Keefe out to pile on pressure at top
Adam Keefe is determined to use this weekend's massive first v second double-header against the Cardiff Devils to turn up the heat on the defending champions in the race for this season's Elite League title.
The Belfast Giants coach has his sights on two home wins tonight and tomorrow (both 7pm), even though he knows the Devils are in form, having lost just twice in their last 21 league games since a defeat by the Giants in Cardiff in November.
The Devils hold a seven-point lead at the top, but the Giants have had the better of things between the teams so far, winning twice in Cardiff but losing the previous meeting in Belfast.
Keefe is well aware that the eventual champions are likely to be the team that comes out best in the five remaining battles between the current top two.
"Two wins would be great," said Keefe. "It would put pressure on Cardiff and close the gap.
"We still have to play them five times, so I think it will come down to who can win the majority of those games and then do the business against the rest."
After responding to last Sunday's embarrassing 8-0 hammering to the Sheffield Steelers by beating the Nottingham Panthers 5-1 in Wednesday's Challenge Cup semi-final first leg, Keefe is hoping that any nerves in the Giants ranks are now gone.
As the biggest week of his coaching career looms - with the home leg of the semi-final to come next Wednesday - Keefe is keeping things simple.
"We have spoken to the players and told them to go out and have fun," he said. "These are the games you live to play in. Every player was brought here for a reason and I want them to do what they were brought to do."