Marc Lefebvre takes charge of Sheffield Steelers’ bench for the first time tonight and will set a challenge for his goaltender Frank Doyle.
With head coach Doug Christiansen attending his father’s funeral in America, Lefebvre steps up to lead from the front.
And he knows success in both short and long term depends largely on the form of his veteran netminder.
“Frank is playing a hell of a lot better than he did at the start of the year and he is starting to show what we expected in the Summer when we signed him” said Lefebvre.
“At the start of the season he had a bit of an adjustment period and he started off a bit slow. But in the last few games he has been excellent, he had a great game against Belfast so if not the best goalie on the league right now, he’s right on his game.”
Talking on video at thestar.co.uk he recalled his favourite Steeler goaltender.
“If he plays like he (Doyle) did against Belfast we’ll have a good chance of a championship. If you look back at the season I was here, (2003-04) when we went with Christian Bronsard, that was the kind of performance he gave every night so if Frank can get close to that, we’ll have a good chance.”
The coach said the two conpared well in terms of professionalism and competitive nature.
“Bronsard is a little smaller, he was about 5ft tall, I think, but they were both great goalies.”
Steelers could be without skipper Steve Goertzen this evening in the iceSheffield game against Fife Flyers.
Goertzen blocked a slapshot with his leg last weekend against Belfast and left the Arena on crutches.
His place will go to Finnish forward Ilpo Salmivirta, who has had to sit out as a ‘spare’ since injured imports started to return to action.
n Meanwhile ex Steeler Rylan Galiardi has returned home to north America after failing to agree a short-term deal with Braehead Clan.