Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

No slacking Belfast Giants: Paul Adey

Key figure: Goaltender Stephen Murphy is vital to the Giants
Key figure: Goaltender Stephen Murphy is vital to the Giants

Belfast Giants coach Paul Adey has no fear that complacency will hit his team on their weekend away in Scotland.

And if any of the players needed a reminder that they won't get an easy ride when they cross the North Channel this morning, they only have to look at how the Nottingham Panthers fared there last weekend.

Corey Neilson's team lost 4-2 against the Fife Flyers before going down 7-6 in overtime against the Edinburgh Capitals.

The Giants face Edinburgh in a league game tonight and then take on Fife in the Challenge Cup tomorrow – and the players will have a warning from the coach ringing in their ears.

"When you think you are going to get an easy game that's when you can end up in trouble," said Adey.

"I said earlier in the season that there wouldn't be any easy weekends in Scotland for any of the teams this season and that's the way things have turned out.

"Nottingham lost a couple of games up there last weekend and I know that we'll get it tough."

Edinburgh are currently rooted to the bottom of the Elite League table, while tomorrow night's match in Fife is a standalone Challenge Cup match, a competition in which the Giants are already assured of a quarter-final place.

Adey, however, will be treating the games as equally important as last weekend's and next weekend's fixtures.

"Saturday's game in Edinburgh is obviously our priority because it's up first and there are league points at stake," said Adey.

"On Sunday we'll want to go and play well again and keep doing the things that we have been since the start of the season.

"Anyone who saw our game in Hull last Saturday night will know that this isn't a team that looks too far ahead or thinks about the next game.

"We played really hard in Hull for 60 minutes. We played well through the three periods, we know that we have to play hard every night if we are going to have success and we will have the same attitude this weekend.

"You could look at Sunday night as a game that doesn't have a lot riding on it, or you could see it as one that is very important in terms of trying to take top spot in the group.

"Nobody had clinched that yet and further down the line finishing top of the group could be advantageous to us.

"We don't want to drop our standards, we have momentum and we want to keep that going.

"The players are also playing with confidence and I see that confidence in them in practice – I don't want that to be harmed."

As always, goaltender Stephen Murphy will be a key man for the Giants this weekend.

The 31-year-old will be on familiar territory, having played for Edinburgh earlier in his career.

The Great Britain international currently tops the goaltending statistics and Adey is backing him to maintain that record.

"Stephen Murphy is a fantastic goaltender and a great team player," said Adey.

"All the guys like him and they want to play hard for him.

"When you see him in the net you see how relaxed he is and how confident he is too.

"It is an advantage to us to have the Great Britain goaltender in our team. He has been one of the top goalies, if not the top goalie in the league for a few years now and he is a big player for us."

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