Sheffield Steelers boss cool on trip to Belfast

In the phlegmatic manner which has become his trademark, Sheffield Steelers coach Doug Christiansen is making no big deal about his return to Belfast Giants, this weekend.

The American had three years in Northern Ireland, leaving the province for Sheffield seven months ago.

Doug Christiansen - Sheffield Steelers

Doug Christiansen - Sheffield Steelers

But he was quick to play down the significance of his return there on Saturday, his first as Steelers boss.

“It is a game we are all looking forward to” he said. “Everybody knows I coached there for three years, that is not going to sneak up on anybody, but the reality is it is really not about me, it is about my players going to a team that is ahead of us in the standings, with a ton of talent, a ton of great character players, and a real test for us as a hockey club.”

Speaking on video at he said had “no idea what kind of welcome I am going to get. We had three really good years and made a lot of friends and had a lot of great times and it will be fun to catch up with those people.

“How I am received? I cannot control that, but I can prepare my team as best as possible.”

His unemotional style isn’t mirrored elsewhere in the camp. Club official Dave Simms regards the visit as a “huge night for Doug.”

And top goalscorer Stefan Meyer said of the trip: “We want to win for Doug, he is a great coach and a lot of us are here because of Doug. It’s his old team and I am sure he has a lot of respect for them and we are going to go out there and play for him and hopefully things work out.”

Christiansen said the return of Craig Peacock to Giants in the last few days will be a “big boost for them.”

But he wants his team to continue to improve and carry on going into the “dirty areas” - as they did in the victory over Dundee Stars at iceSheffield on Tuesday.