Simmsey column: It has been a cruel season at times for Sheffield Steelers
It never rains, but it pours.
I can’t remember a season like this, just when you think things are getting back to normal the lightning strikes again, horribly and out of control.
Just as we had hoped players would be returning for the play-off run and the Steelers have been dealt a horrible double whammy – out of anyone’s control.
Andreas Jamtin remains in Sweden with his partner awaiting the birth of their first child. The mother to be is going through a rough time and it’s only right that Jammer is there by her side.
You will have read in The Star that forward Mathieu Roy suffered a horrible loss with his best friend passing away last weekend. Mathieu, too, has headed home and again it’s only right that he be with his family at this point.
Andreas and Mathieu are committed team players. It will be hurting them being away but it’s right they are where they are at present.
Selfishly, It doesn’t feel right even typing the words but it is just another “if it can go wrong it will go wrong moment” isn’t it? Injuries, illness, suspension and now cruel circumstances have stood up and slapped us in the face all year.
Every time we look like we have overcome one hurdle another one has seemed to appear, it’s been testing from August when Matt Marquardt was the first player to go down hurt. Fitzy with two nasty ones, Dowdy’s knee, John’s hand, Colton’s body, Mathieu’s hands and wrists, the list continues.
Hopefully John Armstrong can get back and get in the line up asap but that isn’t as sure as it seemed a week or so ago. Lets keep our fingers crossed.
Davey Phillips hobbled into training on Tuesday and said “I’m skating” the coaches said “No, you’re not” and sent him for more treatment. Davey will almost always play. How do I know that, am I a Doctor?
No, but I’m a very good judge of a player’s character and I’m convinced as long as it’s physically possible he will play. The Phillips, the Fitzgeralds, the Roys, they are a specific breed. A crazy, daft breed some will say but ones that have my full respect for just how much they care and want to succeed. They are blokes I want in my corner, in the trenches.
So the play offs – who will we play? It’s so tight, so close. We could end up third, fourth, fifth, sixth or seventh and there is one weekend to go. We could play Belfast Guildford or Fife in the quarter finals – not one of us has the first clue which one it will be.
We can’t start second-guessing, trying to plot a route to the final four by playing the system. We have to try and win these last three games and they just rely on the hockey Gods and play whoever it is we play. You watch it be Belfast and all the travel and upheaval, after the year to date that would be route you would expect?
I’m glad we rested ‘Moose’ last Sunday in Cardiff. He will be needed for the run-in and play off push, remember how important he was for us last year. He will be needed again this year end as well.
I love young Brad to bits and was delighted with his win in Cardiff but Moose is the money goalie. If we are to succeed and push on he will be out most important player over these next couple of weeks.
Our last league home game on Saturday against Edinburgh – come out and cheer the guys on as they try and end this difficult league season on a high. Next week the play offs begin and two wins this weekend will put us in good spirits heading into the post season. See you there.