FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED FROM THE WEEKEND – 12 Nov 18

The dust is settling on another weekend so we picked up on what caught our eye as teams and their fans reflect on what went right or wrong for their teams.

1. FIFE FLYERS WON’T GO AWAY EASILY

Their win in Cardiff in midweek was huge, but the character they showed in grinding out a 3-2 over Manchester Storm shows Fife Flyers continue to mean business at the top of the table.

Cardiff and Belfast have shown recently they need the ugly wins too to keep themselves in the reckoning and this is what Todd Dutiaume’s side have also after such a tough week in obtaining the points they did.

If you look at the Flyers’ history in the Elite League, they have always progressively improved and for them to mount an unlikely title challenge really would be progress indeed. They call themselves ‘Pesky Flyers’. On this evidence, it’s clear to see why.

2. PANTHERS WON’T WIN THE ELITE LEAGUE

This probably isn’t exactly a revelation for the Nottingham Panthers fans, but after the high hopes of the early season when they were winning games well, it seems to have all gone horribly wrong for them of late.

The 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Belfast Giants on Saturday at home caused lots of concern for the fan base across social media after suffering what was their sixth loss in nine games at that point.

Nevertheless, they bounced back with that good win at Guildford on Sunday and while that might alleviate a few concerns, the form of Belfast in particular will make it hard for Panthers to get themselves back in, barring a real change of pace.

3. THE CHALLENGE CUP DRAW COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER

Although technically from last week, we’re not going to stick the boot into what went wrong during the Elite League’s Facebook broadcast of the Challenge Cup quarter final draw.

Talking to the GM’s is one thing, but having them hold up a puck or a card to show who they’d picked in the last eight would have been beneficial to those who couldn’t listen in or couldn’t hear in the case of some.

While the ‘Pick your Opponent’ system is one that has split opinion, we’d prefer the good old fashioned draw. Throw everyone into the hat (or M&S bag if you prefer) and see what comes out. Just a couple of small suggestions.

4. CLAN REMEMBER HOW TO WIN ON THE ROAD

It’s been four weeks since Glasgow Clan needed to hit the road and take on one of their Elite League opponents after playing seven straight at home.

So to get a 4-2 win at Coventry Blaze was a great result for Pete Russell’s side, completing a four-point weekend after beating the same opponents at home the night before.

It’s now two wins out of their last three on the road for the Clan and they’ll want to make it three out of four when they visit Milton Keynes on Wednesday in the televised game.

5. GIANTS WILL BE MORE THAN UP FOR EUROPEAN CHALLENGE

It will take a team to be really on top of their game to stop Belfast Giants at the moment as they limber up for a European challenge in the form of the Continental Cup this weekend.
Having blown away the current champions in their own barn, the Giants will return home with a deserved air of confidence as their unbeaten run extended to seven straight victories.

Although Ritten Sport (eight wins) and Katowice (15 wins) come into the tournament with excellent recent victorious runs, the Giants at home will have the edge as they look to get into the final stage.

It’s going to be a great weekend for everyone involved when Continental Cup ice hockey arrives in Northern Ireland.

PHOTO: Jillian McFarlane