Can Sheffield Steelers find their goal touch on Sunday?

Levi Nelson playing against Frolunda Gothenburg for Sheffield Steelers
Levi Nelson playing against Frolunda Gothenburg for Sheffield Steelers

Sheffield Steelers coach Paul Thompson has shrugged off the fact his side could not score a goal in open play in two hours of action in Scandinavia last week.

Steelers lost 1-9 and 0-3 in Sweden and Finland, respectively, against sides that grace the upper echelons of the European game. The only Sheffield player to find the net was Colton Fretter, who despatched a penalty shot. Mathieu Roy had a goal disallowed at JYP Jyvaskyla but that effectively was to be the end of Sheffield’s goal threat. So does Thompson’s new look side lack offensive potency?

“I think to answer that you have to judge us on our league not the Champions Hockey League” he said. “I thought we would score over there. Both the teams we played are among the best in Europe but we had our chances against them.”

So what can the team do differently to score against JYP at Sheffield Arena on Sunday?

“We have got to get to the net a bit quicker. Their defence is big and strong but we have got to the get to the scoring areas” he said. “We have to be more direct and channel pucks to the net. There were times when we made an extra play instead of taking a shot; you can’t do that at this level, we have to adapt to the speed of how it is played in Europe.”

Thompson hinted he would tinker with the lines to “get a bit more magic” from his side when they host JYP.

He declined to talk about any possible changes to the Mosienko-Fretter-Roy line in particular saying: “No one scored (on Saturday,) it’s not just them. I might do a bit of tinkering this week and see what we can come up with.”