The Red Deer Rebels lost their appetite for home cooking; now they’ll attempt to rediscover their hunger on the road.
“We’ve had some really good runs here. Now we’ve hit a bit of a bump in the road,” Rebels associate coach Jeff Truitt said Monday, following a practice session at the Enmax Centrium.
The Rebels, who leave this morning for a three-game trip in B.C., closed out a six-game homestand Saturday with a 6-5 shootout loss to the Prince Albert Raiders. The night before, the Edmonton Oil Kings invaded the Centrium and came away with a 4-0 victory.
“I think a lot of it is we’re doing some good things, but we’re not doing those good things enough,” said Truitt. “Consistency is a big thing, it’s about maximizing our effort and our pace.
“Our pace has gone down a bit and we’re not playing to our capabilities right now. We’re kind of in between and the recent results have shown that. If you’re trying to separate yourself from a team like Edmonton and stay ahead of Calgary and perhaps catch Medicine Hat, you can’t shoot yourself in the foot.”
So while the coaching staff is somewhat concerned with the club’s recent drop-off, Truitt insisted there’s no cause for alarm.
“It’s just a matter of getting back to it,” he stated. “If we were searching for answers about if we could ever get to that top level, that would be one thing. But we’ve been to that level and we’ve been there for awhile. The sharp shock we’ve felt the last couple of games has been good for our team.”
Defenceman Haydn Fleury, who cut his leg with his own skate blade during the first period of Saturday’s game and didn’t return, should be in the lineup Wednesday when the Rebels take on the Kamloops Blazers.
“It’s just a matter of him getting the stiffness out and he should be able to go right away,” said Truitt.
Fleury needed eight stitches to close the wound.
“The positive thing is he didn’t cut the muscles in his leg,” said Truitt. “He had a workout today, he was on the ice earlier. Our pregame skate in Kamloops will be the time he has to chomp down on it.”
The Rebels will be in Vancouver Friday to face the Giants and will go up against the Royals Saturday at Victoria.
Red Deer’s next home game is Feb. 13 versus the Lethbridge Hurricanes.