Sheffield Steelers will be looking for a bit more sparkle in its top line this coming weekend.
So far talisman Mathieu Roy has been paired up with newcomers Jonas Westerling and Tim Wallace.
That unit scored a late goal last Sunday, but injuries across the forward lines, generally, may determined who plays where against Manchester Storm in the banner-raising game against Manchester Storm.
“Our first block didn’t really get going” admitted Thompson, after the narrow 3-4 loss to Nurnberg Ice Tigers last Sunday.
“But Roysy is carrying a slight injury. People like Westerling are not used to playing back-to-back games.
“And I could see his energy levels drop a little bit (on Sunday.)
“I thought he was a lot better (on Saturday.)”
Thompson, though, is pleased with signs that his team will be able to mount a serious challenge for the domestic titles.
Manchester won’t be underestimated when they come to spoil the party on Saturday.
“They will be looking forward to playing in the Arena, they have got a good team together there” he said.
“It is not about results in pre-season as much as we want to win, especially with the banner raising, it’s about us giving the kids (Liam Kirk, Kieran Brown and Cole Shudra) the opportunity - because we are going to need them over the season...and bedding (all) our players in.”
The coach said Fretter’s recent form in pre-season, three four goals in three games, was no surprise to him.
“You just know he is a good player. And people who questioned his re-signing - well, take a look at what he is doing out there.”
Thompson also confirmed he’d benched defenceman Zack Fitzgerald towards the end of last Saturday’s games against Rob wilson’s Nurnberg for taking an unnecessary penalty.
“I didn’t like the penalty; we were on a four on two rush. But we’ve moved on from that” said the coach.