Dutiaume defiant after Flyers fifth straight loss

Tough times for Fife Flyers
Tough times for Fife Flyers

A defiant Todd Dutiaume vowed to turn around Fife Flyers poor form after the team slumped to a fifth straight defeat tonight.

A sorry 4-1 loss at home to Dundee Stars kept the Kirkcaldy club rooted to the bottom of the Elite League, and heaped pressure on the head coach.

However, Dutiaume, in his 11th season as coach and his fifth in the EIHL, remains convinced that he, and associate coach Danny Stewart, are the right men to lead the club.

“That’s clearly going to be up to management,” he said.

“If it’s not the case, I’m sure management will let us know.

“For the moment we’ll stick to the game plan, and we will right this.

“We’re just going through a bit of a rough patch right now.”

Dutiaume added that he believes the team is currently stuck in a “psychological rut” and that changes to the roster, rather than the coaching staff, could be the answer.

The long-serving Canadian has faced tough questions over his position before - Flyers were rooted to the bottom of the EIHL in January 2013 and the knives were out.

But he turned things around then, leading the team all the way to the play-off semi-finals. He now needs to show he can do so again.

This was a big night for Flyers, but the team simply failed to deliver.

Netminder David Brown had a bad night and was an easy scapegoat but few players emerged with pass marks.

Flyers looked low on confidence from the start, but the team’s belief shattered completely after Dundee took a 1-0 lead on 5.16.

Bobby Chaumont’s speculative shot from the wing should have been a routine block for Brown but the Fife goalie let it bounce through him into the net.

Flyers’ pursuit of an equaliser wasn’t helped by a solid performance by Dundee netminder Vlastimil Lakosil, but Flyers brittleness - and lack of a purpose - was the real issue.

The longer the match wore on, the more frustrated the home crowd became - with some booing following what is becoming a routinely ineffective powerplay.

The loss of a second goal on 35.32 was a hammer blow.

Flyers impersonated statues in defence as the puck slithered along their crease to leave Riley Wetmore with a simple back post tap-in.

Things got worse in the third as Brown conceded another terrible goal, losing sight of the puck completely allowing John Dolan an empty net.

As the goal went in, Dutiaume slumped to his seat behind the bench, with his head in hands. He remained seated for the rest of the game.

Flyers gave themselves a glimmer of hope 49.54 as Ryan Dingle managed to deflect a Thomas Muir slapshot past Lakosil to avoid the embarrassment of a home shut-out.

But any slim hopes of a comeback were snuffed out almost immediately as Lou Dickenson cracked a shot into the top corner on 51.52.

This was a whimpering defeat on a night where Flyers were expected to kick-start their season.

The team will need to stick together, and come out fighting in Edinburgh tomorrow.