ON what many see as a week of reckoning for Braehead Clan, club director Gareth Chalmers has played down the notion that it is a make-or-break few days for head coach Ryan Finnerty.

Once again the Glasgow side have qualified for the Elite League play-offs and they go into this weekend’s two-legged quarter-final with Dundee Stars as second seeds.

Getting to the showpiece play-off finals weekend in Nottingham next weekend would be a massive moment for the organisation who have only made it that far once previously back in 2014.

However, hockey & operations director Chalmers insists the bigger picture and long-term vision of the future will be looked at when the time comes to look at the call whether or not to offer Finnerty a new deal in the summer.

“From my standpoint, I think he’s done a very good job over the past four seasons,” said Chalmers of the Canadian who is now Clan’s longest-serving head coach after taking over in 2013.

“The year he joined the club it had come off a very bad season and he has progressed the organisation forward on and off the ice. We have progressed massively since then, and our aim always is to continue to progress.

“But the play-off weekend is pivotal. Is it the be all and end all for Ryan coming back? No it’s not, it’s up to us to have those discussions and review our targets this season.

“I do think Ryan can still bring success to this hockey club.”

Failing to reach the prestigious play-off finals weekend in the last two years has only added to the frustration for Braehead supporters who thought their team was destined for great things following their debut three years ago.

On the back of making it to the last four – joining Fife Flyers as the first Scottish clubs to do so in the modern Elite League era – Clan then went on to finish just one point behind regulation season winners Sheffield Steelers the following campaign before running them close again last term.

This year has brought the thousands of passionate fans down to earth with a bump, a rocky opening few months effectively ruling out any chance of a title by Christmas.

“After the start we had it was very difficult. It wasn’t something we had expected,” he said.

“When we built the team during the summer the target was to push for the title. After finishing one point behind Sheffield two years ago and being so close last year we thought we could go one step further this season.

“To have the start we did was frustrating, but we had to dig deep as an organisation and as a team, find some consistency.

“Overall, it was a pretty solid finish to the season. Obviously we’d like to have finished higher but given how we started we are happy enough.

“We have created that expectation that we are a big club. We are, but not a Cardiff, Belfast, Nottingham or Sheffield yet.

“Getting so close two years ago raised the bar. Realistically this year has opened our eyes. Fifth place financially is probably where we should be, anything above that is a bonus.

“We are ambitious and we want to win trophies. It’s finding ways to becoming cleverer with how we recruit. Financially until we get a new building we can’t bridge that gap.”

But Chalmers is happy with the positive run in from the team as the Gardiner Conference champions get ready for Saturday’s first leg on Tayside before the return the following night.

“It’s the pivotal part of the season. Everyone wants to get to the play off final weekend,” he added.

“It’s a very good weekend for us as a club. We should be getting there most years, it’s not easy but with the seeding setup we certainly have an advantage that we should be taking.

"It’s up to us now to finish this season in a bit of style.”