The Adey Report: Dundee’s resilience vs. ‘Team to Beat’

December 5, 2018 12:53 pm

FreeSports Analyst, and former Coach, Paul Adey (above, right) gives us his take on tonight’s live TV game!

So we’re into December already, and our next live game on FreeSports is up in Dundee, as the Stars take on table-toppers Belfast Giants.

I think Dundee have shown a lot of resilience of late, especially if you look at where they were. They lost a lot of close games which I imagine would have dented their confidence, and then they struggled for wins. But Coach Pacha has turned things around, they’re looking good at the moment, and it’s a great time for them to be on television after a slew of victories.

Stars’ Coach Omar Pacha will be happy with how his side have bounced back in recent weeks. (Photo: Scott Wiggins)

When you’re on a negative run, it’s all about staying positive. At the end of the day you have to look for positives in, and take from, every game you play; work hard in practice, and eventually things will turn around. You have to keep working though, and that’s been the case with the Stars – they haven’t given up, they’ve been mentally pretty tough actually, and now they’re winning games they were losing not so long ago.

On the other side of the ice, what is there to say about the Belfast Giants? They’ve been in unbelievable form recently, and you need a streak like that if you want to win the league, either a big 16-20 game run, or two smaller ones. If they were to go on another, it will be tough to keep up with them. However Cardiff and Nottingham have kept pace, the Panthers especially with some big wins of late too. Belfast are almost certainly the team to beat at the moment, though.

Although they lost in Sheffield, the Giants will certainly be looking for a bounce back game in Dundee. Normally when you’re coaching a team like this you don’t have to say too much to the guys: to put a streak like that together shows they don’t like losing, and they all have that will to win. When you’re a coach you know that good teams will bounce back, but Dundee are playing well so it should be a good game.

It’s nice to play at home because you have your comforts and luxuries there, but when you’re on a long road stretch as the Giants are then the team really bonds. You’re out there with the team all the time, able to play some hard games and also relax together, and have a good time with the team. With so many wins on the road, it will be telling when the Giants get back home about how far they can go – especially with those games against the other conference teams.

Keys to the game

While Belfast have four to five guys with over 20 points, Dundee don’t have any, so the Giants are offensively very gifted. When you play them, you have to keep things tight and wait for your opportunities. You’ve got to play well defensively, if you make small mistakes against a team like this then they’ll punish you. For Dundee it will be about keeping things simple, and they’ll be ok. They’ve got wins of late so should be confident.

For Belfast, the speed they have up front will probably see them getting the fore-checking going early. You can be smart about it and leave the third guy high, so I see them being aggressive and not sitting back. For sure they’ll think they can go out and win the game.

Key Men

I Always think goaltending is so important, so Pontus Sjögren for Dundee, considering where is team is, has pretty good numbers (89.60% shots saved). He’ll need to have a good game, and then on scoring Drydn Dow on defense is one to look out for. He has 16 points in 20 games for a defenseman, which is very good. A guy like this could make the difference on the powerplay.

Giants’ netminder Tyler Beskorowany leads the league in % of shots saved – 94%. (Photo: Scott Wiggins)

Belfast have the best goalie in the league at the moment in Tyler Beskorowany (94.00% shots saved), so he’s a big key for them. He looks good, has the size to go with it, and is always going to be a tough goalie to beat. They also have a great backup in Murphy if needed! On the scoring front, Blair Riley with 15 goals and 31 points is impressive. His +/- is also +19, and you can’t get much better than that. The Giants have a lot of depth in scoring there, as well as experience

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