Sheffield is the place I should be, says American goalie
John Muse may have been a little late to the Steeler party - but he might just be around for some time to come.
The experienced American goaltender resumed duties in the Sheffield net on Tuesday night in the first leg play off win over Manchester Storm.
While he admits he is not 100 percent healthy, he is committed to helping the club win the EIHL series.
And possibly beyond.
The frustration he endured at missing all but 30 minutes of the regular part of the mini-series has not spoiled the effect of playing in the UK for the first time.
The netminder, from Barnstable County, Massachusetts, turned away 23 shots in the 5-4 victory, later admitting: "It wasn't the best game for me, timing was off a little bit, but the guys played great in front of me."
The upbeat 32-year-old added: "I haven't had a bad experience here, I have enjoyed it every day I have been here.
"We have a great group of guys, a great staff, it is enjoyable to come to the rink every single day, whether I am skating or coming in for rehab.
"It is great being around the guys and we are lucky to have a really good group of guys who enjoy being around each other all the time, I think that is a huge factor considering how dense the schedule is and we don't really have days off."
Asked by The Star about a possible, longer term association with South Yorkshire, he said: "We'll have to wait and see what happens here, but yeah Sheffield has been a great city, obviously you can't see everything it has to offer because of the (Covid) restrictions. Yes it's been great so far, management, coaching staff and rest of staff have been great. It's felt like a place I should be.
So will Muse have recovered his timing for Thursday night's second leg?
"I guess it takes time to get that back, after not playing the game for nearly a month" he said.
"At the same time I have been playing for a long time. I think the timing comes back pretty quickly once you get into those game-playing situations. I think it'll be fine moving forward."
Muse is confident Sheffield can prevail in the series.
"I go into every game, every season, every tournament, thinking my team is going to win, I don't think that's any different here."
His coach Aaron Fox admitted Tuesday's game was "pretty ugly" - the skaters turned over too many pucks in the neutral zone, an uncharacteristic error.
But he felt Muse was "really, really solid" and a player who would "only get better."
His communication with his defencemen was impressive.
"I think he settled in really nicely, he has been around the block a long time. I don't think it takes him long to find his game."
Fox criticised the state of the Nottingham ice sheet as "awful" and "sticky."