Courtenay expects under-fire Giants to rise again
The Belfast Giants have lost three of their last four games and with a two week break coming after home games against the Nottingham Panthers tonight and the Edinburgh Capitals on Saturday the coach will want to end 2006 on a high note.
Back-to-back defeats to Basingstoke Bison last weekend mean only four points have been collected in the last six outings.
More importantly, second placed Coventry Blaze have four chances to eat into the Giants lead during their two-week sabbatical and that could be key come the end of the season.
"If the work ethic wasn't there then I might be a bit concerned," said Courtenay.
"Anyone who has been at the games will have seen how hard the players have been working, but it is results that matter really.
"We only gave up 14 shots in the home game against Basingstoke and still lost. That's not something that usually happens.
"I'm disappointed over the last couple of games that we've given Coventry a chance to close in on us and overtake us if they were to win their games, but this is no time to bury our heads and feel sorry for ourselves.
"I'm not going to be negative either when the team has done so well up until this point and we are still top of the league. I would think there are another nine teams in the league who would swap places with us right now."
JP Morin received a number of stitches in a facial wound last Friday night, but that won't keep him out of action tonight against Nottingham, who are 11 points behind and with only two games in hand their chances of winning the league title appear to have dissolved.
The Giants will wear a one-off silver jersey tonight, as part of a promotion by the club's title sponsors Coors.