Dave Simms: Dowd loss was a major blow

Robert Dowd in action for the Steelers against Nottingham Panthers. Pic: Dean Woolley.
Robert Dowd in action for the Steelers against Nottingham Panthers. Pic: Dean Woolley.

Doug Christiansen was seen shopping on Monday at Boots the Chemist, word has it he bought as much cotton wool as they had to wrap his injury hit team in.

Christiansen doesn’t know how good his Steelers team is because he hasn’t seen it play together all year.

Without top scorer Steffan Meyer and leading blue liner Dustin Kohn the Steelers still managed to put five great periods in against Nottingham last weekend.

It saw the Steelers register a great 5-3 home victory at the Motorpoint Arena and they looked favourites to repeat that 24 hours later with the score tied at 1-1 in Nottingham after the second period.

History will show a 5-0 crumble in the final period and a 6-1 defeat on Sunday. The legs, the head, the concentration, the focus.

Call it what you like the Steelers just ran out of steam.

Christiansen now has the added problem that in the final minute of the middle period in Nottingham he lost his best player.

Robert Dowd got hit from behind, a penalty that cost the Panthers a two game suspension to their import line up.

The loss of a player like Dowd is immense, you don’t, you can’t replace a Robert Dowd.

Right now he’s as good a player as there is in the league.

No Dowd, Meyer and Kohn – well Christiansen will hope one of them makes it to the start line this weekend with a Saturday home game against Dundee followed by a tough road trip to Cardiff on Sunday.

The Steelers have added to their line up already since the start of the season.

Without Max LaCroix replacements were found in Nate DiCasmirro.

With Ryland Galiardi not working out Christiansen was allowed to bring in Rob Sirianni.

There was the strange decision by Cardiff to release Phil Hill and the Steelers stepped in to sign the GB international as well.

Christiansen now has to do what he does best. Coach.

He some how has to weave his magic and work miracles short handed until his side get back to full strength in a couple of weeks time.

If the Steelers show the same commitment, dedication and work rate that they showed for five periods last weekend then I expect a four point return this weekend.