ICE HOCKEY: WE’VE got to find a way to be smarter and more disciplined.
That’s the message from Coventry Blaze boss Danny Stewart after his side lost to Fife Flyers at the Skydome Arena on Sunday night in front of a vocal home crowd.
Blaze went ahead on three occasions throughout Sunday’s game – leading 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2.
But a series of missed chances in front of empty nets, coupled with Fife’s counter attacking power, cost Blaze as they slipped to sixth in the league table having scored 18 points from 16 matches.
A frustrated Danny Stewart told the Observer after Sunday night’s loss: “I didn’t say anything to the team immediately after the game.
“We had 100 shots this weekend and lost two games. We need to be more hungry in front of net.
“The empty netters I have no idea how they didn’t go in. We had pucks on our sticks with empty nets in front of us.
“Twice a player dived in to block a goal, another I have no idea how it wasn’t put in.
“We had a chance shorthanded and missed, Fife came back and scored.
“We’re making key mistakes at key moments in the game.”
Part of Stewart’s frustration lies with his forwards ‘overplaying’ the game while on the attack.
But even he admitted it’s a ‘crazy’ fault to pick out when his side generated 100 chances in front of net this weekend alone.
He said: “We’re trying to address the issue as players as overplaying.
“Sometimes they’re being too unselfish – trying to setup their teammate instead of shooting themselves. Taking a shot is the best option.
“It’s crazy as we’re talking as though we’re not getting enough shots off, when this weekend we posted 100.
“Fife are a good team though and found the net when we made mistakes.”
Despite the losses, the former Fife skater is pleased with where his side are right now.
Though he highlighted Blaze must recognise situations better if they are to leap from being a ‘good hockey team’ to a ‘very good hockey team’.
“Right now we’re a good hockey team,” said Stewart.
“But if we want to be a very good team we need to get smarter and recognise situations.
“The shift after a goal has to be back. If we’re holding onto a lead before the end of a period we needed to get back into that locker room with the lead intact.
“There are plenty of positives to take from the weekend. We controlled both games.
“But we got caught out. We’ve got to find a way to be smarter and more disciplined.”