Flyers keen to maintain momentum – but winning team not immune to changes

Flyers celebrate Brendan Brooks opener against Cardiff on Sunday. Pic: Steve Gunn
Flyers celebrate Brendan Brooks opener against Cardiff on Sunday. Pic: Steve Gunn

Fife Flyers head coach Todd Dutiaume has called on his players to keep their foot on the gas after three consecutive wins took the club to second spot in the Elite League.

Flyers moved into their highest ever position in the overall standings after the 4-0 win over league leaders Cardiff Devils on Sunday.

After a disappointing early exit in the Challenge Cup group stages, Flyers have taken seven wins from the opening 11 league fixtures, and Dutiaume wants to maintain momentum.

“I think it was crucial as a club and as a group that we followed up the sweep of Dundee with a solid performance against Cardiff,” he said.

“They had a big push-back in the second period but we weathered that storm and we certainly did enough to deserve a victory in that game.

“There wasn’t any magic formula we put in place. It was stuff we’ve been trying to hammer home since the beginning of the season.

“But as you see pinned up around our room, our belief is that if you work hard within the structure, we’re going to get results.

“You see that with us beating Belfast, Nottingham, Coventry, now Cardiff on home ice.

“That’s a good start to the league campaign, and the theme in those wins is that work ethic and desperation that we’ve spoken about.”

Dutiaume believes that keeping a healthy line-up and a full quota of imports will be key to Flyers hopes of mounting a challenge for silverware.

Defenceman James Isaacs is currently filling in a forward role for Shayne Stockton, who is injured long term, but Dutiaume admits that even a winning team is not immune to changes.

“As a club we’re going to try to accommodate James – I think he’s doing a great job,” Dutiaume said.

“He’s happy to help the team out in any way we need and you need players like that who aren’t selfish and put the team first.

“It builds towards a positive environment in the dressing room when you have guys out there that will do anything for team to help you win.

“Him, Schaber and Scoony have really been the lifeblood that got this ball rolling for us.

“They are line that can be relied on to be physical , keep the game simple, and are playing really well right now. There’s no reason that can’t continue.

“A sa coach I feel confident in that line putting them in numerous situations and they are soaking it up which is great.

“Of course, we’re still out there looking for guys, and there have been some interesting names we’ve come across. Nothing has happened as of yet although it’s not for the lack of trying. It’s something we’re working on a consistent basis.

“In this league, you need to have your finger on the pulse with what’s going on in the free agent market as you can see with the situation like Stocks, anything can happen at any time. When you do have momentum you want to be on top of things so you can keep it going.

“We’ll continue to fight and improve this team day-to-day and every week we have a meeting with management and push our agenda.

“As a rule of thumb I generally get the majority of things I want for this club, and if a player comes available who will be a difference-maker, we’ll fight very hard to get him.”

Flyers travel to Belfast Giants tonight before welcoming Edinburgh Capitals to Fife Ice Arena tomorrow evening.

“We want to keep the momentum and have that team confidence that you can rely on your team mates and yourself to bring that work ethic every game,” Dutiaume added.

“Will we have a perfect record? Of course not, this league is too good for that. But if you come out and perform consistently like that, you’re giving yourself a chance.”