Fife Flyers developing me as a player and person – Jonas Emmerdahl

Fife Flyers defenceman Jonas Emmerdahl believes he is developing as both a person and player after swapping Sweden for Scotland.

Thursday, 19th December 2019, 10:55 am
Fife Flyers D-man Jonas Emmerdahl has been enjoying his first season in the Elite League. Pic: Steve Gunn

The 27-year-old from Stockholm has no regrets over leaving his homeland in the summer and insists he is enjoying every minute of his first season playing ice hockey overseas.

“It’s been a great experience so far,” he told the Press.

“I feel I’m becoming a better player and I’m growing as a human being outside the rink as well.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“I’d been playing in Sweden at senior level for nine or 10 years, and it was the same thing every year, so it’s been fun to do something else, and get a different experience.”

Despite arriving with basic school-taught English, the former Swedish U19 international has had no problems picking up the language, nor with adjusting to life in the Elite League.

“It’s hard when you’re used to just talking in your native tongue, but speaking-wise, I’m getting better and better,” he said.

“On the ice it’s a little bit different because, in Sweden, you often play with four lines so it’s more intense every shift.

“There are shorter shifts and you can go harder and tire out the other team.

“Here, when we play with three lines and, right now five D, you have to play much smarter, and put your energy into the right situations.

“In Sweden, you can go hard for 25 seconds, and work your socks off during the shift.

“Here you have to play smarter, otherwise you’re going to run out of energy, and it’s going to be tough to go out on the next shift.”

With injuries to Mike Cazzola, Chase Schaber and Sam Jones, as well as Danick Gauthier’s suspension, Flyers have been particularly stretched in recent weeks.

But Emmerdahl believes it can bring the best out of the team.

“It makes you come together as a group,” he said.

“We need every individual even more when we’re running short on bodies.

“We just try to play a simple game and make sure we make the right decisions out there, and have a smart game plan.

“We’ve been playing with five D now for a month or so, and I think we’ve been doing a pretty good job, but of course we miss Sam Jones.

“It means we have different D partners every shift, so then you get to know all the guys better, and it’s working okay.

“We just need to, as a team, be able to play for 60 minutes and get the wins, that’s our problem right now.”

Emmerdahl was speaking after a disappointing weekend that saw Flyers follow a 6-2 loss in Sheffield with a 5-2 home defeat to Guildford.

“We had the lead in both those games, and we were running short on bodies,” he said.

“It was tough to lose both of those games, but I certainly think we should have got some points.

“We lacked a bit of energy in the third against Guildford - I think we should have won that game for sure.

“They scored a powerplay goal to even it up at 2-2, then we had a bad change and they scored a shorthanded goal.

“When you get two of those goals against you it’s pretty hard mentally, and we didn’t manage to get back on track after that.

“We’ve just got to bounce back and look to the next weekend.”

Flyers are currently languishing in eighth position in the EIHL just two points ahead of Saturday’s opponents, Manchester Storm.

Emmerdahl has confidence that the team can climb the standings.

“We’ve shown we can beat every team in this league,” he said.

“Even in Sheffield on Saturday, we played with half a team compared to them and still gave them a good match, and were in the lead.

“I am certain we have the skill and the players we need to move up in the table, we just need everybody to be fit.

“Right now we need to play smarter and make good decisions on the ice, otherwise we’re going to get punished.”