The Monday After – Flames on Fire
FLAMES AT THE FIRE
Shortly after the beginning of this blog, we talked about Guildford Flames and the fact that no one was talking about it. Almost three months later, they are now.
The Flames had an incredible week qualifying for the Challenge Cup final and winning the Patton Conference, their first elite league honor.
At the time, I wrote: "Whatever Paul Dixon does at the Spectrum, hopefully there will be some success or even some silverware somewhere on the line and, let's face it. there is a valid argument for that. "
That has happened and Flames fans can get ready for the big day in Cardiff next month when they will face off to win the Challenge Cup. What an exploit it would be.
I wanted to know what was an underlying factor in what has happened with Flames over the past few years and who has been transitioning into the Elite League almost seamlessly.
After asking such a question on Twitter, I had the usual cynical suggestions of money as the reason behind it. Without knowing the type of contract with Guildford, this may well be true.
But money, while helping to attract players, does not lead or score 60 to 70 points per season.
Some of the words that came back to me were "chemistry," "team speed," "playing for the front of the shirt," "coaching," and "passion."
Paul Dixon's commitment to the club was also hailed and it is fair to say that its importance in all of this should not be underestimated.
The flames, when advancing, could have given Dixon a new role in the club or move him forward and continue with a North American coach when they progressed.
What is clear is that it was never going to happen. He was their man and they were convinced that he could take Guildford to a higher level. And he has. And more.
The final in Cardiff will be on the back burner for the next three weeks until this day comes and there are still many hurdles to face in their league while in the league. they seek to finish as high as possible.
The Patton conference is in the bag, so it's one less thing to consider. It's a matter of points and taking four of them to Manchester Storm, who won the conference last year, was significant after their success against the Nottingham Panthers during the week.
I will end this part by the way I finished the blog on Guildford that I had written previously.
"So why can not they claim a trophy? They have the players to do and a Challenge Cup final with the Giants will not be afraid for them.
"It's a great adventure for the Flames and their fans. Can they disturb the so-called best teams and challenge jackpots? This writer would like to see them do it, that's for sure. "
THE BIGGEST WEEKEND OF THE SEASON?
One of the key moments of the 2018/19 season will take place this weekend when the Cardiff Devils will head to the Belfast Giants for a double-header, which may or may not indicate the title of the championship of the Elite League.
Belfast will be happy to be at home given that his 5-0 loss to Glasgow earned him six out of seven defeats on the road on Sunday and that he has an impressive national record of two losses to 17 and ten League Elite defeats since the beginning of the year.
The Devils are three points ahead with just three losses in 17 and have scored a lot of goals recently, making these two games a classic.
While the only possible outcome would be to see a potential title winner, Cardiff outweighs a seven-point gap on both nights, but everything else will get things moving as we approach the last few weeks of the regular season.
As a neutral, we can only hope to see this thrilling battle go the distance that elapses before the champion is crowned. As for the full-fledged games, let's hope two massive ads for the Elite League.
 SIMMSEY AND FRIENDS RIDE AGAIN
As if two gigantic marches were not enough, Dave Simms, Dean Woolley, Eliott Hall and Neil Edwards pledge again for another good cause.
Mark Thomas, a former Sheffield Steelers and Manchester Storm Junior Club coach, and Storm's owner Jamie Tunstall join forces to raise money for Prevent Breast Cancer and Vicki Thomas, the wife of Storm. Mark, recently treated.
They go from Sheffield to Manchester, starting at 7am on Saturday, and aim to reach Manchester by the end of Sunday's Steelers match between Storm and the only break to cover the Steelers home game Saturday night. It's 50 miles, no breaks.
Whether you like Simmsey or not, you can not discuss the power of the good he does for the sport, and things like this remind us of why there are more important things in life than hockey on ice cream.
Check out their Just Giving page with all the information here and if you can say a few, the guys will definitely appreciate it.
Good luck, guys!