HULL STINGRAYS’ player-coach Sylvain Cloutier is hoping home comforts can see his team over the line and into the Elite League play-offs.
With six games remaining overall, Hull remain still well-placed to make the post-season, but face a fierce battle with Coventry Blaze, Cardiff Devils and the in-form Fife Flyers to make it into the league’s top eight.
Fife are the hottest team in the league aside from runaway champions Belfast Giants, having won their last six league games to put themselves within touching distance of the three teams immediately above them.
Hull still entertain outside hopes of winning the Gardiner Conference, although Dundee Stars – who visit East Yorkshire tonight – are in the boxseat following last week’s 1-0 win over Cloutier’s team on Tayside.
A win tonight would put Cloutier’s team top of the conference standings again, with one further meeting to come against a Dundee side who have three games in hand.
While going into the play-offs with some silverware would no doubt be appreciated at Hull Arena, Cloutier just wants to make sure his team make the post-season – by whichever means ultimately available.
“We’ve got six matches left, four of them at home, and if we can get points at home in the next four then we should be alright,” said Cloutier.
“This could be the best year we’ve ever had in Hull Stingrays’ history.
To listen to Sylvain Cloutier’s interview with the Yorkshire Post click HERE
“A lot of people are still talking about the Gardiner Conference, but we just need points for the overall standings too because us, Cardiff, Coventry and Fife are really, really close and we need to get points on the board.
“We have to come out flying against Dundee. I wasn’t happy with our performance there last week, so we need to put that right.
“It’s been such a strange league this year at times. On one hand we have a chance to beat our best points record in all my time here, but we could do that and still miss out on a place in the play-offs too.”