Dulle: No room for error in our quest for play-offs
KURTIS Dulle is warning Hull Stingrays "there are no tomorrows" in their quest for an Elite League play-off spot.
His side are stranded at the foot of the table, five points adrift of the play-off places with just 10 games left.
Stingrays face a make-or-break five games against their Gardiner Conference rivals, starting tomorrow in Fife before facing Braehead in Hull on Sunday.
And Dulle says nothing less than a four-point haul will be good enough this weekend.
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"If we can get two points in Fife tomorrow hopefully we can catch Braehead on an off-night in Hull so we can pick up four points," he said.
"If we've got those four points in our hands after Sunday night then we've definitely got a good chance of doing something in the play-offs.
"There's no room for error. We can't allow those points to slip away.
"It's no good looking and thinking we need to make sure we get two or three points, we have to get four.
"If not, we will start running out of games to prove ourselves.
"If we can't start winning now the last few games will mean nothing.
"We can't say we'll do it next weekend, there is no next weekend as of Saturday."
Although Dulle is determined not to give up, the chances of Rapid Solicitors Stingrays repeating their feat of last season and making the play-off semi-finals is looking more remote by the weekend.
Fortunately, the Gardiner Conference table still looks like sardines in a tin – only three points separate top-placed Braehead from bottom-placed Stingrays.
Top spot would automatically ensure qualification for the play-offs as second seeds, irrespective of the overall Elite League standings.
Up to last night the quintet were separated only by five points, with a varying number of games to play.
"It's so close you can go from top to bottom each weekend now," said Dulle.
"These matches are massive, in fact every game is massive until the season ends.
"We don't know where we will be in the standings but we have to play our hearts out every game.
"We play well in Fife, but we have to bear down sometimes.
"It's really open ice and there's a lot of skating to be done, but we have to tighten up around our net.
"Braehead have been up and down this season, but we have had trouble against them.
"Hopefully we can have better success in our home barn."
If Stingrays do get success in their home barn on Sunday it will follow up their 2-1 victory over Cardiff last Saturday, when Dulle struck a winner inside the last three minutes.
Although it was followed by a 4-0 defeat 24 hours later in Sheffield, the victory left Dulle upbeat.
"Any time you get a win at home is huge, especially against a top-five team.
"They are a strong team, and always have been, so Saturday was huge. We played really well as a whole team."