Belfast Giants coach Doug Christiansen believes that off ice events over the past few weeks aren’t solely to blame for the inconsistent performances of the team.
Last Friday, along with the players, Christiansen resigned from his contract and then on Monday signed with the company owned by the Odyssey Trust and is now responsible for running the team.
The Giants were awful in a 5-2 defeat by the Coventry Blaze on Friday night but responded with an 8-2 victory over the same opponents 24 hours later.
“I’m not one to use excuses and I’m not going to start now,” said the coach.
“Everybody knows what the situation has been with injuries, suspensions and off the ice issues and needless to say that’s not how you would draw it up as a hockey coach when you’re trying to retain a league title.
“I believe we still have a hockey team that is capable of righting the ship and rectifying some of the performances we’ve had lately and if people want to read anything into that one way or another then they’re going to do that.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that this wasn’t the 2013 we planned in August 2012. As a hockey coach there was a lot to be pleased with last weekend.
“The win on Saturday was outstanding and we bounced back very well from a disappointing Friday but this team, when it has had their backs against the wall, and that includes off ice stuff as well, has stuck together.
“These issues have be dealt with by a group of men who care about the Belfast Giants and the role this team plays in this city and hopefully we can now move forward over the next six weeks and bring a championship to Belfast.”
With all the headlines this week being made by off the ice events it’s taken the focus from the exciting three-team race for the Elite League title.
Going into the weekend the Nottingham Panthers lead the Sheffield Steelers by three points and the Giants by four with the Steelers having played a game more than their rivals.
It’s a big few days in the championships chase starting with the Giants trip to the Dundee Stars tonight that could see them leap frog Sheffield and back into second place with a win.
The Panthers and Steelers then meet tomorrow night ahead of the Giants home clash with Sheffield on Saturday while Nottingham travel to Braehead.
On Sunday the Giants face a tough trip to Cardiff while Sheffield make the journey to Dundee.
How the table will look on Monday morning is anyone’s guess but it will shape the run-in to the end of the season.
Christiansen added, “We know it’s not about looking at the weekend as a whole right now, it’s all about getting a win in Dundee.
“If we can do that then we can sit at home and wait to see what happens between Sheffield and Nottingham on Friday and then we get Sheffield on Saturday which is arguably the biggest game for us of the season and if we can get success then all our goals are ahead of us.”