Steelers’ coach Paul Thompson says his team responded to the “hair-dryer” treatment he dished out in a dressing room outburst during the Fife Flyers game.
Thompson tore a strip off the side in the second interval of Sunday’s game at the Arena because he felt their gung-ho attitude at 3-1 up was threatening to undermine the prospect of two points.
Sheffield have been vulnerable to counter attacks this season and he felt his team were ‘gambling’ in the offensive zone when they were not fully in control of the play.
Explaining the reason behind his wrath, he said: “I will never criticise our team for trying to score goals or trying to make plays but I just thought we were cheating, I thought our third forward was getting too involved in the play down low, we were in with a very good winning position. We were in control and we don’t want to give up on d-man rushes and slip back to where we have been over the last month.
“We were gambling when we didn’t have good puck possession. When we have it, absolutely, we jump in and we make a play and I am not being negative there but we didn’t have the puck and were pushing to win it back, and getting exposed on an odd-man rush the other way. And that is not acceptable. And yes, I did bark and the boys responded with a great third period.”
Steelers managed to prevent any serious Fife chances, while piling on pressure themselves in a more measured manner in that final 0-0 session. That’s the approach Sheffield will need tomorrow when they host Edinburgh Capitals, he said.
“Edinburgh suck you in, they wait for you to make mistakes, and they hit you back on the counter. They are the best in the league at it. They have some of very good players, we can’t make that mistake we can’t push like that. When we do get our scoring chances we have got to bury them but we have to respect what they are best in the league at.”
Thompson will be speaking with owner Tony Smith today about the team’s import quota, following the confirmed decision to release ex Panthers sniper Chris Lawrence.
“We are carrying a spare import and guy who sat out (against Fife) was Lawro. We thank him for his efforts.
“There isn’t a lot out there, you always look, as a coach and general manager, to strengthen the team.”
He said he was satisfied with the impact of hard-grafting Guillaume Desbiens, who has scored twice since arriving. “I am happy with Desbiens, I think he has looked like the player I hoped he would, the leader I hope he would.
“A good penalty killing guy scored short-handed for us, he blocks shots, he wins battles, and that becomes infectious with the rest of the team.