Intensity levels are positive sign for Stingrays

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HULL Stingrays may be seven games without a win, but player-coach Sylvain Cloutier has seen enough signs of improvement to encourage him ahead of tonight’s Elite League encounter with Edinburgh Capitals.

A valuable point in a 2-1 overtime defeat to Cardiff Devils on Sunday – the first this season against one of the league’s top five teams – was enough for Cloutier to believe his players were rediscovering the kind of form from a few weeks ago which had briefly taken them to the top of the Gardiner Conference.

Tonight sees an in-form Capitals visit Hull Arena having won five of their last six matches. That run began with a 6-2 win over Hull in Edinburgh and has also included shock wins on the road at Sheffield and Nottingham

“Edinburgh are a good hockey team – I’ve said that all season,” said Cloutier. “The whole league has improved this season and this is a big, big match for us because we need to start getting some points on the board.

“We also need to start stealing more points off the top teams and we started that in Cardiff.

“I saw more of the qualities I know we have in both Cardiff and against the Steelers on Saturday (Hull lost 4-2).

“The intensity levels were where they were a few weeks ago and it looked to me like we are getting our game back.

“Hopefully, after two tough matches, having three days off will give us plenty of rest ahead of what is a really big game for us.”