Sheffield Steelers need to go for Cardiff Devils’ throat from the first face off
Nobody outside the House of Steel gives Sheffield Steelers much of a chance this weekend.
After all, Cardiff Devils have had their number for five games out of six in the Elite League regular season.
And in that series has included wins by the margin 6-2, 7-1, 7-3 and 6-0.
On the plus side, Sheffield's last game against them delivered their only win a 5-4 victory, despite being heavily outshot.
Now captain Jonathan Phillips' side have to find that formula again this weekend when they play them at home and then away.
And they want to seize control of the quarter final series with an early offensive on Saturday night at the Arena.
"We can beat the Devils but only by sticking to our game plan for 120 minutes," said Phillips.
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"We've shown when we do that we are as good as any team in this league. It's when we come off the plan that things go wrong.
"I expect we will face a motivated and angry Devils side. They will be hurting inside from the way the league went. They have shown over the last few years that they have character. They will want a reaction to their hurt and disappointment" said the Sheffield forward.
"We have to put pressure on them early. If we can score first and put some question marks in their mind.
"Devils have been - and to me remain - the target club. We have a chance to beat them but it's one huge effort from everyone.
"That's the only way."
Cardiff held their end of season awards this week and, not surprisingly their most valuable player was declared as defenceman Gleason Fournier; the 27-year-old Canadian defenceman who has had an outstanding campaign. He scored 71 points in 60 games.