The Devils’ form under Whistle has put him in the frame to take over from regular Devils boss Brent Pope, who is currently away commentating on the hockey at the Sochi for the BBC, but they struggled against Coventry’s clinical finishing.
They looked unsettled by their opponents’ intensity early on and fell behind after just two minutes when Adam Henrich seized on some sloppy play to net from close-in for the visitors. It looked like Cardiff would concede with every Coventry shot and the Blaze doubled their lead halfway through the period.
Two quick Coventry penalties handed the Devils a chance to get back into the match and it didn’t take long for Mac Faulker to pounce on a rebound and fire home. But the voices of the Devils faithful were soon silenced as Coventry scored twice in quick succession to lead 4-1 at the end of the first period.
Coventry netted twice more during a lacklustre second period for the Devils’ defence who failed to put any real pressure on their opposition. The Devils left it until the last 10 minutes of the final period to mount their attempt at a comeback. First Czech forward Tomas Kurka scored, then Tyson Marsh seized on a rebound from Kurka’s fierce slapshot from the slot to make it 6-3. Overeager to press their opponents, Cardiff conceded a penalty for too many men on the ice as they made a mess of a line change.
With just two minutes to go, the Devils looked to again muster their earlier pressure when they pulled keeper Kamil Kosowski. It took only 30 seconds for Coventry to fire into the empty net. The Devils face Sheffield Steelers at home on Sunday.
Dave Whistle wasn’t happy with his side being second-best for most of the game.
“I definitely think we got outworked right from the beginning of the game to the end of the game. Maybe the last nine minutes of the third period I thought we came to life a little, but it was just too late.”