Belfast Giants planning to stay on song
Doug Christiansen has no concerns that his all singing, all dancing Belfast Giants team still have their feet on the ground, despite the club’s name going global this week.
And the coach insists that with a massive first versus second clash in Nottingham on Sunday night, focusing on this evening’s game against the Edinburgh Capitals isn’t a problem.
The Giants’ Christmas video — which includes hardman Mike Hoffman dressed as an elf while his team-mates sing along to Mariah Carey’s ‘All I want for Christmas is you’ — has received over 150,000 hits on YouTube and earned the players the dubious honour of a year-long stay in ESPN America’s ‘penalty box.’
And Carey even revealed that she has seen the video by mentioning it on her Twitter page.
Christiansen is delighted that his team has achieved acclaim off the ice, although he knows that when it comes to doing the job they are paid for his players will be ready tonight.
“It’s easy to put the Nottingham game to the back of our minds and concentrate on Saturday night,” said Christiansen.
“The Edinburgh game is worth two points just the same as the game against Nottingham, so it’s at least just as important and probably more important as we have to deal with that one first.
“History shows that the teams further down the league pose as much as a problem as anyone else.
“We lost in overtime to Edinburgh two weeks ago and then needed overtime to beat them the next night, so we can’t treat anyone lightly.
“Every game is just one more step along the way to trying to achieve our ultimate goal of winning trophies this season.”
Tonight’s game is one of 13 that the Giants will play at the Odyssey between now and mid-February — with just four to be contested on the road.
With a five point lead over the chasing pack at present, Christiansen is placing a great deal of importance on the fixture list in the hope that his team’s schedule will assist in their quest to lift the Elite League title, five seasons after they were last crowned champions.
The Milwaukee native is well aware that five seasons is much too long for a team like the Giants to go without winning the league
and he is determined to top last year’s Play-off victory.
“We have a lot of home games coming up. I am looking to those games as well as hopefully having some of our injured players back soon as key for us,” said Christiansen.
“We are in a good position and those games can help us improve that position.
“If we can make the Odyssey a fortress — and I know from experience that it isn’t an easy place to come — then we can build up a lead that will be hard for other teams to overcome.”
Craig Peacock scored twice last weekend, while Nathan Craze impressed too. Gareth Roberts made his debut in the 7-3 win over Dundee and will play again tonight.
“The one big asset that we have here in Belfast is the strength of our British players,” said Christiansen.
“Craig is playing on out top line now and not looking out of place.”
l THE Giants’ Christmas video can be viewed at www.belfastgiants.com and tickets for the the four post-Christmas games on December 27, 28, 30 and January 2 can still be purchased on a four for the price of three basis.