Form guide: Why Sheffield Steelers have to steal two wins this weekend

Steelers go into Nottingham Panthers' lair tonight knowing they are in for a fight for their lives and nothing else other than a win will do.

Saturday, 22nd February 2020, 8:00 am
Updated Saturday, 22nd February 2020, 8:05 am
Ex Steeler Mark Matheson, right, enjoys playing against Sheffield

If Sheffield lose in regulation time, the home team will be equal on points with them, but with two games in hand.

Worse, if Cardiff Devils beat Guildford Flames and Steelers lose, they will deprive Aaron Fox's team of their top of the league status, with the Welsh having three games in hand.

Belfast Giants, too, are not out of the picture, when it comes to the season's main silverware.

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They too must be defeated in Sunday's showdown at Sheffield Arena.

There is no doubt that momentum favours Nottingham and Cardiff.

That has to end this weekend.

In terms of Steelers v Panthers head-to-head details, rival coach Tim Wallace can point to an improvement, of late.

While Sheffield have won six of nine encounters so far, Nottingham have won both games in this calendar year.

If you aggregate the scoring across those nine matches, it comes out 30-28, a narrow margin edged by Fox.

While it is evident on current form that Sheffield have to shake off their newly self-inflicted defensive weaknesses, there will be a couple of Sheffield players that fans might be looking to score at the other end.

Marco Vallerand and Brendan Connolly have only accounted for one goal each amongst those 30 Steeler strikes.

Robert Dowd and Marco Vallerand in action against Nottingham

Anthony DeLuca has scored just once against Panthers, the goal winning a shoot-out win back in October.

John Armstrong leads the scoring with five.

But at the end of the day only one thing matters for Steelers - they find the rhythm and playing pattern which seen them successful in Nottingham previously and has twice seen off Belfast at the Arena.

*Steelers, without one GB regular in Robert Dowd, will have another, Ben O'Connor back after suspension.