If there is a good time for Sheffield Steelers to play Cardiff Devils - maybe it's this weekend

Sheffield Steelers can claim to be more prepared than at any other time this season, for the play quarter final two-leg challenge against Cardiff Devils this weekend.

By Bob Westerdale, Head of Sport
Friday, 5th April 2019, 5:55 pm
Updated Friday, 5th April 2019, 6:04 pm
Jono Phillips attacks Cardiff's net. Pic by Dean Woolley
Jono Phillips attacks Cardiff's net. Pic by Dean Woolley

With one or two notable exceptions, the month of March brought some positives - Tom Barrasso's previously inconsistent troops won five of the eight matches in that time.

They did enough to get over the line to qualify for the play offs with two matches to spare.

Coach Barrasso says that uplift in form has come at a good time.

"Our performance through March was required" he said, with trademark understatement. We had not put ourselves into a solid playoff position prior to March.

"We played well with quality wins against Belfast and Cardiff. Hopefully that form continues."

Barrasso doesn't gain any satisfaction out of being the underdog for the back-to-back games against the EIHL's deposed champions.

"There is no advantage in being an underdog" he said.

"We will prepare to play the games to our highest standard.

"We know and respect the team we will be playing, but we look forward to competing against them."

It is crucial Steelers edge ahead in Saturday's home leg.

"Our team has had good success in our building," noted Barrasso.

"We have thrived off the atmosphere in the building. The only game in focus is Saturday’s. Our best effort will be required.

"After Saturday, we will refocus to Sunday. One day at a time."

Barrasso said the week's training priority had been improving defensive zone coverage

"Cardiff scored 235 goals during the season. We must work to limit their offence."