Vallerand's Sheffield Steelers' line 'must support each other more'

Marco Vallerand says his line with Anthony DeLuca and Brendan Connolly can improve if they make adjustments in the way they help each other on the ice.

Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 11:13 am
Vallerand in at the sharp end - with Connolly supporting him. Pic: Dean Woolley.

The three are deadly offensive players who can turn the course of any match with their playmaking and sharp-shooting.

But Vallerand, not one to shirk away from personal or team responsibility, says the unit needs to be "way better" than recent performances in the run of four consecutive Steeler victories.

After being reunited for the EIHL season with Connolly and DeLuca, Vallerand said: "It is good to be back with these guys.

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"There is a downside to it though. The problem right now I think is the three of us know we can make plays - sometimes we are just hoping we can make those one-on-two and one-on-one plays to get the puck to each other so we are not helping each other enough right now.

"We have got to go back to supporting, we have got to go back to helping each other out and once we do that I have no doubt we will be back on track.

"We have been playing with each other so much that I know Dukes can beat a guy one on one instead of going to support I am hoping that maybe he is going to get through that guy and beat him clean.

"But the thing is most of the time a one-on-one is hard for a forward...so it is one of those where you have to support each other a bit more and come and support quicker."

Vallerand has an impressively high scoring rate during his time in the EIHL with Coventry Blaze and then Sheffield.

But he says that opposing EIHL teams now key on him and his linemates to try their best to nullify him.

"I have been playing with Dukes and Conns so far and I think we have that chemistry, we can be way better than what we have been playing but yes obviously I've been around the league in Coventry and another year in Sheffield; probably other teams are marking me a bit more and they know on the power play I am a threat, I am a shooter, so it gets harder.

"But at the same time, you have to fight for it and find your spot and keep working hard."

Marco Vallerand: pic Hayley Roberts

Vallerand scored his first Arena goal of the season last Saturday with a brave move against Manchester Storm.

He reflected: "You create chances by going in the hard areas and going hard to the net is one of those areas you are going to get hit and going to get cross-checked so it where it pays the most."