Sheffield Steelers players ‘won’t play’ if they are undisciplined

Paul Thompson tries to lay down the law against Frolunda Gothenburg
Paul Thompson tries to lay down the law against Frolunda Gothenburg

Paul Thompson won’t tolerate further lapses of discipline as Sheffield Steelers get back into Champions Hockey League action this evening.

“Individuals took it upon themselves to take selfish penalties and that hurt the team” he said, adding: “They can’t keep doing that or they won’t play, it’s as simple as that.

“Fatigue may have had a lot to do with the chopping and hooking that was going on when we were under the cosh - we had talked about that, but it still happened. We took four or five pointless penalties and paid a price for it.”

So how will Steelers re-build tonight, after flying to Finland to face JYP Jyväskylä?

“We have to look at the positives; for 40 minutes we were strong against Frölunda before we fell apart. Our energy levels dropped 40 per cent in the later stages and that is exploited when you spend so long killing penalties for 24 minutes, that alone saps you.

“In Finland, we have to stay out the box and show some of the battling qualities we possess.”

Thompson said the effort shown was frequently in the wrong areas.

But he said everybody was disappointed by the size of the scoreline. “The guys were devastated, they thought they had let the club down. But we shouldn’t be ashamed by this, Frolunda do this to teams in their own league. I hope it will be a good learning tool. Now I want to see a real positive response against JYP.”

The Sheffield coach also said he’d never seen players throw the puck over the (lower) plexi glass as often as his side did. The least the club can get out of the CHL experience is match fitness - Elite League will certainly not be as fast when the domestic rivals start.

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