The focus from Adam Keefe is “one game at a time” as the Giants return to the SSE Arena to face the Manchester Storm, the first of 10 consecutive games at home that stretches to mid-January. A welcome respite from the onslaught of road games that the Belfast Giants have undertaken so far this season.
Speaking with Mark Brooks of the Belfast Giants, the coach reiterated that the determination and goal is the same.
“We need to do the exact same thing – focus on one game at a time. With regards to this weekend vs Manchester we have spoken about focusing on this weekend and going into the Christmas break on a high.”
The Giants took the win in Altrincham last Sunday night having started slowly and fought to peg back a 2-0 deficit in the first period. Keefe is under no illusion that the Storm are a different prospect on the road than they are at home.
“I am expecting Manchester to be a different team than what we faced last Sunday, though so will we. We just need to worry about our own game and take care of managing the puck well and I am confident we can get the job done.”
Speaking of the recent run of injuries Adam Keefe said it was good to see the teams all-time leading points scorer, Colin Shields, back in on-ice training after a nasty injury to the face has kept him out of the line-up for over two months.
“It is nice to have Colin back on the ice as I know it has been a long and frustrating process for him. I hope he feels better and better each day on the ice.”
Shields spoke with Davy McGimpsey of A View from the Bridge following his return to training and commented on the frustration he feels being out of the game day squad.
“I’ve never been out for this long, ever, in my career. If it’s a back issue you have a little light at the end of the tunnel, but with this you have to wait and see how long it takes to repair.”
With the Giants playing a large chunk of the remainder of the season at home, Shields will be hoping to come back soon but is pragmatic when it comes to returning to EIHL competition.
“It’s about feeling comfortable on the ice over the next few weeks and getting involved in team practices, get back into game shape and return to the ice with the team as soon as I can”
— A View From The Bridge (@AVFTB) December 21, 2018
Giants face the Manchester Storm tonight and Saturday at 7pm, speaking on this weeks’ A View from the Bridge podcast, Storm Head Coach, Ryan Finnerty knows the challenge his team faces on the larger ice in the SSE Arena.
“We want to come into Belfast confident, we had a big win in Glasgow last time on the road and we want to take that into a building where we have to go back to back.”
In the last two games before Christmas, Finnerty is relishing the opportunity to showcase his team;
“It’s unique to get two chances at them and we are bringing a lot of fans over, we have a lot of positives going over, the guys are excited about it. We just got to put 60 minutes together on Friday with a good performance and follow it up with the same on Saturday”
PODCAST: Driving Home For Christmas – This Week’s A View From The Bridge has Jonathan Ferland discussing the Giants and his Calder Cup title with Hamilton. Storm Head Coach Ryan Finnerty previews his teams weekend in Belfast and we talk to Adam Keefe and Dustin Johner at training.
A View From The Bridge Podcast, Official Podcast of the Belfast Giants, part of Kingdom Of The Giants.
Words: Patrick Smyth Audio: Davy McGimpsey / AVFTB / Mark Brooks / Belfast Giants
Pictures: Manchester Storm / William Cherry / PressEye