Fit-again Phil backs Flyers to find team identity

Phil Paquet is back in action for Fife Flyers. Pic: Steve Gunn
Phil Paquet is back in action for Fife Flyers. Pic: Steve Gunn

Phillipe Paquet admits that Fife Flyers are still searching for the right team chemistry after slumping to four consecutive defeats.

The 29-year-old defenceman returned to action at the weekend after missing the first few weeks of the season due to a lower body injury picked up during summer training.

Paquet is one of only four imports to return from the side that reached the play-off finals weekend last season, and he reckons the new-look team is still going through some growing pains.

“We’re just looking for that team identity right now and we’re still unsure of ourselves in certain parts of the game,” he said.

“I think it’s going to come. All of the guys in there are leaders, and have played many years professionally.

“Once we find that team identity and we’re all pulling together in the same direction then it’s a good squad that we have.

“Personally, I’m not even worried about it right now.”

Aside from the Brits, Paquet returned to a completely new-look defence on Saturday, and one which he believes has a a “different vibe” from last season’s backline.

“We’ve got six right-hand defenceman, so that’s an adjustment compared to last year when we were even with lefties and righties,” he said.

“We have a good group of guys back there with a lot of composure, and Moyer and Jackman are doing a great job with the leadership too.

“All we have to do with the forwards we have this year is give them the puck.

“We maybe have to work on the defensive zone, and on working defensively with the forwards, but I think our group this year is a step up from last year, defensively.”

Paquet was speaking after Saturday’s overtime defeat to Edinburgh and while stressing that he was “100 per cent” recovered from his injury, he admitted that he struggled with the pace of the game for the opening two periods.

“I was a fish out of water,” he confessed. “I didn’t think I was going to be that bad but in the first period I was just a second or two behind.

“All of a sudden towards the end of second my lungs started feeling better. I haven’t skated like that in five months but in the third I felt almost back to normal.

“It was one of those injuries where I couldn’t do any cardio. I had to keep the weight off it so my cardio is not there yet, but that will come.

“For me my main concern was just getting the feel of the puck back.”