Giants are in full flow after winning battle with nerves: Dwyer
Patrick Dwyer has revealed that he and his Belfast Giants team-mates were starting to feel both nerves and pressure to arrest a slump that saw them drop to the bottom of the Elite League table.
Now, however, with the Giants shooting themselves up the standings to fourth thanks to three successive wins over the weekend, in back-to-back home games against Milton Keynes Lightning and away to Coventry Blaze, they are looking even higher.
Second place is the target tonight when the Giants face the Guildford Flames at the SSE Arena (7.30pm face-off) in front of the FreeSport cameras and, after three losses in their opening four league matches, a victory would equal the current best winning streak in the league.
“There was a little bit of nerves going into the weekend and thinking, ‘If this doesn’t go the way we want, this can get bad’,” admitted Dwyer.
“To get through that first game on Friday against Milton Keynes was big for us and a monkey off the back. Guys were then believing that if we do play the way we want to play and the right way, chances and results are going to fall the way we want them to.
“The pressure was starting to creep into the locker room a little bit.
“It is an organisation that prides itself on being at the top of the standings and wanting to be there, and that was our expectation at the start of the year — we want to be there and we feel we should be there when it all settles, but we weren’t playing well and it got into the room.
“We were told it wasn’t acceptable and the guys agreed with that and it’s not a spot we want to be in.”
Dwyer is the man of the moment, not only in the Elite League but across the globe as word of his bizarre disallowed goal against Lightning on Saturday night spreads.
The 35-year old backed his way into the goal after the puck got caught in his clothing, but the officials deemed it illegal.
He did finish the weekend with four goals and five assists, but it’s about team success for the former NHL forward.
“Individual success often leads on from team success,” he said. “When the team is going the players are usually going. We’ve got guys scoring that we needed to get going and guys who have been scoring continue to score so it seems like right now we are starting to round things out.”