Nottingham Panthers captain Danny Meyers says the 4-1 defeat at Cardiff Devils on the opening weekend of the Elite League season is a wake-up call.
He watched with pride as Panthers routed Cardiff 6-1 on Saturday but found Sunday's viewing less pleasing.
"It's a reality check - a shot in the arm," Meyers told BBC Radio Nottingham.
"Sunday's game certainly wasn't a 4-1 game but I cannot say we particularly deserved to win.
"We still have a lot to work on.
"As disappointing as it is to lose, the positive we have to take out of it is that there was some good play. But we never seemed to get going and when we did have good spells we weren't able to continue it and get too much momentum.
"But we'll try to keep an even keel. We weren't world beaters on Saturday and we weren't the worst side in the world on Sunday. We still have about 70 games to go this season."
Saturday's game doubled as an Elite League and Challenge Cup fixture with Sunday's match just counting in the Challenge Cup.
Nottingham face Coventry Blaze at the National Ice Centre in the Challenge Cup on Wednesday.