Rob Dowd will have some time to make up if he re-appears in a Sheffield Steelers’ jersey this weekend.
A hand injury has kept him out of the last nine games of a season where his bosses were hoping he would weigh in with anything between 20-30 goals.
So far, he has just one strike from his pre-injury seven games (and two assists.)
He has shown his is capable of a much bigger ratio: he netted 32 goals in 45 outings for Doug Christiansen’s Belfast Giants in the 2011-12 season as well as 32 assists. Last season, in a Steelers shirt, the former Sheffield Scimitars winger bagged 22 + 18 in 40 matches.
In practice this week, Dowd has been “excellent” according to coach Gerad Adams - which hints at a second line spot, if he is ruled fit, at Edinburgh Capitals tomorrow and Dundee Stars on Sunday. No decision will be taken on that until Adams has convinced himself, guided by medical advice, that Dowd and team-mate Pascal Morency are completely ready for match-action.
Tomorrow night sees a clash between the top two teams above Sheffield in the Elite Division. League leaders Braehead Clan travel to second place Belfast Giants. Steelers are five points behind Clan, but have three games in hand. Belfast are in good form; they won 7-2 at Coventry Blaze on Tuesday.
* Steelers were approached by forward Paul Bissonnette about a potential slot on their roster.
He has since signed for Arizona Coyotes despite initially agreeing a deal with Cardiff Devils.