Belfast Player Coach Derrick Walser has issued a rallying call to Giants fans ahead of this weekend’s big Elite League double-header at home to Cardiff Devils.
Last Sunday’s 9-5 defeat at Fife Flyers left the Giants three points behind the Devils having played a game more than their title rivals.
Cardiff’s 5-1 Challenge Cup victory in Belfast just over a week ago is also fresh in Walser’s mind as he looks for the Giants to keep up the pressure at the top of the table.
“It’s going to be fun and war – once game day hits, we need to be all business,” he said.
“If we can compete on both sides of the puck we are going to have an opportunity to win the games and if not, then we are going to be looking at another five goals against and that is something we know as a group we need to fix.
“First of all, we need an atmosphere in our building to get the guys fired up. We need to come out on our toes.
“Last Wednesday, Cardiff came out on their toes and we need to be a lot more ready to go. If we do that, we will have the opportunity to get some goals and get the crowd into it.
“We need more passion in our game. We lacked that in Fife and hopefully we can bring that back along with determination.
“When we went to Sheffield, we went there with determination and passion and we found a way to win. That is how we need to approach this weekend.”
With the league beginning to reach the business end of the season Belfast have 11 games to play, while Cardiff have 12 remaining.
In addition to this weekend’s games, the two teams also face each other twice in Cardiff during March. Giants’ defender Matt Nickerson believes the four fixtures will be crucial to their season.
“There are not that many games left and in order to get to first place we need to go through Cardiff,” said Nickerson.
“Those four games against Cardiff are going to make or break our season. This week we have been talking about getting back to ‘Giants hockey’ – simply hockey, chipping pucks and outworking teams.
“We are going to need that this weekend going against Cardiff who work hard and are super-skilled.”
(Image permission: Press Eye)