VIDEO: Sheffield Steelers appear victims of imbalanced Elite Ice Hockey League discipline rulings, claims coach
Sheffield Steelers' coach Paul Thompson believes his players have been harshly dealt with by the Elite League's discipline chiefs, compared to other clubs.
The club will be without forward Andreas Jamtin and defenceman Zack Fitzgerald again on Saturday, when they travel to Milton Keynes Lightning.
While Thompson readily admits his some members of his side lost their discipline at Belfast Giants’ rink recently, he felt the same standard of punishment is not always handed out equally to all teams.
“We are the team that seem to be hammered more than anybody else” he claims.
“The instigating teams don’t seem to get anything.
“So we have got to stay away from trouble - we have got to be smart” he said referring to the MK game and Sunday’s home match with Conference opposition, Belfast.
With season-long injuries to Robert Dowd and John Armstrong, he pointed out he had four key players absent from their line up and “didn’t need any more.”
Sheffield have lost all three previous home games to the second-placed Giants so far this season.
They have dipped 0-2, 3-4 and 2-3.
“We need to get that win, we need to get that back. And we are going the right way” he added, referring to a run of five straight home victories.
“We want to keep this winning streak going.”
Thompson has particularly pleased with the form of Jonas Westerling, who was promoted to the first line after Jamtin’s suspension.
“Jamtin has been playing there. We popped him to in the middle of the other two and he is creating. He is a good player. He has been centring that fourth line and I think over the last three months he probably hasn’t had the praise he deserves.
“He has made the Power Play.
“I put him on the half boards, he is making plays and dishing and he has been really strong for us.”
Thompson said he attracts physicality against him because he “keeps the puck, makes plays and draws people in...but he is a tough old Swede.”
Westerling has scored five points in his past three games in League and Continental Cup.