Braehead Clan captain Matt Keith admits this weekend’s games against Nottingham Panthers and Cardiff Devils are tricky – but he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Ryan Finnerty’s side get a chance to fire some early salvos across the bows of their prospective fellow title challengers as the Elite League campaign gets fully underway.
“You can look at the two games as being tough to start,” said Keith. “But it lets you know how you stack up against a couple of the other teams and I think it’s good for us.
“I don’t think you can go into the weekend thinking about how many points you might take. With this kind of weekend it’s all about taking it a period at a time and focus on what we need to do.
“Once Saturday’s game is done we decompress and shift our focus on to Sunday’s game, but Nottingham is in our thinking first.
“I think every team at this time thinks they have a chance to win and everyone thinks they have the team to compete this season.
“But nobody knows how things will pan out, so it is very important for us to get that confidence to build off. They both have good teams on paper, but so do we.”
Keith says the arrival of Lee Baldwin will be a big help to the defensive lines and backs him to fit straight in.
He added: “We’ve gone through training camp and pre-season with only five defensemen and it’s been tough. The way Finner coaches, he expects a lot from those ‘D’ lines.
“The five guys that have played there so far have done a great job and having Lee Baldwin coming in gives them that extra help.
“He only arrived on Thursday and skated with us for the first time on Friday, but he comes with a good résumé so I don’t think there will be any problem come game time.”
(Image permission: Al Goold Photo)