Steelers’ coach Paul Thompson says he no longer has any emotional attachment to the club that he delivered 15 trophies to.
Sheffield play his old club Coventry Blaze tonight with his sole focus on getting back on the winning trail after two straight defeats.
The omens are good - Sheffield have shut out Blaze 5-0 and 4-0 the on two previous occasions they met this season.
But Steeler form has been unpredictable both at home and away, and there is certainly no room for sentiment from Thompson in tonight’s fixture.
Asked if he had any feelings about seeing Blaze at the bottom of the table he said: “The only pleasure I have is seeing us get two points. Do I have any emotional ties to Coventry? No. If I had them on Friday night I would be unemployed. The only emotional ties I have are with the people who pay my wages.”
Thompson wants to see his side play with the same urgency they displayed in the September games against Blaze.
Tyler Mosienko scored three times in that mini series and the wins came in an eight-match winning streak. Levi Nelson, who should be back from injury tonight, bagged a couple over the games.
“At that time we were executing with speed, outplaying and out chancing teams” said Thompson.
“We were very dominant at that time and we have to get back to that. We cannot take Coventry lightly this time. But I am more concerned about my own team than them.”
With skipper Jonathan Phillips out, Mathieu Roy is favourite to take the C but Thompson said he’d reserve a decision until nearer the time. “I need someone to step up and show me how to lead the group” said the coach.
Luke Ferrara will get more ice time in Phillips’ absence. “He is learning his gradually, improving his strength on the puck and battle levels. But he does have a knack of scoring goals. He gets better every week and has earned this opportunity.”
*Having scored nine unanswered goals against Coventry already, fans will be hoping to see some Steeler forwards repeat the treat.
Chris Lawrence hasn’t hit the net in five games, Mathieu Roy, Jeff Legue and Rob Dowd haven’t scored in four, while Tyler Mosienko will aim to end a three-game sequence without a goal.