The GM's review

Monday, 23rd October 2006
Another weekend gone and another hard-earned two points, and a monster of a weekend ahead of the Phoenix.
If another overtime and penalty shootout win wasn't enough, to get it on the back of losing Derek and Rado was extraordinary. Nottingham are a big, strong team and some might say, they tried hard to intimidate some of the Phoenix players last Sunday. There were some big hits and there was no shortage of shall we say, 'trash-talking' out there on the ice. But, it's goals that count and we got the vital one in the shootout courtesy of our super Swede - Johan.
Now the big talking point has to be the disallowed 'goal' the Panthers thought they'd scored in the overtime period. They were convinced the puck had totally crossed the line but, it's the opinion of the referee that counts and Mr.Boniface thought otherwise. Whatever the reality of the matter, the Phoenix responded the better and despite being outshot on the night, I felt we deserved the points for the manner in which we went about trying to earn them. And again, the big man in the net had the fans howling - not laughter - howls saluting more excellent netminding.
The weekend looming is a biggie, of that there is no doubt. Belfast away is always a tough game and the Giants are already posing results and performances that indicate they could defend their league title crown. And they've shown they can recover a deficit and turn it into a win; they're resilient and if we're to turn them over in their own barn, Tony's game plan and the players execution of it will have to be nigh on perfect. With no time for resting, celebrating or commiserating, it'll be back on the plane and then the long bus ride to Basingstoke. The Bison pushed us hard in Deeside t'other Sunday and will no doubt be keen to avenge that loss to the Phoenix. And as if that isn't enough, we come 'home' to Deeside to take on a fresh-as-daisies Cardiff side who won't have played next weekend before swapping South Wales for the Flintshire coast.
As you'll have read on the News Pages, Ryan Watson has left the club having asked for his release last week being unable to fully adjust to life in the UK. Some guys make the switch easily and comfortably, others don't and Ryan was one of those that didn't. We wish him well with his new team and he was very gracious in saying his goodbyes to the team and wishing everyone well for the rest of the season.
And it would be remiss of me not to suggest that if you get chance to slide by Oakfield Road, please do so and witness the progress on the new arena - it's really not that far away now and with each day that passes, the changes are plain to see.
Have a great week, work commitments prevent me from making the trip to Belfast next Friday, so see you all at weekend.