Cardiff Devils could still choke, says Sheffield Steelers ace

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Andreas Valdix thinks that Cardiff Devils could yet slip up and fail in their pursuit of the Elite League trophy.

The Sheffield Steelers centreman says the league leaders - heavily beaten at Nottingham Panthers last night - have some difficult matches ahead of them.

Andreas Valdix going for goal at Nottingham

Andreas Valdix going for goal at Nottingham

They include two trips to Sheffield Arena and two matches against second place Belfast Giants.

“Ofcourse it is going to be tight, but they have a couple of hard games left and we play against them so I think it is possible” said the centreman.

Valdix discounts the fact that Steelers have been wedged in third place for weeks, with little progress made to the summit.

“We have a good team. We had a couple of hard games a couple of weeks ago. It is always hard (for teams like Cardiff) to be in the lead and see teams behind are coming up - I think it is going to be tight in the end.”

Christoffer Bjorklund

Christoffer Bjorklund

Valdix was praised by his coach Paul Thompson for returning from injury and re-igniting his partnership with wing duo Robert Dowd and Levi Nelson.

He said it was “fun” to hear he’d been credited by the coach for the goalscoring form of the pair.

“I just try and play my game and when we play together it feels good and it works out.”

The Swede, who is battling a new injury, was disappointed to see his countryman Christoffer Bjorklund return home after signing for Mora IK.

“It is hard, he was a good d-man and it was a loss for us but now we have got Roddy (Sarich) in and the guys we have they have to play their best.”

He admitted there could be some level of bitterness if Bjorklund’s decision has a negative impact on the team’s trophy aspirations.

But he said: “Everyone has their own life to do their best and he had a family and he wanted probably go back to Sweden and that team is in the first place they have a chance to go up in the SHL...

“I don’t blame him. He did a great job here and will probably do a great job in Sweden.”

While Steelers entertain Edinburgh Capitals tomorrow night, the club is keeping half an eye on the Challenge Cup final, at Cardiff Devils, on March 5.

Asked about having to play the fixture in Wales, Valdix replied: “Ofcourse it is always easier to play at home but I think we are going to have a lot of fans going from Sheffield to Cardiff; it’s going to feel almost like home for us.

“I came here to win some trophies and I think we can still do that.”

RESULTS

Tuesday 21st February

Elite League

Coventry Blaze 4 Edinburgh Capitals 1

Nottingham Panthers 7 Cardiff Devils 4

FIXTURES

Wednesday 22nd February

Elite League

Sheffield Steelers v Edinburgh Capitals – 7.30pm @ Ice Sheffield

Saturday 25th February

Elite League

Belfast Giants v Fife Flyers – 7.00pm

Braehead Clan v Dundee Stars – 7.00pm

Cardiff Devils v Coventry Blaze – 7.00pm

Manchester Storm v Edinburgh Capitals – 7.00pm

Sheffield Steelers v Nottingham Panthers – 7.00pm

Sunday 26th February

Elite League

Coventry Blaze v Manchester Storm – 5.15pm

Edinburgh Capitals v Cardiff Devils – 6.00pm

Fife Flyers v Sheffield Steelers – 6.30pm

Nottingham Panthers v Belfast Giants – 4.00pm