Fife Flyers defenceman James Isaacs has been one of the team’s most reliable performers this season – and the stats prove it.
The 30-year-old Canadian is taking pride in his current plus-minus, a hockey stat used to measure which players are on the ice when goals or either scored or conceded.
His plus eight figure is the best on the Fife roster, and inside the top 10 in the Elite League overall, and that’s despite not having scored a goal himself for two years!
“I’d like to get that elusive goal pretty soon,” he said.
“It’s starting to weigh on me a little bit but my game is defensive hockey.
“I know plus-minus is a bad stat sometimes because guys can be on the ice when you’re trying to score and the net is empty, but it’s something I try to take pride in.
“I obviously like to be on for more goals for than I am against so my plus-minus is something I’m pretty happy with right now.
“If you can be plus 15 or 20 at the end of the year it shows that you’ve done something right so that’s a goal I’ve always had and that’s what I’d like to try and get to this year.
“I also love playing with Gutwald – we have a pretty good chemistry and we think along the same lines so it’s a lot of fun playing back there.”
Isaacs, now a household name in Fife in his fourth season with the club, feels that the team are well positioned to have a good season despite a difficult start.
“It’s a really tight league,” he said.
“For the amount of losses we’ve had, we’re not even that far out of first place.
“You have a good month or string together six or seven games out of 10, you’re probably doing pretty good.
“I certainly think our effort level over the last four weeks has been pretty good.
“The results haven’t gone our way but typically if you put in those types of efforts, the results do come.
“A realistic goal I think for a lot of teams this year is just to get some sort of points on the weekend and four is a bonus.
“Long gone are the days where we’re playing Edinburgh or even the ‘Scottish teams’.
“Four point weekends for those southern teams coming up here is just not a thing anymore.
“We’ve got a Scottish team in first place, and Dundee just beat Belfast in Belfast.
“It’s anyone’s game on any given night.”
Isaacs was speaking after a weekend that saw Fife claim their first win of the season over rivals Glasgow Clan at the fourth attempt.
“It was huge,” he said.
“We felt we probably should have beat them once or twice, or at least taken some points out of some of the games, so it was good to get the full two points.
“Especially to come back because I know there was a bad stat going around that shows that we haven’t come back very often this year.
“It was very important and hopefully it got some of the fans back on our side.
“It was good to see the place rambunctious and a lot more fans in the house again.”
Isaacs was particularly pleased that Flyers managed to win the game from 2-0 down.
“There’s a core in here that was called the pesky Flyers for a reason so you don’t exactly forget how to do that,” he said.
“I think our team’s actually had pretty good starts for most of the year, something that we definitely didn’t do when we were the pesky Flyers.
“It’s funny how certain teams have different starts or finishes, but hopefully we can pull it all together and have a full 60 throughout the rest of the season.”