Corey Neilson: “It’s not our fault”

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Player Coach of the Nottingham Panthers Corey Neilson blames all the other teams in the league as the reason Nottingham again failed to win the elusive league title the fans crave. 

In the press conference following his team’s 10-3 demolition of Hull Stingrays in the playoff semi final he was drawn into answering questions about the failure to mount a sustained title challenge and in an astonishing outburst he criticised other teams for not showing up against the likes of Sheffield Steelers while suggesting other teams always try and beat Nottingham.

He even said that losing to Coventry was ‘depressing’ and that “every time someone plays against us it’s like game seven Stanley Cup playoffs” before adding “I’m sure somebody will lynch me for saying these things.”

Who that ‘someone’ will be is up to you to decide.  Maybe the media, maybe the GM, maybe the fans, but the frustration was clear to see: “Each and every game we’ve lost we’ve played good hockey.  It’s not our fault Sheffield goes in and gets more points than us in a game.  They were not good and I don’t mind saying that. Teams can fall asleep against them. 

“They start Woolhouse and [win] games 2-1 in overtime. Every game we played it was a war because teams want to beat us, probably because I say these stupid things all the time. 

“Each and every game was tough.  Each and every night was tough for Belfast, I’m not taking any credit away from them; they were amazing.  In those tight games we lost at home, I thought those [Belfast games] were the two pivotal games of the season; head to head we didn’t get it done.  It wasn’t because they were miles better, it wasn’t because they weren’t better, they were good games and they found a way and we didn’t and during the season we lost to Coventry too which was depressing.

We asked Corey if he would be around next season to which he replied “who knows”.

Maybe another trophy at the play off finals could convince him to return and finally ‘finish the business’ in the league.