Steelers boss Paul Thompson has nailed rumours that his team will be going into the Play Off quarter finals against Nottingham Panthers this coming weekend with a question mark over Ervins Mustukovs’ fitness.
The goaltender was rested for the last away league game, at Nottingham, last Friday, sparking suggestions he’d picked up an issue in training.
But Thompson insisted it had been a tactical switch - he’d wanted to give second-string Brad Day a start.
He said he’d been delighted with Day’s performance but said Mustukovs would be the starting goal for the end-of-season tournament, as he was for Sunday’s home win over Coventry Blaze.
At the heart of that win was John Armstrong who scored and made a goal, that evening, on a line with Mathieu Roy and Colton Fretter.
“When John gets a stride on the outside he is a big man, he is hard to contain. He got his rewards for throwing pucks on net” he said.
The centreman is playing with a little more edge over the past month or so, Thompson said. “That suits him, it gives himself more room, I like the way he is playing.”
Overall, the team boss is pleased with form and team attitude heading into the Nottingham quarter finals.
“Apart from the Christmas games, we have played pretty well against Nottingham all year, but I said to the boys you can’t sit on your laurels or worry about what’s happened, it’s a new season. A new trophy to go for” said the coach.
“This is a team that comes to work every single day. It has bags of talent. We have had bags of injuries all year. We have had guys playing hurt all year.
“But they do care and are a joy to work with.”