Elite League preview: Blaze determined to put things right

Coventry Blaze are hoping a double-header on home ice will spark a much-needed upturn in their fortunes this weekend.

Blaze host Belfast Giants in the Elite League on Saturday, before facing Manchester Storm in the Challenge Cup the following day aiming to end a run of four successive defeats.

Forward Ross Venus says the players are determined to put things right.

“I don’t think we have played that badly at times, although in certain aspects of the game we could have been better that’s for sure, but generally are we happy with the performances? No, of course not,” he told the club’s official website.

“We are determined as a group to put this right – we know the fans, who are brilliant, are hurting, but as a group so are we, and that is what will continue to drive us on to put things right.

“We have good character in the room – lots of experience and there is no reason why we cannot turn this around.

“Saturday we have a good opportunity at home to pick up some league points. No-one in this dressing room wants to be sitting in ninth place in the league.

“Then on Sunday it’s a must-win game for us if we want to have a chance of progression in the Challenge Cup, so it’s a massive weekend. It’s up to us to get this season turned around, starting on Saturday.”

Sheffield Steelers head to Scotland this weekend aiming to keep up the pressure at the top of the table.

The Steelers are currently third in the league, seven points behind leaders Cardiff Devils but with four games in hand.

They visit Edinburgh Capitals on Saturday before facing Dundee Stars the following day and Head Coach Paul Thompson is anticipating a difficult couple of games.

“We haven’t seen either of them yet this year – both of them have a lot of new players and there’s a new coach in Edinburgh, so we’ll get the boys prepared with some video for what is going to be a tough weekend,” he told the Yorkshire Post.

“Edinburgh picked up a great win in Nottingham last weekend and they are clearly already causing teams problems – they caused us plenty of problems last season.

“They have some good skilled players and, like I’ve said before, it doesn’t matter whether you are playing the team in first place or the team down the bottom, if you don’t turn up to play, you will get beat by anyone in this league.

WEEKEND FIXTURES

Friday

Edinburgh Capitals v Cardiff Devils

Saturday

Coventry Blaze v Belfast Giants
Dundee Stars v Cardiff Devils
Edinburgh Capitals v Sheffield Steelers
Manchester Storm v Nottingham Panthers

Sunday

Coventry Blaze v Manchester Storm (Cup)
Dundee Stars v Sheffield Steelers
Fife Flyers v Cardiff Devils
Nottingham Panthers v Belfast Giants

(Image permission: Scott Wiggins)

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