Cloutier confident in Hull's ability to sink leaders

HULL STINGRAYS' player-coach Sylvain Cloutier believes the 2009-10 Elite League title is Coventry Blaze's to lose.

Bottom club Hull face leaders Coventry at Hull Arena tonight ahead of tomorrow's return match in the West Midlands.

Coventry arrive in Yorkshire having won all four games between the two clubs so far and, although level on points with Nottingham Panthers, have three games in hand on their closest title challengers.

Former Coventry hero Cloutier – who helped the club clinch two league titles in 2007 and 2008 – believes their name should be on it again come the end of the regular season in March.

"As long as they stay healthy, the league title is theirs to lose," said Cloutier.

"You wouldn't rule out Nottingham, or even Belfast, just yet because they have good teams but Coventry have games in hand which will prove crucial."

Cloutier – who will continue behind the bench this weekend – believes his side can break their duck against Coventry, having seen enough improvement in recent weeks despite throwing away two-goal leads in last weekend's matches against Nottingham and Newcastle Vipers.

"We've got three lines which all contribute and we are going to change things around slightly this time and see whether we can get that win," he added.