Sheffield Steelers miss Max more than ever

Steelers are not getting the goals they’d expected from some of their top imports.

For some reason it is going wrong in front of net for Rob Sirianni (no goals in six games) Nate DiCassmiro (one in seven) and Jeff Legue (one in six.) Other than Stefan Meyer, it’s been largely left to homegrown Rob Dowd to find the net; he has five in five.

Maxime Lacroix in action against Nottingham Panthers

Maxime Lacroix in action against Nottingham Panthers

So the frustration of having Maxime Lacroix on the sidelines is now being felt more acutely than ever.

The one-time Washington Capitals draftee bagged a brace at Nottingham Panthers, back on September 21, then badly broke his lower leg in two parts.

It will be the New Year before he is available for selection.

But if it is exasperating for the club, it is more so to the player, who recognises that his career prospects will be on the line after such a long lay off. Speaking on video on thestar.co.uk, he said: “Obviously when I get back I will have to make my spot again, just like in training camp.

“I’m not going to be in good a shape as I was in training camp - it is going to be a battle for me to get back in shape, into the line up and to the first line and Power Play where I need to be to get points and help the team.”

Lacroix hopes his early form will help: “The start I had is going to help me the team be more patient with me. But it doesn’t change anything; guys are going out there and playing well and I have to play better than them if I want more ice time. I will have to earn it.

“I have to prove, when I come back, that I am 100 per cent and that doesn’t effect the player I am.

“I have to be 100% - either to come back here next year or play somewhere else - to get confidence from another coach to believe in me that I can be the player that I have always been. I have to work out work hard, that’s the guy I am so I am not worried but it is going to be a tough recovery.”

The 26-year-old had “some plates and screws” fitted to his leg after breaking his tibia and fibula.

“It is definitely the worst injury I have ever had” he said.

“I broke my elbow when I was very young but when it is feet and the leg it’s worst.”

*Ashley Tait, released by Sheffield at the end of last season, is the Elite League’s fifth highest points scorer with 8+18 in 17 games.