Sheffield Steelers are confident head coach Doug Christiansen will return to the UK for Saturday’s game at Coventry, and at the Arena against Belfast on Sunday.
The Steelers have missed their leader for the past three weeks, whilst Christiansen has been back home in the States attending to family business following the death of his father.
It’s time for the Steelers - and their coach - to get back to work now, as recent losses have put Sheffield behind the eight ball in their chase for the title. If you want to win a league championship you don’t do that by losing five games to out of conference rivals. Would the Steelers have lost those games with Christiansen in Sheffield? Who knows? And in suggesting that it puts improper pressure on Marc LeFebvre - a man who wasn’t brought here to take charge, but to assist.
What has happened has happened, but now is the time for everyone to focus and concentrate on the Steelers, first second and third. A few players haven’t stepped up to the plate as we would have wished; I hope they now realise the importance of these two games as the Steelers have to claw their way back into the reckoning. Christiansen’s presence will certainly help that.
One player who doesn’t need to look in the mirror is Robert Dowd. He is a shining example, the hardest working player on the Steelers and a man who looks to change the game whenever he is on the ice. Dowd was a star when he left the club two years ago, but has returned an almost complete player. A scorer of big goals, a key component on the power-play and penalty kill units. Dowd makes every line he plays on better.
Dowd is becoming the Steelers franchise player. On the ice he is scoring big goals, and off it he is showing maturity beyond his years through his association with his adopted charity - The Fir Vale Food Bank. Dowd has encouraged Steelers fans to donate over 1,400 tins of food to Fir Vale, making a difference to many people’s lives.
Dowd will need to be at his best in Coventry where the Steelers lost a fortnight ago. A day later at the Arena (5pm) the Christiansen return will be against his former Belfast side; ironically the team Steelers had just beaten when Doug heard about his father’s passing.
It is said champions find a way to win, but the Steelers have lost games they should have won. They have to reverse that this weekend.