David Simms's Sheffield Steelers column: Chance for Dowd to fill his boots
Robert Dowd was due to return to the Steelers line up last night for the game against Fife and all around the club there has been a sigh of relief that the Golden Child is ready to wear the Orange shirt once again.
Still so early in the season but already Dowdy has had two lay offs due to injury, at any time losing him would be bad but when we are so short of goals even more so.
Even having missed so many games I doubt come the end of March if another player will tally his goal strike.
As well as Dowdy the player, its Dowdy the person we have missed, his work ethic chasing lost pucks and even lost causes. For a smaller chap his physical presence and intensity is immense. Dowdy is a leader at this club and we are desperate for him back.
It's a tough time to be returning, Fife, then Cardiff away and returning for the Manchester home game on Sunday at the Arena '“ another baptism of fire as he tries to get his season going for the 3rd time.
Jordan Owens returns as well, though right now it looks a 50-50 call on Lawrence for the weekend and no news on McGrath.
Dowdy, Owens and McGrath were the first line that started the season and scored '“ three times against Leksands in pre season. How we have missed that combination and those goals.
I think by the time the weekend has ended the new head coach Tom Barrasso will know all he needs to about his side.
He can then make a fair evaluation on what changes, if any, are required.
The one thing I'm sure he will be happy with is the form of Jackson Whistle, his performances haven't been the issue to date, in fact the games we have won owe a lot to his job between the pipes. Having someone like Barrasso as a head coach has to help, doesn't it?
Being able to pick the brains of one of the finest goalies ever has to be a positive.
Some points, however many, have to come this weekend; 2 about bearable, 4 acceptable, 6 incredible, the most important thing though is bodies, making sure the returning ones come through ok and aren't joined by any new injuries.
Announcing Robert Dowd back on to the ice though will have answered one of my prayers, one of the most influential players of his generation. I wouldn't wish for any other British forward in the league, irreplaceable as we found out last year and this when he has been missing.
Give him the puck and he will score.
A week or two ago after we stood next to each other watching the team play he said to me 'why don't they shoot' referring to his team mates who were overplaying certain situations 'all I ever want to do is shoot'.
Well Dowdy, shoot and fill your boots, your Steelers need you.