Good news: Britain's top player plays at Sheffield this weekend. Not so good: He's not a Steeler

Cardiff's man of the moment. Pic courtesy of Helen Brabon
Cardiff's man of the moment. Pic courtesy of Helen Brabon

The best ice hockey player in Britain will be on show at Sheffield Steelers' home rink on Sunday.

Sadly for the majority of fans, it won't be a Steeler.

Cardiff Devils’ Joey Martin was the player that last year's assistant coach Jerry Andersson suggested was streets ahead of the rest.

And head coach Paul Thompson hasn't disagreed with that verdict.

Now, the Devils' forward has been named as this week’s winner of the Elite League Player of the Week award - showing he has picked up where he left off.

The 30-year-old, in his fifth season at the club, scored four goals and picked up an assist as Cardiff returned to domestic action, beating Nottingham Panthers 3-2 in the league on Saturday, coming from 2-0 down, with Martin scoring the winner.

Then Devils romped to a 9-1 success over Milton Keynes Lightning in the Challenge Cup on Sunday, with the Canadian scoring a hat-trick.

And he admits, after starting the season in the Champions Hockey League, there may be some adaptation required when returning to the bread and butter of the Elite League at Sheffield and elsewhere.

“Going from the CHL back to domestic games does need an adjustment,” he said. “It’s a different style of play and we have more time on the puck in this league because it’s faster elsewhere.

“A lot of us made that adjustment last year from the CHL and we kind of knew what to expect. Looking ahead, I think we have to be consistent and that’s the biggest challenge. There are more games so it’s going to be more of a test bringing our ‘A’ game every night.

“Other teams will bring their best against us. We brought back a lot of guys last year and managed to stay consistent, which gave us success. Hopefully we can do the same going forward this season.”

Martin wins the Player of the Week award for the third time, having done so previously once during the 2015/16 season and once again in the following campaign.

Since arriving in the UK in 2014, he’s scored 124 goals and assisted in 229 in his 282 appearances so far, including his exertions at the weekend.

Meanwhile, Steelers who said yesterday goodbye to the Rupert brothers after six matches, are in the market for replacements and may have someone in by the weekend.

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