Nottingham Panthers are coming under pressure from their own fans after a disastrous weekend started with a 6-2 defeat at Sheffield Steelers before a 4-10 home thumping by Coventry Blaze.
Coach Dave Whistle stated after the loss against Coventry “It’s just not good enough for anybody and I think we let Will (netminder Kerlin) down tonight”.
The team have largely flopped below their high standards this season with Tim Wallace taking the brunt of the blame in January which led to his sacking, but fans have always stated the problem lies deeper and those pointing fingers are labelling the responsibility largely on the clubs director of Hockey Gui Doucet.
Despite Nottingham’s troubles, the side have already qualified for the playoffs and do sit fourth in the ten team division but below rivals Belfast Giants, Sheffield Steelers and Cardiff Devils all some way above the Panthers with Coventry Blaze now knocking closely on the door as the regular season reaches its climax.
On Saturday the Panthers lost 6-2 at Sheffield despite pegging back a two goal first period advantage for the home side to be level going into the third. Matthew Lane’s two goals in the second not enough to save the side from a runaway loss, a collapse of four against in the third and final giving the Steelers two points in the two sides final regular season meet.
On Sunday it looked to be going much better against Coventry after falling behind to a goal from Laakonenen in the opening 70 seconds, the Panthers responded to hit three quick goals with Richards, Tousignant and Kelsall all netting to provide the hosts with advantage before Bloodoff pulled back the deficit to one.
Hedberg made it 4-2 shortly into the second but thereafter Nottingham collapsed like a deck of cards in a wind turbine.
Four unanswered Blaze goals in the second followed by four more in the third made it a weekend to forget.
Nottingham will now look to restore some pride back from two woeful performances against Dundee Stars who they play north of the border on Wednesday night.
*Main image @PanthersIHC a poor performance as Nottingham are beaten by the Blaze.