Elite League weekend preview

Nottingham Panthers forward Robert Farmer says his team must be focused as they play three successive away games in Scotland.

Panthers begin their three-game Elite League road trip at Dundee Stars on Friday, before facing Braehead Clan and Fife Flyers over the weekend, and Farmer expects three difficult battles.

He said: Obviously it’s a really tough one. It’s three tough games in three tough buildings over the weekend.

“We have to come ready to play and hopefully get back on top. I think we have to go there with the intention of winning all three games and see what happens.”

Nottingham were knocked off top spot by Cardiff Devils last weekend, but remain just a point behind with three games in hand.

They split their double-header at Belfast Giants, with the hosts winning the first encounter before Corey Neilson’s men gained their revenge in the second game.

“We have proved we have character and we bounced back,” added Farmer. “We did that at the weekend and ended up with a pretty decent weekend.”

Ahead of Sunday’s clash with Nottingham, Fife face-off against Sheffield Steelers on Saturday and Head Coach Todd Dutiaume hopes they can build on their recent improved performances.

“For the last two or three weekends we’ve been playing some good hockey and you can tell the guys are a lot more confident,” he said.

“The effort levels are there and the physicality is there – it’s just an offensive spark we’re looking for. We found it last Saturday for a bit, but addressing it in the room and working on it in practice isn’t going to instantly solve it.

“It’s a process we have to go through and continue and possibly look for some help from outside. Right now this is what we’ve got and it’s important we find a way to the back of the net.

Coventry Blaze face a weekend double-header against Cardiff Devils still looking to put together a consistent run of results to help them move up the table.

The first clash takes place on Saturday at the Skydome, where Coventry won 4-1 when they met two weeks ago, and Head Coach Chuck Weber expects a responseĀ from Cardiff.

He said: “It is going to be a great challenge for us. They are one of the top teams in the league and they will come out hard after the last game.

“We will need to be prepared for that and make a good start as they are a quick-starting team.

“Special teams will also play a big part. They are one of the top powerplay and penalty killing teams in the league and ours is much improved.

“We have a busy stretch of nine games now before the end of the year and it will give us a better idea of where we are at in the league.

“The league is so balanced this year that if a team can put a run together then they can get back in the mix. We have to give ourselves a chance.

“Reeling in Manchester has been our focus and we let that slip through our grasp, but we need to start pulling some three or four-point weekends together.

“We need to find ways to keep picking up points every weekend, especially on the road.”

To hear Ryan Finnerty’s views ahead of Braehead’s weekend games against Nottingham and Edinburgh Capitals, please click the video above.

WEEKEND FIXTURES

Friday

Dundee Stars v Nottingham Panthers

Saturday

Braehead Clan v Nottingham Panthers
Coventry Blaze v Cardiff Devils
Fife Flyers v Sheffield Steelers
Manchester Storm v Belfast Giants

Sunday

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

(Image permission: Fife Flyers)

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