Corey Neilson: Nottingham Panthers coach positive ahead of play-offs

Corey Neilson
Corey Neilson will leave the Panthers at the end of the season after 10 years as coach

Nottingham Panthers head coach Corey Neilson believes his side's run of form at the end of the season shows they are a contender for the play-off title.

Panthers won six of their final seven games to secure fourth place in the Elite League table.

Neilson's side will now take on fifth-placed Belfast Giants in a two-legged quarter-final on Friday and Sunday.

"We had a good end to the season and I saw plenty of things I liked," Neilson told BBC Radio Nottingham.

The Panthers made an impressive start to the season and reached the knockout stages of the Champions Hockey League, despite being the lowest-ranked club in the 32-team competition.

They were top of the Elite League in November but a pre and post-Christmas slump saw them slip to seventh, before a resurgence in the last month.

"We had some tough times in December, January and February but I think we have come back well," continued Neilson, who will leave the Panthers at the end of the season.

"The slate is wiped clean now and play-off hockey is exciting for players and supporters alike.

"Belfast will be formidable opponents and they have had a great season, winning the Challenge Cup.

"It will be a great series but my players are focused and very much up for it."

Panthers travel to Belfast for the first leg on Friday before the return in Nottingham on Sunday.

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