Fife Flyers taking it one game at a time in play-off push

Fife Flyers head coach Todd Dutiaume says he is concentrating on one match at a time as the club aims to make the league play-offs.

Thursday, 13th February 2020, 9:58 am
Fife Flyers will face off against Nottingham Panthers on Friday (Pic: Jillian McFarlane)
Fife Flyers will face off against Nottingham Panthers on Friday (Pic: Jillian McFarlane)

The Flyers currently sit foot of the EIHL Table, seven points short of their target of eight place, a spot currently held by Manchester Storm who crucially have also played one game less than the Kirkcaldy side.

If their task wasn’t daunting enough Flyers could hardly have asked for a tougher weekend than the one that is coming up.

They travel to Nottingham on Friday to play Panthers before a top v bottom battle when Sheffield Steelers arrive at the Fife Ice Arena on Sunday.

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Dutes says he is keen to keep his team motivated and is only focusing on the next game and will not say whether he feels his team has anything left to play for.

“I think it’s important that we don’t look ahead to that,” he said.

“We played two games at the weekend. We lost on Sunday but we gained an important point.

“A three point weekend not only helps us psychologically but hopefully gives us something to build on.

“We’ve got three very tough games approaching and we’re going to need to be at our best to get points out of them and to compete in these games.”

Though with only one win in their last 16 games, Dutiaume says he was delighted to put an end to the unwanted record-equalling 14 game losing streak on Saturday, with a 4-1 win over Dundee Stars.

“Something that I’ve said for years and firmly believe in is that winning, and obviously in this case losing, can be contagious,” he said.

“We found a way to lose some pretty important and heart-breaking games, losing goals in the last minute, simple mistakes costing us points, and that just kept building momentum.

“Obviously the longer it goes on the more it plays in your head mentally.

“It took a very strong performance from the guys to fight their way out of it, but I think it’s important to note that it wasn’t a special performance by any means.

“It was just the basic standard that has to be expected of players putting on a Fife Flyers uniform and we have to compete in this league like that to get points.”

He said the win gave the team a huge boost at a crunch time in the season.

“I think a big problem we have faced for the majority of this season is that we’re a good side, capable of producing offence, and we’ve seen some very strong performances dotted in to these close games that we lost.

“So psychologically for the guys it gave them a big lift, because if it continued much longer it becomes hard to get motivated.”