Elite League preview: Fife bid to bounce back from tough week

Fife Flyers face a tough Elite League double-header against Sheffield Steelers this weekend as they look to put a difficult few days behind them.

After back-to-back defeats by Braehead Clan last weekend, Flyers found themselves in the middle of a controversy with league’s disciplinary department during the week which has caused much debate around the league.

The Department of Player Safety’s refusal to consider any action against Clan’s Jay Rosehill for a cross-check to the head of Flyers’ defender James Isaacs was blasted by Head Coach Todd Dutiaume during an interview with the Fife Free Press.

Dutiaume hit out at DOPS, the behaviour of rival coaches and the governance of the EIHL, but he was also keen to stress the importance of this weekend’s games.

“By no means are we pushing the emergency panic button, but we need to right the ship and get all guys buying in and having that desperation that other teams will,” Dutiaume said.

“You know Sheffield are going to be looking to put on a performance against us. That’s something we have to be prepared for over both nights.

“Win, lose or draw we are expecting that pulse and heartbeat that shows we’re going to work.

“If the people paying the wages see that you’re laying it on line and that you’re committed, they can handle getting beat by the better team on the night.

“What they can’t handle is guys cheating and not committed to a gameplan – and we’re working on that.”

Nottingham Panthers are in Spain this weekend for the second round of the IIHF Continental Cup 2017.

The Panthers take on HK Liepaja (Latvia), HC Jaca (Spain) and Zeytinburnu Istanbul (Turkey) as they attempt to progress to the next stage.

Ex-NHL enforcer Brian McGrattan says he’s excited to get his first taste of European competition.

“I never thought I’d be going to Spain to play, but it’s my first international tournament and I think we’re all excited to be going so it should be fun.

“We’ve been looking at the teams we’re going to be playing and it should be pretty interesting – you can’t really take anyone lightly in sports because we all know how that works.

“You’ve just got to show up at every game and we have been, so hopefully we can come out on top.”

WEEKEND FIXTURES

Friday

Belfast Giants v Coventry Blaze
CH Jaca (Spain) v Nottingham Panthers (Continental Cup)

Saturday

Belfast Giants v Coventry Blaze
Braehead Clan v Dundee Stars
Cardiff Devils v Edinburgh Capitals
Sheffield Steelers v Fife Flyers
Zeytinburnu Istanbul (Turkey) v Nottingham Panthers (Continental Cup)

Sunday

Coventry Blaze v Cardiff Devils (Cup)
Dundee Stars v Braehead Clan (Cup)
Fife Flyers v Sheffield Steelers
Manchester Storm v Edinburgh Capitals
HK Liepaja (Latvia) v Nottingham Panthers (Continental Cup)

(Image permission: Al Goold Photo)

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