Plenty of time for Giants' title hopes, insists Keefe
Belfast Giants head coach Adam Keefe insists there's still a long way to go in this Elite League title race after his side's inconsistency shone through yet again in their double-header against the Sheffield Steelers.
The Giants were as good as they've been all season in downing their rivals 6-2 on Friday night at the SSE Arena, only to suddenly revert back to the goal shy side they've been on too many occasions this season in being shut-out 4-0 by the same team in Belfast on Saturday.
The net result is the Giants are effectively where they were at the start of the weekend, still four points behind their rivals in the league standings with three games in hand, and their record now sits at 12-8-2.
And while it's yet another frustrating pair of results for the defending league champions, Keefe believes there's still more than enough time for his side to pick up some form and get their title defence back on track.
"We're fortunate that the rest of the league seems to be (inconsistent) as well, though Nottingham and Cardiff seem to be finding some form now," said Keefe.
"We're 22 games into a 54-game season and the one thing I've learned from my time in this league is that it's a long year.
"We can't get too high with the highs and we can't get too low with these lows, but to a man we need to realise the sooner we break out of this, the better for us.
"We put in a great team performance on (Friday) and we put in a good work ethic (on Saturday) but we didn't get rewarded for it."
The Canadian chief also insisted he would be focusing on the positives from Saturday's performance rather than dwelling on being shut-out for the fourth time this season.
"You're never happy with a split, but we'll take a step back. We fought right to the end, the score wasn't an indication of how that game went," he added.
"Our penalty kill was almost perfect, which is a huge confidence booster for that core group in particular.
"That being said, we can't take that many penalties on a consistent basis."
The Giants will hope to have one of Ben Lake or Kevin Raine back for Wednesday night's Challenge Cup quarter-final first leg against the Cardiff Devils at the SSE Arena, with both players considered day-to-day due to injuries sustained in Friday's win over the Steelers.
• THE Belfast Giants SNL team picked up their first win of the season with an emphatic 11-3 hammering of bottom side Kilmarnock Thunder on Saturday.