RYAN Finnerty will call up his Bomber Command this weekend.
His Sheffield Steelers’ skaters will take to the ice in back-to-back play-off qualifiers against Coventry Blaze with orders to detonate on the Power Play.
“We have been heavily focusing on the Power Play in practice this week,” said coach Finnerty, who expects both sides to take trips to the penalty box on Saturday and Sunday.
“We have players who have a bomb of a shot that they can let go - we need that to happen and to get lots of traffic on the net as they are doing it.”
That means that Jeff Legue, Drew Fata and Jim Jorgensen will be key in this quarter final series - they are the ones with the biggest shots.
The first of the two games is at Coventry and Finnerty says: “It is a really tight rink and tough to get in the good areas so we have to take our opportunities.”
Weekend games are often billed as “the biggest of the season” by Steelers, But nothing can be bigger than this one: lose over the two legs, and it’s all over for the team and the coach - and a possible fatal Sheffield career blow for many of them.
Coventry have a smaller player budget and are underdogs.
But Steelers have yet to find a consistent three-line attack, and only have this weekend to come up with it. Built into that is the factor of Rod Sarich: a defenceman converted into a winger.
Finnerty says Sarich has become “pretty comfortable” in the forward role after taking some time adapt.
History is full of unlikely heroes: so maybe this Steeler veteran d-man will step forward and be a big force on the wing.