SYLVAIN Cloutier has called on his Hull Stingrays players to show greater desire and passion than visitors Edinburgh Capitals in order to snap a depressing seven-game losing streak.
Edinburgh arrive at Hull Arena tonight looking to extend their winning run over the Stingrays, having won all three previous encounters.
The Scottish side have been the surprise package for many this season, particularly after having only just scraped through to the end of last season due to financial setbacks which led to them serving up an ill-equipped team on the ice.
While they may still struggle to hold their own against the top-end teams, Capitals coach Richard Hartmann has little trouble getting his players ready for matches against the teams immediately around them, all 10 of their league wins coming against bottom half rivals.
All three games have been tight affairs this season – the most recent coming two weekends ago when a seriously-depleted Hull only lost out 7-6 after a shoot-out in Edinburgh. And player-coach Cloutier feels if his players can show more commitment tonight, they can secure the win necessary to set them up nicely ahead of a hectic Christmas schedule.
“Our goal has to be to win the remaining three matches against Edinburgh in order to win that particular six-game series,” said Cloutier, who has drawn up a shortlist for the new import defenceman sought by the club.
“I think the first time we played them at our place we did take them too lightly, but they are a good team this year and play their systems well. We are going to have to go and prove that we want it more than they do. If we do that, we should be okay.”