Danny Meyers blames mental fragility for lapses in Sheffield Steelers form this season - and recognises players could be pay for that weakness with their jobs if it continues.
The Sheffield defenceman admits he felt “humiliated” by last Sunday’s 6-1 defeat at Nottingham, his former employers.
He candidly accepts that injuries can’t be blamed for the nature of a 0-5 last period collapse.
“We were tying 1-1 at the start of the period and in a good position to get both points, and on a five minute Power Play.
“But we got into penalty trouble and started to unravel (conceding two power play goals in five minutes.)
“We should have been focussed on those last 20 minutes, but we showed a lack of mental strength and things started to snowball against us.
“Our players have played at a high level so I offer no excuses why we lost our way when it came to the crunch. We should be able to perform in those situations, but I won’t sugar-coat it - it was embarrassing”
Meyers was surprised by the implosion, adding: “It is pretty humiliating, we have given a decent account of ourselves in some games and battled against the odds with injuries but the size of that scoreline was purely down to us. We beat ourselves rather than Nottingham beating us. And that make it even tougher to take.”
Preventing similar collapses was a priority, said the D-man.
“Hockey is a game of mistakes, but we have to learn from this. We are going to play a number of games with high pressure - we have high-flying Dundee Stars this weekend and then the always-difficult trip to Cardiff Devils.
“We can’t have any more off-nights, and we cannot take a period off. If we do, there may not be many of us around to see the end of the season at Sheffield.
“We are constantly reminded of the expectations of playing here and we are under no illusions that if sacrifices have to be made, they will be.
“Nothing has been mentioned about player releases but it doesn’t have to be. That sort of thing has happened before and we are fully aware of the situation now.”
Steelers’ hopes of achieving some level of consistency from this coming weekend onwards won’t be aided by the continuing injury issues blighting the roster.
Forward Stefan Meyer and defenceman Dustin Kohn may still be unavailable.
Kohn, a 26-year-old Canadian, had injury problems last year with his Czech team- playing only 19 times.