Ric Jackman admits he is puzzled by Fife Flyers record against his former club this season after suffering an eighth straight defeat to Braehead Clan on Friday.
The former NHL defenceman, along with veteran forward Brendan Brooks, have been unable to get the better of their previous employers since making the jump from Clan to Kirkcaldy last summer.
With one more meeting between the clubs before the end of the season, Jackman is desperate to break the jinx before any potential head-to-head in the play-offs.
“I don’t know what it is,” he told the Press. “I wish I knew, so we could make some adjustments.
“It’s a team that’s had our number all season. It’s frustrating with it being a derby game for us and them being one of our biggest rivals.
“Any time you get a chance to play your former team you want to do well. That hasn’t been the case this season and we seem to be having a lot of trouble in our conference.
“We’ve done well down south but haven’t taken care of business up here.
“We’re looking to put a couple of wins together and get the ball rolling going into the play-offs, so that last game against Braehead us going to be pretty important for our crew.
“To put up a win against them would ease our minds a little bit. We have a team capable of beating them - it just comes down to actually getting out there and doing it.”
Flyers followed up Friday’s defeat in Braehead with another two losses, home and away to Dundee Stars to complete a miserable weekend.
“Dundee are fighting for their lives to try and make it into the play-offs and we didn’t play our best hockey,” Jackman said.
“At times we played well and at times we were a little bit lackadaisical - and it showed on the ice.
“For our team to be successful we need to play for the full 60 minutes and that will be the key to our success.”
A poor second period was a feature of all three matches over the weekend, and Jackman admitted that it needs to be addressed.
“It has been a problem,” he said. “For some reason we’re coming out of the gates pretty well and then come in for the intermission and leave our heads in the room for the second period.
“It’s something we’ve been working on - competing for 60 full minutes. We’ve got a good team here so if we can do that, we’ll win games.”
Flyers have managed just one win in their last six games, and most concerning of all is the number of goals lost, 34 in total, in that stretch.
“We’re very upset about that,” Jackman added. “The amount of goals that have been scored on us in the last five or six games is astronomical.
“It’s uncharacteristic of us as we’ve been a pretty solid group defensively, with the best goalie in the league.
“I think it’s just going to come down to staying out of the penalty box. Our PK is not at peak right now so the less penalties we take, the less chances we’ll give the other team.
“It’s been a rollercoaster season and we’re on a down just now but we’ve just got to find a way to claw out of it.”
Flyers returned to crossover action this weekend with fixtures away to Belfast Giants on Saturday and home to Sheffield Steelers on Sunday.
The Fifers have found their best form this season against Erhardt Conference teams, and Jackman hopes that will
“We’re going to play a top team in Belfast,” he said. “We’ve had some success against them this year and hopefully we can bring our A game for that.
“Coming home to play Sheffield on Sunday - a team who recently gave it to us down at their rink - we’ll be looking to return the favour and make it a good weekend.
“I’m sure the coach will have a good game plan set for us, and it’s up to us as the players to execute.”