Sheffield Steelers: Aaron Fox not looking for cuteness from top of the table side
Steelers' boss Aaron Fox believes his top-of-the-league team are becoming genuine contenders for silverware in his maiden year at the helm – as long as they don't play "cute" hockey.
Sheffield beat Dundee Stars 4-2 on Sunday, chalking up the points despite being over-run for the middle period.
They wrestled back control of the game though and climbed above Glasgow Clan who were beaten 6-8 at home by Coventry Blaze.
Clan have two games in hand.
After the Stars' win, Fox said: "Our game wasn't perfect, I thought when we played our game they had no chance, five on five against us, when we want to be cute and make plays in our neutral zone, and not make hard plays...we did get outworked in the second period.
"We didn't defend well. We didn't get pucks deep to make their D turn. But in the third we started rolling again."
The coach said once they had put the Scottish 'D' under pressure Sheffield's creative players became too hot to handle.
The team should play a simple game and get the puck forward rather than over-elaborating, Fox says.
"If you get outworked in this league any team can beat anybody.
"When you are winning you are micro-managing all the small details that you want to improve in your game, when you are losing you are looking for the positives to build around.
"So right now we are on a nice stretch here" he said, adding there were always small issues to iron out.
"We are a good hockey team right now but we need to do some little things a little better throughout 60 minute hockey game to be a great hockey team."
Fox started Sunday's game with the Tanner Eberle-Jonathan Phillips- Anthony DeLuca forward line unit.
He explained: "Guys need to be rewarded some times; that line has been pretty effective for us on this stretch.
"They have created energy, they all play the game the right way, 'DeLuces' has really bought in on that line I think. He has been really effective playing in that role and they still create a ton of chances for themselves so it has been a really good line for us."
"At the end of the day I think we are putting ourselves in a pretty good position here to contend late in the year.”