Gerad Adams has a mountain to climb now, if Sheffield Steelers are to lift the last two trophies still available to them.
The coach is a firm believer that injury-free squads stand the best chance of lifting silverware.
But he goes into tomorrow’s game against Cardiff Devils without Tomas Petruska, whom he claimed would have made a difference to the scoreline in Sunday’s 2-1 Challenge Cup final defeat to the same opposition, had he not gone off injured.
A hamstring issue for the winger now sees him join imports Gord Baldwin and Frank Doyle on the sidelines.
Gerad Adams: “It was a big blow losing Tomas I think he would have been the difference in the game” said Adams after defeat at the hands of his former club.
“The (Mathieu) Roy (Mike) Forney line struggled to gain form after that.
“And the second line had a lot of chances but first few pucks just didn’t go in for them.
“The game could have gone either way but I don’t think we were at our best. I think we could have played better.
“We need some healthy bodies back. In these situations you have to be playing at full strength. That’s the only way you can win trophies in this league.”
Adams says the club has to “heal quickly” from the dispiriting loss.
“We have got another big game on Wednesday, we are still in line for two trophies, it is going to be a big ask without Tomas.”
Adams used Jeff Legue on the first line after Petruska’s injury, but the unit never really clicked. The coach said Legue would not keep the spot, admitting the formation “did not work” and the position it would go to somebody else.
Forward Tyler Mosienko believed the lacklustre second period against cup winning Cardiff contributed to their downfall.
“We came out flat in the second and that hurt us. It has happened before in this season and I guess we haven’t learned from our mistakes” he said.