Flyers ace TJ turns frustration into goals

Fife Flyers head coach Todd Dutiaume and forward TJ Caig at Ravenscraig Castle. Credit - FPA  -
Fife Flyers head coach Todd Dutiaume and forward TJ Caig at Ravenscraig Castle. Credit - FPA -

One of the features of Fife Flyers’ run towards the play-offs has been the transformation of TJ Caig.

In his previous interview with The Fife Free Press before Christmas, the 35-year-old admitted his frustration over his lack of Elite League points production.

How things have changed for TJ since then.

After scoring only four goals and 15 assists in his first 25 games for Flyers, a points per game ratio of 0.76, the sharp-shooting Canadian has since averaged 1.18 points per game in the second half of the campaign, scoring 13 goals and 19 assists in the following 27 fixtures.

For a veteran forward who arrived in the UK with a goal-scoring pedigree throughout Europe, it has been a much more satisfying sequence.

“You go through it every year,” Caig said of his early season struggles.

“It’s been a tough season for me personally, but as long as we’re winning it really doesn’t matter, and right now we’ve been winning, so I’m definitely having a lot more fun.

“Goals come in bunches, so hopefully they’re coming now.”

A bit part of Caig’s upturn in production has been the improved chemistry on the first line following the arrival of Nico Sacchetti, who is currently the top points per game forward in the EIHL with an impressive average of 1.38.

“It’s always nice playing with really good players and Nico was definitely a huge pick-up for us around Christmas,” Caig said.

“I don’t know where we’d be as a team if he didn’t come in, but it’s definitely nice playing with those guys for sure.”

Caig was on the scoresheet twice in the stunning 8-2 win at Manchester Storm on Sunday, a result that means Flyers will win the Gardiner Conference title if Braehead Clan slip up in their remaining four games.

“It’s good to see that in important games we can put it together and come out on top,” he said.

“It goes to show that if we put our mind to it we can beat anybody and dominate games.

“The conference is out of our control but hopefully it all works out.

“Any team can beat anybody in this league so it’s up in the air.

“It’s just nice to see that we’re playing good hockey.

“The team’s been on a bit of a roll, and it’s been a good time to peak.

“Hopefully we can keep it all together mentally, and keep it going for play-offs.”

The weekend results saw Flyers qualify for the post-season play-offs for the fourth year running.

To mark the achievement, Caig took part in an FFP photoshoot this week at Ravenscraig Castle along with head coach Todd Dutiaume as Flyers prepare to turn Fife Ice Arena into a fortress for the play-offs.

“The fans here are good,” Caig said.

“We always have loud crowds, and they really support their team, so it’s definitely a fun place to play.

“The more lively it is, it makes the game easier, and we appreciate their support.”