23rd Sep, 2018

INTERVIEW: Stewart hints at team changes after Blaze lose seventh successive Elite League contest

ICE HOCKEY: CHANGES are supposedly immanent at the Skydome Arena as Blaze boss Danny Stewart admitted he’s hoping for some good news this week regarding new bodies.

The 38-year-old admitted he’s battling with other Elite League teams to capture players in a ‘dry market’ as the Christmas period approaches.

A disappointing run of two wins in 12 games has resulted in Blaze dropping down to tenth in the EIHL table having already been knocked out of the Challenge Cup.

And, following the capture of Patrik Mosio last week, the team’s poor form has prompted Stewart to dig deeper into the transfer market with the hope of securing new players in time for the Christmas schedule.

Speaking after Sunday’s 4-2 loss against Manchester, Stewart, who handed Mosio his home Blaze debut on Sunday, said: “Several teams are looking for bodies.

“Hopefully we’ll get some good news this week.

“Patrik will have to take time to adjust to the league.

“But he plays hard and physical. What he’ll bring us offensively I don’t know but he plays well in all three zones.”

The former Blaze skater who took over the reins on the club from Chuck Weber in summer 2016, added his men we’re fatigued throughout Sunday’s clash against the Storm – quite possibly due to a long road trip after playing Braehead on Saturday evening.

He said: “Tonight (Sunday) we looked tired. Manchester won a lot of puck battles.

“We came out with some fight in the third period but we were down to 13 men and gave away an easy goal after getting caught on the wrong side of pucks – tired mistakes possibly.

“We gave up goals we shouldn’t give up.

“We’re a tired bunch.”

He also suggested his side might be taking a hit mentally following a string of one and two-goal losses.

“There’s possibly some mental toughness taking effect,” said Stewart.

“We need to find a way to turn these one-goal losses into wins and stay focussed.

“Also worrying about things we can control – you can’t control referees or puck luck.

“It’s tough to climb a hill when we’re down on bodies and our powerplay has been an issue this year.

“Losing men that work well on the powerplay has been tough – we’ve had to use two guys on the PP tonight that have never skated in one before.”

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