weekend after somehow failing to find the net against Clan.
“I’m as baffled as everyone else,” he said. “I had a lot of good chances and shots.
“We’ve got to give their goalie credit - he played well and made some big saves, not just on myself.
“It’s always hard when you’re not getting chances - obviously you want to bury them - but it’s a good feeling to know that I’m starting to find my game again, hopefully at the right time of year.”
Auger was the club’s top scorer before missing six weeks with a shoulder injury. He felt that Sunday was his best game since returning at the end of January.
“It’s probably the best I’ve felt since I’ve been back,” he said.“It’s been longer than I’d anticipated but you never know when you come back from something like that.
“I jumped straight back in as soon as I was cleared because here we don’t have the luxury of waiting around with spare bodies. As time goes on you get more comfortable and get better.
“I was switched over to the wing and that was an adjustment period, but you always want to be peaking at the right time and I hope that’s what’s happening.”
Auger believes the Fife fans can play a big part in any play-off success after being blown away by Sunday’s atmosphere.
“You see how lively they get when we’re playing well,” he said.
“It’s the effort thing - they respond when we try - and next weekend they could definitely be a sixth or seventh person out there for us.
“We have to given them a reason to get behind us.
“We’ll work this week getting ready for Sheffield and hopefully come out with a game plan that will give us success.”