There are a few stats being branded around right now about. Factually correct I guess but perhaps requiring a little background.
Anyone would think Steelers were falling off the cliff edge if you believe what you read on your computer screens and paper.
A little respect please for the one team in the city who knows how to win and does so consistently.
Mathieu Roy one goal in five, that’s spoken as a negative in many quarters.
For me I’m flabbergasted that he has skated in the last five games let alone competed and scored.
Mathieu the man who has led this team in goals over the last three years, scored the goals that have won us championships. I’ve said before that I didn’t think Mathieu has ever played a game fully fit for us in the four years he has been with us. This season it has been even worse in terms of injury and he has had to sit games out.
When The King sits a game out that’s the same as you or I calling the undertaker.
We sit in the stands warm and cosy whilst he gets a cross check in the back, a whack in the neck as he stands in the dirty area of the ice putting his body on the line having pucks shot at him and pieces hacked out of him.
Roy’s compete level remains outstandingly high, his desire 100%. Mathieu is his own worse enemy.
Many in his situation would take a month off and heal. He says: ‘The team needs me, I’m playing,’
I’ve crossed swords with many people over the years who criticise for the sake of it.
They could be fans, some who even attend games, journalists, officials and even owners.
This Steelers team right now is battling, it’s hit some rocks and had some adversity. Some weaker teams with weaker individuals would have packed up shop but this one isn’t doing any such thing and is trying to find away back to it’s rightful position, and we all know it will.
On Saturday, let’s give credit to five guys who did just that.
Ervins Mustukovs and the four defencemen in front of him. With no Joonas Ronnberg and Ben O’Connor in the side Messrs Fitzgerald, Aarssen, Phillips and Matheson were colossus. Every other shift just battling, a credit to our club.
Matheson is an outstanding find, a controlling defenceman whose engine seems to pure like an Aston Martin.
Fitzgerald played like his life depended on it.
Making hits, taking hits but also making some great plays and leading the charge.
Like Roy, when Fitzy goes down and stays down you know he is hurt. In the third period he takes a blow that would keep us all out of our office jobs for a month.
He is helped off the ice to play no further part of the game. Or that’s how we all thought the story would be written, not Zack, he missed a shift and then played through the agony.
Don’t think I’m wearing rose tinted glasses because I’m not.
I don’t like where we are in the standings. I hate the fact that Nottingham sit purring on top of the league, that eats me away.
The good news is that it eats everyone at the club away as well and led by the efforts of the Roys and Fitzgeralds we will find a way through because that’s how we have always done it here. So some respect please.
Paul Thompson has to nursemaid a squad through two tricky games this week, Wednesday against Dundee and then on Sunday at the Arena against a high flying Manchester Storm side in the cup.
Steelers top their cup group, are unbeaten and are the only club in the land to do so.
If Thompson can get through this week and next weekend’s Continental Cup semi final then with Fretter back and hopefully some more bodies healthier and a new defencemen in to replace Ronnberg then the whole picture looks a lot rosier.
No panic at the Steelers, just panic and crisis away from us.