RYAN FINNERTY has admitted his Sheffield side is “carrying passengers” as they head towards the Play-offs.
Steelers have suffered an end of season collapse, losing four out of their last five games and ending 11 points behind champions Belfast Giants.
And the player-coach believes some individuals are putting themselves before the team ethos.
Ahead of next weekend’s quarter finals against Hull Stingrays, Finnerty said: “Our team is carrying some passengers. There are certainly some guys more worried about the name on the backs of their shirt than they are the crest on the front of it.
“If they worried more about the crest then they would realise there was no need to worry about the name on the back. If some of these guys don’t start thinking about the team first this Play-off campaign could be over very quickly.”
Finnerty excludes goaltender John DeCaro from that criticism.
“He’s my number one this year and next. He will be the best player on the ice this weekend and a major reason why we make the final four in Nottingham. Our losses this year haven’t been down to him, they have been down to the rest of us in front of him.
“Johnny is a winner, he won a championship last year and he is going to try and lead us to another one in these next two weekends. He’s come in for criticism from some fans. I think it’s his style, he isn’t flashy, he just gets the job done.”
Sheffield’s latest defeat came last Sunday in the ‘dead-rubber’ with Braehead Clan.
Winger Colt King admits the club has been sliding, but claims the Clan game was rendered meaningless by the previously-established league rankings.
“I don’t mean to down play it or anything but it (the result) doesn’t move us up or down so it’s a correct-our-mistakes kind of game. Better to make mistakes now rather than a week from now” he said.
The winger said league performances would not affect confidence going into the Play-offs.
“There’s been a couple of losses, sure, if you look at the whole season most people would be happy with the season regardless of how the last two weeks went.
“It is unfortunate we are on the skid we are but we have a week to sort things out and will go into the Play-offs fresh. It’s a whole new season, a clean slate.”