No panic despite slow start for Flyers

Todd Dutiaume
Todd Dutiaume

Fife Flyers head coach Todd Dutiaume insists there is no panic at the club despite a disappointing start to the new Elite League season.

Flyers failed to take any points from the opening weekend after suffering back-to-back defeats to Coventry Blaze, which included a shut-out in Saturday’s eagerly anticipated home opener.

However, Dutiaume insisted that the defeats would serve us an early wake-up call to his slow starters.

“We came up against a good, hard-working, disciplined Coventry side but the games highlighted a few issues for us,” he said.

“Guys have to be in the right condition to put in the hard work required to win these hockey games.

“It’s not just going to just happen for us - any success will come by out-working teams every night and by sticking to our simple systems.

“We took some positives from the weekend - Kevin Regan was fantastic and Kyle Haines was one of the best performers on the ice - but we had a number of passengers and that just won’t be tolerated this season.”

It has also been a slow start for new signings Chris Auger, Scott Fleming and Jamie Milam but Dutiaume insists the new boys must be given time to acclimatise.

“Every time we’ve brought guys over from North America it’s taken time to settle in,” Dutiaume said.

“It’s a different game over here. They are relied on in much more diverse situations - powerplay, penalty kill and playing 30 to 40 minutes a game.

“They are used to playing a supporting cast in 20 to 30 second shifts, but we increase that to a minute right off the bat.

“That’s not an excuse because we’re confident in these guys ability.

“We just need the transition to go quicker and smoother and for it to happen in September rather than the end of November.”

Flyers go into another double header this weekend with Sheffield Steelers visiting Fife Ice Arena on Saturday before Flyers travel to Ice Sheffield on Sunday.

“We knew this would be a tough start for us,” Dutiaume said. “However, we want to get some team confidence going and put some points on the board.

“We didn’t make our goals in the first weekend of the season but that’s not going to deter us. We’ll push on and demand more out of the guys.”

Dutiaume confirmed that Jordan Steel will not be signing after training with the Kirkcaldy club during pre-season.