Belfast Telegraph

Fired-up Belfast Giants will know it from skipper Adam

By John Flack

Belfast Giants captain Adam Keefe will be telling his players to ignore the Elite League standings as they prepare to face Coventry Blaze in a home and away double-header this weekend, starting with tonight's clash at the SSE Arena (7.00pm).

The Giants moved up to second in the table after an impressive 5-3 win over the Dundee Stars on Wednesday night while Coventry were bottom of the pile until recently. However the Blaze are now in seventh place after hitting form to pick up 11 points out of a possible 14 over the festive period so far.

On Thursday night they scored a 5-3 road win over Nottingham Panthers after defeating the same opponents by the same scoreline 48 hours earlier at the Sky Dome. Those results certainly did the Giants a favour as the Panthers remain a point behind the Giants, having played a game more.

The Giants are six points off the pace but have played three games fewer than current leaders, the Cardiff Devils.

"We are in a good place and if we win our three games in hand we go joint top but it's been dog-eat-dog so far this season so you can take nothing for granted." said Keefe.

"Teams from the bottom-five are more than capable of beating sides above them and we've been victims of that on some occasions already this season.

"Coventry started badly but they have been improving week-on-week as you can see from their recent results against Nottingham. They have good forwards and also a good goalie so we expect two difficult matches over the weekend."

The Giants have yet to beat the Blaze at the SSE Arena this season, having lost 2-1 back in October. "Our home form has been up and down so far but we played very well in beating Cardiff last week and Dundee on Wednesday." Keefe added.

"We were poor in losing to the Clan on Tuesday and I think, sometimes, we try to play too much pretty hockey at home to please the crowd. Sometimes you have to win ugly but we'll take any sort of win in the first game against Coventry before we think about Sunday's match."

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