Nottingham Panthers bring out the best in Steelers, says Sheffield coach
Steelers hopes of getting among the League front runners have come adrift so far.
They have lost all four games with leaders Cardiff devils and three out of four with second-placed Belfast Giants.
But third-place Nottingham Panthers...that's a different story.
The teams face each other on Sheffield Arena ice on Saturday, with Steelers having won four out of six league and cup contests.
Three of those scoreline wins have been wafer thin, yet Steelers still did enough to emerge victoriously.
And coach Tom Barrasso sportingly accepts Nottingham have had a significant part to play in bringing the best out of his troops.
"With regard to our rival Nottingham, I believe their high level of play has brought out our best competitive instincts" he told The Star,
"Every game has been a closely-fought affair. The pace of play has been fast and the games physical.
It appears both groups of players enjoy the challenge."
While Josh McFadden will return to the fold this weekend, after hamstring injury, one player who won't see the ice is new on-trial goalie Carsen Chubak.
Barrasso has been looking for an insurance policy in case of injury to number one netminder Jackson Whistle.
But the 29-year old former Belfast Giants and Edinburgh Capitals backstopper has not reached the required standard in training yet.
"Carsen is not prepared to back up at this time" said Barrasso.
"More practice time will be required before he would have any chance of dressing."
Meanwhile the hunt goes on for more import recruits.
"The team is actively looking for upgrades to the roster. At this time nothing has materialized" added Barrasso.