NEIL Abel is demanding Steelers display their newly re-discovered sense of defensive responsibility this weekend.
The Sheffield bench coach was delighted with last Sunday’s blue-line coverage at Coventry Blaze and the final period in the previous night’s win over Dundee.
“The form from those four periods are what we want to see again this weekend,” said Abel.
“In those periods the lads completely bought into the coach’s systems. We were closing space and their boys down, picking their wingers up and getting the hits in.
“Offensively we’d been doing all right, it was defensively where we were struggling, so if we can continue to get that right we’ll be fine.”
Abel says import cover player RG Flath has one big asset in his attempts to stay on at Sheffield - he plays a similar role to player coach Ryan Finerty!
“Like Finner, he gets stuck in, plain and simple,” he said. “He’s another version of Finner who doesn’t shy away from getting his hands dirty. He is defensive-minded and comes back; he’s not one who won’t pitch in.”
Neil Clark will be hoping to break his six-game scoreless stretch either tonight at Hull and tomorrow at iceSheffield aganist Edinburgh, while at the other end goalie John DeCaro may have his eyes on his
fourth shutout, following the 2-0 win at Blaze.
The netminder said: “If we are going to win championships that’s the way we have to play every night. We are not a run and gun team. We got away with that against Dundee (won 8-5) but to win a championship you have to play more like we did against Coventry.
“I have a great relationship with the D men in front of me. There is a lot of talking between us. I’m normally telling them to move so I can see the puck. I like to see the puck at all times. If it does go in I have no trouble shouldering the blame.
“The D in front of me this season have done a fantastic job. They have blocked out so well. They also create space so I can see the shooting lanes to look through.
“I was proud of the way the team played last Sunday.”