Rage need to build momentum at home before long road trip, says coach

The Rage recently returned from a four-game road trip that saw the team lose three of those games and fall to a record of four wins, nine losses and one overtime loss for a total of eight points on the season.

“We’re feeling a little bit of frustration,” said Robinson. “We know we are playing a lot better hockey by the things that we chart such as chances for and chances against and those types of things, and it’s just a matter of putting it all together and maintaining the belief that we can get something done as a group.”

He said the other teams in the division have played very well this season, and the first-place Kenai River Brown Bears – a team the Rage will play this Friday and Saturday evening – is no exception.

“They play a very passive style, if you will, and have been getting great goaltending, so it’s a matter of us being patient, not giving up a lot defensively, staying out of the penalty box, and finding a way to beat their goaltender, which I think has really been the strength of their team,” said Robinson.

The Rage play a set of home games next weekend against the Alaska Avalanche, and he said getting some wins during this home stretch will be critical to building some momentum heading into a 12-game road trip that will see them face all five of their divisional rivals. The team will need to find success on the road to make up ground in the division, and he said he believes that starts with keeping the other teams’ goals to three or less to give them a chance to win every game. A lot of that pressure will fall on goaltender Edward Dyson, who Robinson said hasn’t played his best hockey but is still capable of much more.

“We know that Edward Dyson is a lot better than what he may have shown to this point, and it’s a situation where we are going to continue to have our faith in him. He has too big of a body of real positive work for us to give up on him, so we continue to support him, and when he gets going, I think you’ll see a lot of positive results for us.”

Despite the team sitting in the basement of the division, there are still plenty of games to be played, and Robinson said it’s not too late for the team to contend for the playoffs.

The Rage will look to turn the season around starting with some wins over the Brown Bears tonight and tomorrow nigh at the EnCana Events Centre at 7 p.m.  

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