Another week, another four games for the Sheffield Steelers ... and we think we’ve got it tough.
Tuesday’s victory for the Steelers over Fife sets up another difficult three games in three days for Ryan Finnerty’s side starting with a trip to Braehead tomorrow and Fife on Saturday before returning home to the Arena on Sunday evening for the visit of Edinburgh Capitals.
Finnerty has had to become more of a juggler in recent weeks with his 11 imports shuffled around into just 10 slots. He took the unusual decision on Tuesday to rest stand out goalie John DeCaro and play all of his remaining 10 imports. To many it was a gamble but it shows that he’s prepared to roll the dice as he rests up as many players as possible ahead of the run in.
I admit, I was nervous but had no need to be as Geoff Woolhouse coped with the Flyers armoury in the 5-1 victory.
I expect DeCaro though to be back between the pipes tomorrow when the Steelers face the stand-out player in the Elite League to date, Jade Galbraith.
Without doubt the most skilful player in the league, he has now added some fire, determination and fight to his game since his move away from Nottingham to Glasgow.
It may well be that the Steelers consider an approach for the genius that is Galbraith during the close season as he will certainly be the biggest test of the weekend for them.
That’s why I expect Finnerty to go with five defencemen against the Clan and then revert to four on Saturday in Fife.
The Galbraith factor has already taken points off Belfast and he single handedly destroyed his former club Nottingham to derail their championship bid.
He must not become the reason the Steelers don’t deliver this year. Keep Galbraith off the board and the likelihood is that you win the game. No news is normally good news, but not where Ashley Tait is concerned.
More scans, more meets with specialists but no positive news about a return for the most irreplaceable player on the Steelers roster. You don’t replace an Ashley Tait, you can’t, there are no replacements. Getting Tait fit, or at least strapping him up and somehow getting him to the end of the season is a priority for Finnerty.
Jonathan Phillips again scored on Tuesday, his work ethic and qualities are without question but he doesn’t naturally produce the numbers that Tait does.
Steelers v Edinburgh Capitals, Motorpoint Arena, Sunday (5pm). Tickets 0114 256 5656