Upbeat Raine is hungry to see how far the Giants can go
Belfast Giants defenceman Kevin Raine is excited to see how far this team can go after their promising start in the Champions League this season.
Despite losing twice on their road trip to Bili Tygri Liberec and the Augsburger Panther, the Giants have won admirers across Europe for their performances.
In particular, their battling display at the Curt-Frenzel-Stadion against the Augsburger Panther on Sunday was heroic, with the short-benched Giants coming within a few minutes of taking the game to overtime, only to concede twice late in a 3-1 defeat.
Despite the results, however, Raine believes that this team has the potential to be special this season and believes that their CHL displays are only the start of their progression as a group.
"I was really happy with how we bounced back after the last game. I thought we played a really good game, we were blocking shots and came together," he said.
"Getting a new taste of European hockey and the fact it's still only September, there's a lot to look forward to, seeing how we build off this."
Already without the injured Jesse Forsberg, the Giants had to contend without suspended captain Matt Pelech for the game in Augsburg too, but the defence produced a superb display, particularly on the flawless penalty kill.
It was a reflection of the character of the team, and it also is an indication of the mentality that they take forward into the campaign according to Raine.
"The way things are set up, a guy goes down we're playing short. We don't carry many extra guys," explained the Canadian.
"The whole mentality since I got here is don't focus on who we don't have, focus on who we do have. We're not going to worry about who's injured or who's suspended, guys are going to take on a bit of an extra role and step up to the plate and we did that."
Now the Giants get their first taste of domestic action this season when they welcome the Glasgow Clan to the SSE Arena on Saturday for the first game in their Challenge Cup defence.
"There really is no difference to it," insisted Raine of the difference between the Elite League and the intensity of the CHL.
"We're still trying to show up and win a hockey game, this was just a road game and we had a bit further to travel. We're there to play hockey and it's the same thing, just a different set-up."