Will Sheffield Steelers find the passion and the commitment that these two have?

Guillaume Desbiens - made of the right stuff. Seen here against Belfast Giants
Guillaume Desbiens - made of the right stuff. Seen here against Belfast Giants
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Sheffield Steelers head north of the border tomorrow with the coaching staff wondering how the players will respond to criticism of their commitment from both inside and outside the club.

Coach Paul Thompson lambasted his side privately and publicly for their abject display in the League defeat against Belfast Giants on Sunday - a performance which gave rise to a sprinkling of fans booing at the end.

One player shone above the rest for Thompson - and sadly that was one from the other side, Darcy Murphy.

“What I wouldn’t give to have all our players show that passion and commitment. The lack of that - that’s what hurts me, it is undefendable” he said.

Ironically, the Steeler player who did spring to mind after that loss was a former one - Guillaime Desbiens.

“If Desbiens was still in our team, God knows what he would be thinking right now” said the coach.

Belfast Giants Forward Darcy Murphy. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

Belfast Giants Forward Darcy Murphy. Photo by William Cherry/Presseye

In Monday’s mandatory training session, players were put through the mill ahead of Wednesday’s Challenge Cup quarter final first leg at Dundee Stars.

In fairness, Thompson says they seemed to respond positively to the criticism and challenge to reform.

“They were focused on the task ahead.

“And that doesn’t start and stop with the Dundee game. I am looking for a long term commitment here, where all the players are accountable.”

He wants to see leadership from both individual players and their line formations.

At the moment he feels there is not a one-to-four line structure: “It feels like we have got one second line and three third lines.”

Linemates Jonathan Phillips and Jonas Westerling escaped criticism after the Belfast game and Phillips will captain the side in Scotland in his 700th Elite League appearance for Steelers.