Simmsey column: Sheffield Steelers can still end the season with a trophy
Season over? What rubbish there is lots to play for still.
So the last weekend of the league season, a Friday night game in Nottingham Panthers and then home to Coventry Blaze on Sunday for the final league home game before the play offs next week.
Don’t think for a minute that there is nothing to play for this weekend.
It’s likely we will play Nottingham in the play offs so a good performance and result at the NIC on Friday will certainly help set the tone for next weekend’s double header.
A Steelers v Panthers play off quarter finals series translates to heady bragging rights for the winners and just the worst possible feeling for the losers.
No better team to beat at the last eight round but no worse team to go out too – that applies to both teams.
That’s the pressure series to end all pressure series.
Coventry will come into Sheffield on Sunday requiring two points to make the play offs – this is the team that knocked us out of the play offs last year – a little bit of retribution wouldn’t go a miss and also help out our friends in Manchester, as the Storm try and make the post season for the first time.
The Blaze have been the big under-achievers in the league this season, though they have made it to the final dance for the past two years winning the title by beating the Steelers in 2015 – they have form in this competition.
It’s that time of the campaign when we also start to look ahead to next season, there are contracts to be earned, if not back with the Steelers then elsewhere. Several of the Steelers squad have already been re-signed, some more will follow we hope as well.
The club believes we have a great core or both players and people, men with real qualities.
We are excited already for what is ahead of us this year and next.
So these last two weeks have much to offer, much to play for and there will certainly be no complacency what so ever.
Our work this week has been on trying to get those injured bodies repaired, Yared Hagos has worked so hard, just ridiculously hard to get back onto the ice and fill his centreman’s role.
Planning has already started for next season, pre-season games have pretty much been agreed and you will be super excited when you hear the plans for next August. Some incredible opposition will be heading this way.
When I started in this sport it was a 32 week year – now it’s 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks of the year.
The club, the team, the league, everything is so intense and full on, I love it.
Next season we have two new teams, Milton Keynes and their recently refurbished rink and Guildford, for so long the kings of the EPL.
Much to look forward too.
But first - there is the little matter of finishing the Elite League in style and heading full steam into the Play Offs.