Simmsey column: So Steelers lost a game - get over it!
Don't panic Mr Mainwaring!
That is my message to Sheffield Steelers fans, some of who had a little wobble after Sunday’s 4-0 loss at Dundee Stars.
That, of course, was the same night as Nottingham had lost their fifth game straight and the same night as league leading Cardiff went down 4-0 at Fife Flyers.
This is 2016-17 EIHL Hockey... not 2004-05.
Fife are second in the league. Braehead Clan are ninth and Edinburgh - yes, Edinburgh Capitals - beat Nottingham Panthers on the road a week ago.
Dundee took three out of four points against first place Cardiff Devils and second place Sheffield in 25 hours and 20 minutes.
Little old Manchester Storm beat Nottingham. Belfast beat Nottingham, then go down to Coventry Blaze.
The league is all over the place and that’s great.
Isn’t that what we all wanted around 2005? Weren’t we all fed up with the how predictable the league was?
Belfast won the league with six losses only four years ago. Gerad Adams’ Steeler side had 13 losses in 2014-15.
Paul Thompson’s side had one more, 14, last year in clinching the top prize.
I think what some fans are getting anxious about is that Cardiff are nine points ahead of us. But hang on, we do have five games in hand.
Yes, the Devils have the early jump but this isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon.
You don’t want Usain Bolt in a 52-game series - you want Mo Farah.
Did you see the tweet of the week?
Last year it was 1D (One Direction) that screwed the Steelers (referring to the quickly arranged concert in Belfast which scuppered our game.)
This year it was 4D (referring to the Steelers playing just four defencemen last weekend.)
I thought Messrs O’Connor, Bjorklund, Franzon and Phillips were heroes in logging the ice time they did with Fitzgerald suspended and Ratchuk ill.
I keep hearing complaints about the Steelers blue line - I say far from it.
Defence and offence are a team game. The forwards may score. But that’s often because our defence moves the puck north to south quicker than any other side.
On Saturday, we face a hurting Panthers side.
Historically offensive and sexy, Nottingham are at sixes and sevens right now with Lawrence and Schultz their one two punch on the sidelines last weekend.
Nothing more dangerous than a wounded Nottingham club. For them the Steelers game at the Arena has come at a perfect time.
Form goes out of the window on ice hockey ‘derby day’.
Steelers/Panthers games aren’t about form but about desire, wanting it more, being prepared to go further than your opponent.
For the Steelers, Fitzy will be back - and what a difference the big man makes.
The world is a safer place with him on your shoulder.
Hopefully Mike Ratchuk too. He makes an impact, gives us something different.
Andreas Valdix for me is key, on two levels. One, his strength takes him into scoring areas. Dirty places you and I wouldn’t go.
Two, he makes Nelson and Dowd better - or should I say he complements them better than any other centre they have played with.
Steelers v Panthers on Saturday. They are the games I live for.