Giants can't afford to become complacent: Keefe
In the aftermath of the Belfast Giants' costly 6-3 loss to Dundee Stars at the SSE Arena on Monday, it was forward Liam Reddox who offered an honest perspective on the home side's downfall.
"I think we started looking a little too far ahead," said the winger. "Certainly that's what it looked like to me."
Former US collegiate basketball coach Don Meyer once described complacency as "the forerunner of mediocrity", and it's hard not to argue that the Giants looked a tad mediocre in dropping their third home game of the season to the Stars, who languish in a lowly ninth in the Elite League standings.
Whether the Giants' relaxed attitude came from their visitors' poor record this season or potentially from the high of two admittedly good performances against the Glasgow Clan that made it three wins in a row is a key issue that needs addressed in the changing room.
The fact of the matter is that the Giants can't afford to be complacent given their current predicament. Now seven points behind Elite League leaders the Sheffield Steelers, albeit with three games in hand, they aren't exactly in a position to be able to think beyond the next two points available to them.
Added to that is the fact that they still haven't found any consistency this season, with performances and results fluctuating on a seemingly daily basis.
When asked if he concurred with Reddox's assessment of Monday's loss, head coach Adam Keefe replied: "Apparently so.
"I thought offensively we were good. We were up against a hot goaltender but we put three on him, so that showed we were good enough.
"Defensively, we weren't willing to commit to it. We were out-competed, and that's the most disappointing thing."
Redemption can come quickly. The Giants are in Dundee tonight for a rematch against the Stars at the Dundee Ice Arena (face-off 5pm) and a bounce back performance is essential, both from a standings perspective and a mindset one.
With the Coventry Blaze in Belfast at the weekend, making it three games in four days for Keefe's side, there's no let up in the schedule. But the Giants need to start picking up points to close the gap, especially with the Steelers in the SSE Arena in a week's time for what looks like a massive top-of-the-table clash.
"We don't have any choice but to let (Monday's loss) go. I hope it stings the guys," added Keefe.
"If you want to have Championship aspirations, and we do, and those players have all said that they do, you've got to win these games at home.
"Now we have our work cut out for us, we have to go on the road, it's a very tough building in Dundee, it's going to be a travel day. But in this league you can have no excuses. Dundee travelled here and they out-competed us on Monday. We have to do the same thing."