Dave Simms: Return of Dowd and Legue vital for Steelers

Dave Simms Telegraph
Dave Simms Telegraph

Steelers hope to be boosted by the return of one, if not two forwards this weekend for game against Cardiff at the Motorpoint Arena on Saturday (7pm).

Jeff Legue and Robert Dowd will skate again today with both players anxious to get back onto the ice.

Legue missed Sunday’s loss in Coventry with a foot injury picked up in the previous evening’s loss in Belfast, whilst Dowd has now missed eight games following a concussion against the Nottingham Panthers.

The Steelers have certainly missed Dowd’s energy, speed and goals in his absence. Prior to the concussion he was the club’s best player, more than living up to the summer hype following his signing from Troja.

A return of both forwards will most probably see a return of the impressive Goertzen, Legue and Meyer line that was leading the team a few weeks ago. If a club needed to get some offence back it is the Steelers, just three goals last weekend against two top contending clubs. This weekend’s home and away series against Cardiff (Sunday on the road) give Doug Christiansen’s side the perfect opportunity to bounce back.

Cardiff, like Sheffield, have had early season injuries that have seen them too lose more games than expected. Only last week starting goalie Dan DeCosta had to retire after receiving his third concussion of the season. Back up Joe Meyers helped Cardiff take two points against Nottingham last Sunday, Myers is available for goaltending duty again this weekend despite the Devils frantically searching for a quality replacement for DeCosta.

Steelers have an important run of games over Christmas against conference sides Cardiff and Nottingham (Boxing Day 5pm). The two homes games this Saturday and on Boxing Day will hopefully give both players and fans a lift and the unsuccessful weekend against Belfast and Coventry.

The answer for Christiansen is to get his bodies back on the bench, Dustin Kohn was brought in to be the club’s number one defenceman. To date he has had three spells out hurt, his quality and offensive output has been surely missed.

Two concussions and a injured ankle has meant Kohn has dressed in just 16 of 31 games. The Steelers have already missed 100 playing games to injury. Last season the Championship Panthers side lost 39 all season whilst league-leading Belfast have missed just 22 playing games this year to date.

The Steelers coach has only twice been able to play a full strength team all season.