Sheffield Steelers ‘struggling’ with tactics

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Steelers’ defensive coach Marc Lefebvre admits the Sheffield side are leaking in too many goals as they wrestle with new tactics.

He and head coach Doug Christiansen are asking the players to operate a “hybrid” defensive system - a programme they picked up from NHL sources. It is not always working and Lefebvre says players have yet to “get on the same page,”

Marc LeFebvre

Marc LeFebvre

Speaking on video at thestar.co.uk, Lefebvre said defensive errors in Wednesday’s 4-3 win over Hull were priority issues this week. “It’s still early but we are giving up way too many goals right now” he said. “Yes it (the new system) is a bit of a learning curve for some guys, we are still making mistakes in our defensive zone. It is something we will take a look at and get better.”

He said the new tactics represented “a different kind of defensive system...all the guys are not used to playing this kind of system and we are giving up three or four goals a night right now. Obviously that is something we have got to work on. If we have to go back to basics, then we will.

The system was one he and Christiansen discovered at the NHL draft: “We are trying to impliment it over here and it is taking some time to adjust.” It revolves around three men down low and “swarming” the opposition near the net, he said. There was a forward in front of the Steeler net allowing defensive skaters “to jump of the puck carrier in the corner.” He added: “It is taking some time to get used to but the guys are trying to buy into it.”

He said the defensive corps would improve when injured Chad Langlais returned.

Referring to Sunday’s game against ex coach Ryan Finnerty and his Braehead Clan side, Lefebvre added: “I’m sure he’d like nothing more than to beat the team that sacked him the year before.”