Calvin Elfring hungry to make critics eat their words
Calvin Elfring is undecided over his playing future, but the Belfast Giants defenceman is certain about one thing - he won't settle for anything less than victory in this weekend's Play-off finals.
The 38-year-old is as hungry as ever to be a winner and after finishing fifth in the Elite League title race is determined to make those who have written off the Giants eat their words.
Steve Thornton's men will face Coventry Blaze in the semi-final this evening (5pm) and after winning their last four matches the belief in the Giants ranks is as high as it has been all season.
That lift in confidence has come at a perfect time, with the Play-off title being the one that is most special to the players and with Robby Sandrock already confirming that he will retire after this weekend, and others potentially joining him in hanging up their skates, success would be significant for many in the Giants squad.
"I will see after the season what I want to do. I am in no rush to make a decision," said Elfring.
"Whether I play on or not, I still want to win this Play-off championship as much as I wanted to win anything else in my career.
"In 17 years as a pro I have won two championships. They don't come around that often so you have to put your all into every opportunity.
"It's been a tough season for us. On other teams the expectation is low, but our fans expect us to be fighting for trophies every season.
"We still have a chance of winning one and if we can come through at the end it will silence everyone who said we have had a bad year and that we are a bad team.
"It will shut them up."
In a season where injuries have continually piled up, the Giants will go into the weekend without Kevin Saurette, while Mark McCutcheon and Stephen Murphy are unlikely to play.
The all missed the last couple of weekends too though and on current form there is plenty of reason for Elfring and the rest of the team to think that they can end the season on a high.
"I think there has been a little extra adrenalin in the body for the guys - we have seen that in the last couple of games," said Elfring.
"You know that if you lose it's the last game, you can't make up for it next weekend and that's why there has been a bit more oomph in our games."