David Simms Sheffield Steelers ice hockey column: Tom Barrasso is searching for consistency

Belfast Giants' Dustin Johner with Sheffield Steelers' Jackson Whistle during Saturday nights Elite Ice Hockey League game at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
Belfast Giants' Dustin Johner with Sheffield Steelers' Jackson Whistle during Saturday nights Elite Ice Hockey League game at the SSE Arena, Belfast.

If your eyes are followers of social media there seems more posts this week about coach Tom Barrasso not doing a post game interview in Belfast then there was on games against the Giants.

 I think we have all learned by now that Tom is a direct man.

Sheffield Steelers head coach Tom Barrasso

Sheffield Steelers head coach Tom Barrasso

If you approach him in the right way and in advance then there isn’t a problem obtaining words from him.

I’ve never had an issue so can only assume those who have didn’t go about approaching him in the right way or on time.

Tom might not be the most media friendly person in the world but I couldn’t care less as long as we are winning games and that’s what his focus must be on.

With our play-off position in a precarious place I want Tom concentrating on the on ice product, leave me to worry about the media issues.

We have all learned that Tom is his own man who does things his own way.

We employed a hockey coach with one aim and that is winning hockey games, if he does that we are happy.

Bear in mind I’m the media guy, I’d love it if Tom did a hundred interviews and gave paragraphs of great quotes but that isn’t his style and he has his own reasons for that.

Some of us will have seen the Belfast tweet following Sunday’s game.

I smiled, whether there was a need for that is debateable.

I know if we had done a similar thing we would have been attacked from all sides, but Belfast, they are the moral untouchables.

I’m pretty sure Tom was more worried about how we manged to throw more points away from a winning position.

The week before leading 2-0 in Manchester we lost the game, we did the same against the Giants on Saturday and then less than 24 hours later we led 2-1 with a handful of minutes remaining. 1 point from a possible 6 wasn’t the return required.

Jonathan Phillips told me earlier this week that we have enough experience to see games out and he couldn’t put his finger why we weren’t.

The reality is that if we don’t figure that out pretty quickly then the unimaginable might happen, the Steelers not making the play offs would certainly be a low point.

We have enough quality, especially with the recent additions, we have enough bodies.

Now it’s time to stand up, point the guns outwards and deliver.

That has to start this weekend against a play off rival, Dundee. Home on Saturday and then up north on Sunday.

We have to put daylight between us and the Stars, games against teams around us are running out, in fact all games are running out.

Both Davey Phillips and Eric Neiley have been missed massively, but with all due respect, they shouldn’t be the difference between winning and losing.  

We have enough. Enough quality and quantity.

Tom will be pulling his hair out right now trying to find that consistency.

We have shown that we can play well against top teams and deliver, we have to find both levels of consistency from now until the end of the year.

Consistency 1 – game consistency, seeing it out for 60 minutes and Consistency 2 – doing night after night.

When I speak with Tom in our post game interviews this win one lose one business is what frustrates him the most.

We all know the dreadful record Stars coach Omar Pacha has against the Steelers, he has never beaten us with either Hull, Manchester or Dundee, some 28 or 29 games.

That record can’t go on forever, he is due one. We have to ensure that one isn’t this weekend.

All games are must win games but Saturday’s at the arena is one of those where we simply cannot fail. It’s win at all cost.