Fife Flyers coach Todd Dutiaume is looking forward to facing Coventry Blaze on home ice tonight after Sunday’s nightmare road trip to the Skydome.
Flyers’ team bus broke down on the way to the game resulting in a two-and-a-half hour delay to face-off – and a tiresome 11-hour journey for the Kirkcaldy men – who went on to lose the match 6-1.
While accepting that the travel chaos impacted on the team’s preparation, Dutiaume refused to use it as an excuse for the performance.
“The journey had an impact but if we had shown even a little bit of desire to compete for the full game it was there for the taking,” he said.
“That was one of our best chances to win in Coventry and the guys will be reminded that they are here to show up for two games every weekend.
“It’s very important that we get the same effort on the road as we do at home. Lost points on the road ended up costing us last season in the league and conference.
“Commitment and effort levels have to be there every night or we’ll end up in a similar or worse position than last season- and we don’t want that. The guys know our feelings on it.
“We knew we had a tough September and injuries haven’t helped but we don’t want guys to use that as a way out because we still expect to win these games.
“We’ve now got three one-game weekends in a row, so we’ll be expecting the guys to find a way to grind out three wins.”
Coventry will be without forward Kevin Harvey tonight after the league banned him for four games following a disciplinary review of an incident on Sunday that left Flyers forward Jamie Wilson suffering from concussion.
Dutiaume explained: “To be fair to the officials they made the right call at the time as a 2+10 for checking to the head.
“But I was concerned for Jamie when he came off the ice afterwards, he didn’t look right.
“He then called me the next morning to say he was feeling ill and dizzy so he got checked out and it turns out he’s concussed.
“I didn’t see how bad the hit was at the time but I looked at the tape and thought it deserved further punishment.
“We pieced together the clip, sent it to the league and they obviously agreed because they upped it to a four game ban.
“Jamie will be monitored this week before a decision is made on whether he can play.”
Flyers are hopeful defenceman Tim Hartung will ice after sitting out the defeat in Coventry as a precaution due to injury, while Matt Nickerson will once again miss out as he serves the last of his four game ban.
The club are trying to bring in a 12th import - believed to be a forward from eastern Europe - to help bolster the squad but as yet no deal has been finalised.
“We’ve been in talks with a player but nothing is completed yet,” Dutiaume said.
“Hopefully something can transpire quickly because we can certainly use the cover now.
“To get a guy in for the weekend, however, would be a long shot.”
Flyers 75th anniversary match is also taking shape with several legends now on the roster.
Five members of the 1999/2000 Grand Slam winning team - Russell Monteith, Ted Russell, Frank Morris, John Haig and Steven King - are confirmed along with Lindsay Lovell, Gordon Goodsir, Iain Robertson, Andy Samuel, Bernie McCrone, Doug Smail, Gordon Latto, Ron Plumb and Dave Stoyanovich.
The Legends game takes place on Tuesday, October 1, face-off 7.00 p.m.