“Never trust the Scots,” my old Dad used to say ... “they stole our goal posts at Wembley.”
Well Dad, I’ll take it one step further - you can never trust the Edinburgh Capitals.
One day they are mind-blowingly brilliant and on any day can beat any Elite League team - on another day they switch off and you can put 10 past them.
Scotland seems to want independence and I guess will then wish to join the EU - perfect for the Capitals as they love their Europeans, unlike the Steelers, with a team full of Canadians and Americans, the Capitals have a team full of Eastern Europeans with names like Jarolin, Harmann, Valecko, Safar, Zembergs and Sladok.
I’m from the old school view that you win nothing with Europeans. Did you know that not one team that has won titles in the Super League or Elite League era has had more than two European imports? That was the Steelers with Carllsson and Wilman both of whom played in North American before playing here.
The eastern Europeans aren’t for me, I wouldn’t want a team of them playing in Steelers colours. There heads go down too quickly, moody, look at others to blame; that’s my view after working with some and seeing many over time.
They might have all the skill but do they have the heart for a battle, the heart to go for 50 games a season? I’m not so sure. My good friend Scott Neil begs to differ ... he loves them. That’s why he signs a trailer load of them every season for Edinburgh.
So on Sunday when the Steelers take on Capitals for the first time this season it won’t be just a battle between Sheffield and Edinburgh, or England and Scotland. It will be a battle between the English speaking Brits and North Americans and the Scottish speaking Scots and a bus load of Europeans. You watch on Sunday when a hit is laid out by a Colt King or a Matt Stephenson, the look afterwards, the glare of ‘take that.’ In hockey there is no love lost between these different cultures. The North Americans think the game is their game; it belongs to them and see these Europeans trying to change the way it is played.
So which Capitals side will appear at Ice Sheffield on Sunday, the flamboyant, arrogant, strutty Edinburgh side that will excite and entertain, or the ‘I don’t want to be here - moody - I’ll just play at home’ side?
Whichever team it is I can’t wait - especially as the Steelers are now second in the Elite League standings with a 10 win, one loss record. The best in the league and now just five points behind the Belfast Giants with three games in hand.
Steelers vs Edinburgh Capitals, iceSheffield, Sunday, November 6 (6pm). Tickets: 0114 2423535