On the face of it the Belfast Giants have a mountain to climb, a near impossible task if they’re to reach the final of the Challenge Cup.
Three third period goals in the away leg of the semi-final by the Nottingham Panthers blew a tight game wide open and surely a 5-1 deficit is too much to overcome going into Tuesday night’s return clash at the Odyssey Arena.
Ultimately it probably will be but that’s not to say Doug Christiansen’s side aren’t going to give it a go.
“Firstly I think its an opportunity for us to show Nottingham how good we are and traditionally we play a very smart game defensively but in this game we are going to have to open it up and attack Nottingham.
“So this might be a little bit different of a Belfast Giants team and hopefully the players will respond,” explained the coach.
“Also, from a fans point of view, when you go into a game like this you’re probably expecting the worst but what happens if we win it and you were there to witness it?
“So, you know, it might be a fantastic evening and it will clearly be good hockey.”
The sides are separated by two points at the top of the league standings with the Giants having played a game more.
But in two and a half weeks time they’ll meet in a doubleheader at the Odyssey, two explosive encounters that will, in all likelihood, decide the league champions. So will tonight’s game have any bearing on what’s on the horizon?
Christiansen added: “I think it’s the last chance for both coaches to preview different match-ups between different players and that’s something we’re going to have to take away from it.
“Matching lines will be very important and seeing which defensive pairings work well against their forwards.
“So it’s the last opportunity for us to size each other up but before we meet in the league there are a lot for games to be played.
“We are still in there fighting,” he added.