Despite a roller-coaster few weeks, Sheffield Steelers are enthusiastic about taking on the nation’s top team, Cardiff Devils

After almost 300 NHL games, Aaron Johnson has seen it, done it and bought the ice hockey t-shirt.

But the Canadian defenceman admits there have been some tough times to weather at Sheffield Steelers this season.

However, he hopes the side has started to put some of the negatives behind them as they prepare to confront league leaders Cardiff Devils, on Wednesday.

Johnson said there had been some performances that had been “unacceptable” and they were determined to learn from recent wins and losses.

"It is going to be a good challenge against Cardiff and we are looking forward to it," he said.

"We are playing better as a team (since last time the pair met.) If we play the style we have played in these last two games I think it will be a good game.  Obviously, they have a good team, they are at the top of the league so it is a good challenge for us.

Aaron Johnson in action

Aaron Johnson in action

"In this league, it seems that on any given night any team can win. We are looking forward to the opportunity to see where we stand."

Johnson said morale had been tested after three team-mates were sacked last week. "It's tough. Definitely, those are good guys that you go out and battle with. When you see some of your friends and family leave it is difficult. But the message was received in the room and we need to make sure that the guys that are here play as well as we can to avoid that situation.

"Sheffield is well known for being a winning organisation and we want to continue that.

"Unfortunately that is part of the business but we turn the page and continue to get bigger and better."

Cardiff Devils, reigning champions and title favourites. Pic Helen Brabon

Cardiff Devils, reigning champions and title favourites. Pic Helen Brabon