Dutiaume tells Flyers players to put the team first

Fife Flyers celebrate a Ryan Dingle goal against Coventry Blaze (Pic: Martin Watterston)
Fife Flyers celebrate a Ryan Dingle goal against Coventry Blaze (Pic: Martin Watterston)

Fife Flyers head coach Todd Dutiaume has told his players to follow the example set by club captain Ryan Dingle and start putting the team first.

Following the capitulation in Edinburgh on Sunday, Dutiaume once again expressed concerns that certain individuals in his line-up are following their own script rather than sticking to team orders.

And the head coach has warned that there will be no grace period for underperformers - and that players will need to get into line or find themselves replaced.

Dutiaume told the Press: “Almost to our detriment we went 4-1 up in Edinburgh even though we were playing badly and guys started putting their personal agenda ahead of the team performance.

“That’s already happened a couple of times with this club this year.

“Nobody would come out and admit that but it’s easy to see and it won’t be tolerated.

“If I can’t depend on a player to do what it takes to win a hockey game, rather than worrying about his individual stats, then he’s not the guy for us and we won’t wait around.

“Ryan Dingle put in a captain’s performance over the weekend - and the reason the puck is dropping for him is because he’s not cheating, he’s not taking shortcuts, and he’s working his socks off all over the ice.

“A few guys could probably take a page out of that book.”

Dutiaume was much more pleased with the team’s performance against Coventry on Saturday as they secured a 4-1 victory despite running three imports short.

“How we played on Saturday was the team identity and type of team that we want to be,” he said. “You will get performances like that playing short but over the course of the season, you have to play the odds and realise that you have to be at full strength to get any success.”

Dutiaume is hopeful that the infection that kept Ric Jackman out of the weekend will clear in time to allow him to feature in the Gardiner Conference opener at home to Manchester Storm on Saturday, which is followed by a trip to Coventry Blaze on Sunday.

The hand injury sustained by David Turon is also not as bad as initially feared and Dutiaume hopes the defenceman can return to training next week.

Dutiaume is still on the hunt for a replacement for Kyle Follmer with strong rumours linking Kyle Haines with a return to the club after the popular former defenceman departed French side Chamonix-Morzine yesterday.

However, when speaking on Tuesday night, Dutiaume insisted his search had yet to produce a suitable candidate.

“Nobody has jumped off the page but there’s always players and you’ve got to keep your finger on the pulse,” he said.

“Things in the hockey world change daily and we’ll be keeping a serious eye on the North American camps but in the meantime you never know – when a player is unhappy or gets released, you might be able to pull the trigger.

“We know from speaking to the agents that we’re not the only team looking to make changes so players could become available very quickly.”

Dutiaume is hopeful Flyers can make their mark in the league standings after Sunday’s defeat to Edinburgh left their chances of qualifying for the Challenge Cup knock-out phase hanging by a thread.

“It’s not going to be a shining moment for the club if we crash out in the preliminary round, but we’ve got off to great start in league, and as a confidence thing maybe that’s where we keep our momentum,” he said.

“It’s easy to look back and get down about things, but we need to move this team forward and rally them for league and conference.”