Sod’s law – just watch Tim Wallace score against Sheffield Steelers this weekend!

Tim Wallace in his Steelers season
Tim Wallace in his Steelers season

Tim Wallace was the subject of one of the enduring mysteries of last year's Sheffield Steelers' team.

After 101 NHL games, including stints with Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders, followed by appearances in Sweden and Germany, he was expected to a shining light in the Steelers' team.

But in a season where they ended in third having scored less than Cardiff Devils, Belfast Giants and Fife Flyers, Wallace could not find his scoring touch. He hit the net just six times in 57 league and play off games.

Captain Jonathan Phillips regrets it didn't come off for the American, offensively. "Why didn't it work, I don't know," he said.

"He played well but just didn't get the luck of the bounce near goal.  

“As a team-mate and one of the leadership group, he was great, though.

"You could rely on him defensively, he'd be the one to close a game out. It is a shame he was snake-bitten and it became more and more as the season went on, and may have got in his head."

Wallace will be back at Sheffield Arena on Saturday with his new club Milton Keynes Lightning.  Also show will be Andreas Valdix, Cole Shudra and Eric Neiley.

"Vally was definitely one of the smoothest players we have had, his skating style, his hands and vision. He can slow the game down and pick you out. That's why the partnership with Robert Dowd and Levi Nelson was so good.

"I imagine MKL will be a good fit for Vally, maybe there isn't as much pressure down there as there is for anyone at Sheffield."

Asked if he was surprised players like Valdix were dispensed with, Phillips replied: "I think Thommo (coach Thompson) wanted a change, but it was a bit of a surprise.

"Vally and the others will definitely want to make a statement" he said.

"Some of these guys (imports) are more used to changing teams than us Brits but I am sure part of them will want to impress in the new team."

Phillips is an admirer of Shudra, who is on loan at Lightning.

"Cole: A fantastic touch in front of net. He's got soft hands can make nice plays and in a game that is increasingly influenced by strong skating, he's a young guy with power and explosiveness in his stride."

Phillips has no time for the keyboard warriors who were calling for heads after last Saturday's defeat at Nottingham Panthers.

"This is why I don't go on there, it would make me mad and frustrated. People are entitled to their opinion but 95 per cent of the time it is just wrong."

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