Schaber: We need to get back to what makes us the Fife Flyers

Fife Flyers forward Chase Schaber. Pic: Scott Wiggins
Fife Flyers forward Chase Schaber. Pic: Scott Wiggins
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Chase Schaber admits Fife Flyers need to get back to the style of play that made them successful.

Flyers are on course for their best ever season in the Elite League but a recent downturn in performances has resulted in four defeats in the past five games.

Schaber puts it down to a slip in standards, and says the team must knuckle down to rediscover the form that saw them win 13 out of 14 league games between the end of November and early January.

“We went on a pretty good skid for a bit, and had a good win streak going, but that’s in the past, and now we’re dealing with a little bit of advertisty,” he told the Press.

“Last weekend was not our prettiest, with some sloppy play at times. There are some things we have to clean up as a group, and we know it.

“It’s simple things that shouldn’t be happening because we’re getting away from the systems and getting a little bit lazy in regards to what we’re supposed to be doing.

“If we just get back to work, and look at the black and white picture, and how we were succesful earlier on, and know we’re getting away from it.

“We need to get back to what makes us the Fife Flyers and what makes us succesful on the ice.

“That’s going to be our focus going into this weekend. It’s going to be a good week and practice and we’re just going to go up from here.”

Schaber admitted Flyers may have been guilty of underestimating Dundee Stars on Saturday after the Taysiders recovered from 5-2 down in the third period to win 7-6 on penalty shots.

“We maybe took it for granted,” he said.

“After getting a couple of goals up, maybe a few guys we’re thinking it was point night and time to juice your individual stats, but you can’t think like that.

“Today’s game is so fast, and you need to be so well structured and play so sound within your system, that you can’t deviate from it. As soon as you do, it just snowballs, and when it starts, it’s tough to stop.

“Let’s hope we’ve got our wake-up call and we come to work this week.

“We need to get back to what makes us successful and that’s hard work, simple plays and getting everyone’s confidence back to where it should be.”

Schaber scored Flyers only goal in a 4-1 defeat to Cardiff Devils on Sunday, and although the performance was an improvement, simple mistakes proved costly.

“It’s never easy to get off a nine-hour bus trip and try to outperform a team that’s been sitting down there waiting for you all day,” he said.

“The effort was there, it was just little mistakes that can be easily avoided, that we’re just doing right now.

“We just need to buckle down and realise we need to keep pucks out the middle, use our speed, and keep pucks going up the wall.

“We have fast, big, skilled forwards that can skate, shoot and put the puck in the net. and the only way to do that is if we put the puck deep in the other team’s zone.

“We’ve got to quite messing around with it in our own zone, putting pucks up the ice and forcing pasess.

“We need to make the first pass, get up the ice, get pucks past the other team’s defender and go to work down low because that’s where we saw success.

“We’ve been getting away from it and that’s what been costing us.”

Flyers have put themselves in a position to challenge for both Gardiner Conference and overall EIHL title but Schaber, who is averaging a point per game in a fine individual season, is only focusing on one game at a time.

“I don’t like to get caught up in all the talk about conference titles and that kind of stuff,” he said,

“That takes care of itself, but our job is to go on the ice and execute the game plan.

“If you worry about the other outside stuff, it’s no good for anyone in the room.

“You can leave that up to the fans to talk about, but our job is to go on the ice and win games as a team.

“That’s what we need to do. Get back winning as a team, and working together as one.”