Fife Flyers coach not dwelling on bad run

Todd Dutiaume. Pic: Steve Gunn
Todd Dutiaume. Pic: Steve Gunn

Fife Flyers head coach Todd Dutiaume insists he is only looking forward as he looks to address the club’s October slump.

A promising start to the season has been derailed by a six-game losing streak that culminated in a devastating collapse in Edinburgh on Sunday as Flyers blew a four-goal lead.

Despite mounting pressure, Dutiaume is confident that his team can turn a corner under his leadership.

“The guys were obviously down after the weekend but we got together on Tuesday, talked a few things out, had a good crisp training session, and a little bit of fun on the ice,” he said.

“We really fell below the targets we set for ourselves and it’s tough to take - but we can’t be dwelling on these things. The more you dwell on them the tougher it gets to look forward.

“We’re looking forward and keeping these guys sharp but light-hearted so they don’t sit and dwell on things all week and the pressure builds even more on them than it has been.

“We’ve been in similar positions before and you have to learn from these situations.

“A huge key is to eliminate all outside factors as much as you can, not to worry about things like that, and stick close together and play for each other. That’s how you get through these things.”

There have been positives for Flyers - for two periods in Edinburgh on Sunday they were unplayable - but mistakes are proving costly, with netminder David Brown appearing low on confidence.

Dutiaume said: “There’s pressures on every position but I can imagine that when a team is losing hockey games, the biggest pressure is on a goal tender.

“Your position comes under the microscope and every goal against gets analysed.

“I had a good talk with Browny and he says he’s in a good spot mentally - which is good.

“Communication between team mates is key. If one of your team mates appears to be struggling, or needs a bit of a boost, it’s up to the group to pick him up.

“He’s one of our team mates and we need to assist Browny in any way possible.

“The best way to do that is to play confidently in front of him and not look like we’re trying to protect anything.”

Responding to question marks over his own position, Dutiaume added: “When a team is playing good the players are amazing, but when they are playing bad the coach is the worst person on earth.

“I’ve heard it all before but these guys will come good, and I’m sure they’ll get the accolades they deserve.

“We just have to be persistent with our approach and keep moving forward. And once these guys start winning hockey games it will all be forgotten.”

Flyers make their first journey to Altrincham on Saturday to face Manchester Storm, before welcoming Braehead Clan to Fife Ice Arena on Sunday.