Joey Haddad believes Cardiff Devils’ work ethic is what has set them aside from the rest of the Elite League this season.
Cardiff head into this weekend’s play-off finals event at Nottingham with three trophies already secured and are favourites to make it four – check out openodds.com if you’re planning to wager on the event.
“As a team and an organisation we’ve got a lot of motivation – we’ve done a great job all year, from the first games at home until last week at Manchester,” Haddad told IceTime TV.
“We didn’t stop building as a team on and off the ice – we make it a point to get better every day, to have work ethic and contribute individually to the team.
“When you look at our season we’re a big-game team. When the pressure’s on and the stakes are high, across the roster each individual ups their game and the level of excitement and intensity.
“Everyone raises their level and it contributes to success – we’ve proved that this year for sure.”
The Devils face Dundee Stars in Saturday’s first semi-final boasting an impressive record against Scottish clubs during the regular season.
In 16 league games against teams from north of the border, the Devils lost just once and Haddad is confident they can continue that domination this weekend.
“We approached every game that we wanted to go out and play sixty minutes because we were continuously building for the Challenge Cup trophy, for the Conference title, the league title and now the play-off title,” said Haddad.
“As the games went on this season we took every one as not only a chance to get better, but a do-or-die game seven.
“We wanted those two points and when it came down to playing the bottom of the table teams we didn’t take it for granted.
“We made no mistakes and we were lucky to get out with a good record against the Scottish teams.”
Cardiff return to Nottingham looking to banish memories of last season’s play-off semi-final against Coventry Blaze.
The Devils lost 6-2 against Blaze and Haddad admits that experience will act as motivation to the team this weekend.
“It was a really cool atmosphere last year – it was a cool experience that didn’t end off the way we wanted it to,” Haddad said.
“If anything that’s a little bit more motivation for this weekend for the guys who were here last year.
“The atmosphere around town and when you get on the ice – you look up it’s sectioned off with all the fans from each team, but I know our fans will be cheering the loudest and we will have a lot of support there.”
(Image permission: Cardiff Devils)