Fife Flyers face do-or-die weekend to keep season alive

Fife Flyers are facing a do-or-die weekend in the battle to save their season.

Saturday, 8th February 2020, 12:20 pm
Fife Flyers head coach Todd Dutiaume. Pic: Steve Gunn

A run of 14 consecutive losses – matching the record set in the club’s difficult first EIHL season – has left them eight points behind the play-off positions.

Flyers face both teams directly above them in the standings this weekend – Dundee Stars at home ice tonighty followed by a trip to Manchester Storm tomorrow – and two wins are needed to keep the campaign alive.

“This weekend is incredibly crucial,” said head coach Todd Dutiaume.

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Key to their hopes will be addressing the problem with scoring goals.

“The story of the season has been the lack of offensive production,” he added. “We’ve seen our highest producing guys fall right off the map and it’s been an incredible disappointment.

“When you’re not producing offense, all it takes is one mistake, as happened in Nottingham on Sunday, to lose the game.

“If you’re producing four or five goals a game then there is room for errors, and we’ve had that in the past when you win a game 5-2 or 4-2.

“But when you’re providing below an average of two goals per game, it’s a big problem.”

Flyers will be without defenceman Sam Jones for the Dundee match after he was served with a one-match suspension for an elbow in the defeat to Nottingham Panthers on Sunday.

While accepting the ban, Dutiaume admitted his concern at the lack of consistency in the decision-making of the EIHL Department of Player Safety.

“I looked at it and it’s probably a suspension – I can’t argue the call,” he said.

“I’m more mad about the lack of calls happening against this club, not only the majors and suspensions, but the minor penalties.

“If I blamed all our issues on the refereeing, that comes across as pathetic. But the players are convinced there is something going on because they’re out there playing in this – and I haven’t been happy with it at all.

“That might be a piece of the puzzle but that is not our biggest problem. We had powerplay opportunities on both games on the weekend and didn’t convert.”