Glasgow Clan make their long-awaited entrance into the Elite League on Sunday (4pm) at Belfast Giants and are playing catch-up having started their campaign weeks behind the rest of the other ten clubs.
The ambitious club’s much-travelled, coach Malcolm Cameron (pictured) shrugged his shoulders and said: “It is what is is.”
The playcaller has no injury worries ahead of the clash and the 52-year-old, who has coached in Romania and Italy as well as North America, believes his hand-picked squad will have no problems switching from the tight ice pad at Dumfries, where they played their only pre-season challenge game, to the vast SSE Arena in Northern Ireland.
However, it is a tough assignment against a side which has already played five league games and eight Challenge Cup fixtures.
Clan have only been together for two weeks and won 7-4 at Dumfries in midweek after being level at 2-2 at the end of the middle period.
Cameron noted issues including puck management and speed in transition, two areas focused on in training as the squad shake of rust. Some of them have not played for 20 months.
And he has homed in on Belfast, who played at league pace-setters Sheffield Steelers last night (SAT), watching tapes of their games.
He said: “I have confidence in my team that they will go out and execute the game plan. Nobody knows what to expect from us, but I know what to expect from them.”
Meanwhile, Fife Flyers’ 35-year-old forward Bari McKenzie is scheduled to ice in his 600th Elite League game on Sunday (face-off 6pm) against another of the league’s heavyweights, Cardiff Devils.
The Dumfries-born player, who has also iced for Dundee Stars, now defunct Edinburgh Capitals and Glasgow Clan, could find it tough against the ambitious Welsh side who have only lost once to the Kingdom club in 11 meetings.
Coach Todd Dutiaume urged his Flyers to focus on themselves rather than the opposition who have won the last six games against Fife.
His squad are aware of Devils’ razor-sharp danger man Brodie Reid who currently leads the league with nine goals.
Dutiaume said that to be successful every team needs focus on simple things and they include keeping their feet moving, closing the opposition down defensively, going to the net and a willingness to get involved in the physical aspects of the game.
And he stressed that his men need to find a level of consistency which has eluded them so far this term.
The experienced Canadian, who guided his new-look squad to a 5-0 Challenge Cup win at Kirkcaldy last Saturday before they were shutout 6-0 at Sheffield Steelers in a league fixture in midweek, said: “We can have two different teams showing up for us. The one which showed up against Dundee or the one which showed up at Sheffield.”