Belfast Telegraph

Walser is fired up for the Giant finish to title tilt

By Stuart McKinley

Derrick Walser has admitted to feeling the jitters as the Belfast Giants enter the final week of an intriguing title race.

The player-coach, however, believes that his team is ready for the challenge of facing three potential blockbusters against the Cardiff Devils that could go a long way to deciding who lifts the Monteith Bowl next weekend.

The Giants go into a massive double-header in Wales three points behind the Devils. League leaders Sheffield are a further three points ahead, but the Giants have a match in hand and the race is far from over.

"As a coach this is the biggest week I've ever faced," said Walser.

"This is like the Play-offs and that time of the season is always huge.

"We have five games to go and I don't think any team is going to go unbeaten in the games they have left.

"We might need to win three, we might need to win four, but we will go out every night trying to win every game.

"This is the most nervous I have been because I am thinking 'do I have the guys ready?' and 'are they prepared the right way?'

"I suppose I won't know that until after everything is over, but they look ready.

"We had a great day of practice on Friday. It was one of those days when I wished we were playing that night.

"The guys were loose, they were skating well and the passes were crisp.

"If we play like that this weekend I'll be happy."

Walser's only injury doubt is defenceman Johan Ejdepalm, but there is another potential trump card up his sleeve.

Matt Nickerson is closing in on a return after injury and he will travel to Wales and could play.

Belfast Telegraph


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