Fife Flyers: Todd Dutiaume gives update on injuries and concerns over DOPS ban

Lucas Sandstrom was an injury concern after last weekend's game against Coventry Blaze (Pic: Derek Young)Lucas Sandstrom was an injury concern after last weekend's game against Coventry Blaze (Pic: Derek Young)
Lucas Sandstrom was an injury concern after last weekend's game against Coventry Blaze (Pic: Derek Young)
Fife Flyers captain Jonas Emmerdahl expects to be in the line-up for this weekend’s games after being ejected from Sunday’s game for a check to the head - a penalty which normally attracts a suspension.

But with the club having heard nothing from the EIHL’s Department of Player Safety (DOPS), the Swedish defenceman is preparing as normal for Saturday’s trip to face Manchester Storm, and Sunday’s home game against Cardiff Devils.

The hugely contentious call against Emmerdahl came in the final minute of Flyers’ game against Coventry Blaze, and was shrouded in confusion.

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The player only left the ice pad after the officials, who initially called no penalty, wrongly identified forward Janne Kivilahti. The penalty saw Blaze grab a powerplay winner within just 13 seconds on the clock.

But fears that Emmerdahl would face a ban from DOPS appear to have abated. As of Thursday, the club had received no communication, and was preparing on the basis of no further action.

The issue of consistency when it comes to calls was highlighted by Jeff Hutchins, associate coach, after Lucas Sandstrom departed the Blaze game after a hefty check left him with suspected concussion.

Hutchins said: “If you are going to let everything go in the first period, the guys have the thought that the tempo of game will be consistent,. Making calls at critical points that haven’t bovine made the rest of the game is frustrating for the guys and I feel for them.”

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The good news for fans is that Sandstrom trained on Tuesday in what the club said was a “positive step” but it will assess him closer to face-off.

Flyers go into the weekend minus British forward James Spence who is sidelined with a broken hand - an injury sustained in his final shift in the recent game against Nottingham Panthers.

Flyers remain in seventh spot, but need points to stay in that play-off spot in an increasingly competitive league .

Tod Dutiaume, head coach, said injuries were a factor in hindering the team’s progress, and the search for new faces remains on-going.

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He said: “You can’t get too down. There are a number of teams in our position right now. As a group we have to decide what we are going to bring on a consistent basis. Injuries make that tough, and they are coming across the bench from the oldest to the youngest players.

“A season ending injury like the one Shawn Cameron suffered leaves a big hole in our line up, and it does put the guys on a downer. We have to get up to full complement and have that extra guy to step in for injuries and also give guys a break.

“Consistency comes from performance and when you are battling injuries that’s when it breaks down. If you’re playing hurt, you won’t fly through games, and teams will come and grind you down.

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