Steelers coach Gerad Adams will have no hesitation in throwing Danny Bois into a home debut in one of the hottest fixtures of the season.
Sheffield host Nottingham Panthers for the 100th time at the Arena - and a loss would be unimaginable against the biggest rivals in their history.
Bois, injured in a fight in his first Steeler match, at Braehead Clan last month, had a game with NHL Ottawa Senators, enjoyed a headline career in the AHL, mainly with Binghamton Senators, and was a champion in Austria, so he knows all about pressure cooker games.
Adams said: “It will be nice to see him put that jersey on again, it has been a frustrating time. We have great medical protocol here and the doctor wanted Danny to take a whole week off after the hit in Braehead. That meant him missing the Coventry game. I didn’t want to throw him into the Belfast match after little preparation. I’d rather he rested and then have a full week with us practising. He will be in for Saturday.
“Danny will bring a hard edge to our game. He will finish checks, lead our forecheck and bring a consistency to our game that has been lacking at times. I have no problem giving him responsibility in his home debut, he has played in these big games before. He is the kind of guy who relishes the big game, the noisy crowd and the electric atmosphere. He is going to be one of our leaders.”
Adams has only seen the winger in action for 20 minutes in Scotland - so nobody will be more interested to see his affect on the team than the coach. He is hoping his bustling style will energise those around him in a fixture where heroes are made.
The game will have an immediate affect on the League table. If current leaders Panthers win in regulation they will go three points ahead of Steelers, who then face a long trip to Fife the following day. If Panthers lose in overtime, they will be on the same points as Steelers. A home win in regulation will put Steelers on top of the table - alongside Braehead, if Ryan Finnerty’s team beats Fife.
Panthers beat Coventry Blaze 3-1 last Sunday, 24 hours after Blaze had beaten Sheffield 6-2.