Sheffield Steelers v Cardiff Devils: the big one

Elite League
Elite League

The two best teams in the Elite League meet this weekend - so here's some (fairly obvious) reasons why local ice hockey fans should be there:

1: When the top two teams meet head to head – and back to back, two nights running – you just have to be there don’t you? Aren’t these the games that we wait for because they are more than games – they are occasions, events, milestones in a season. The Devils 4 points ahead of us in Sheffield – if we can win these two games all tied going into the last 4 weeks.

2: Reasons why these two clubs are at the top? Listen to head coach Paul Thompson he says “because the best players on both sides are totally committed” by that he means the likes of Mathieu Roy and Joey Martin of the Devils. He says: “Our best players score and block shots – so do the Devils. They play hard every night, they commit, they compete and they do whatever is asked and a lot more that isn’t for their teams. It’s no coincidence that the Steelers and Devils are top of the league when they people likes these on their roster.”

3: Home Advantage. Will it continue this weekend? This will be the 9th and 10th game between the Steelers and the Devils this season. Both clubs are unbeaten at home. Steelers 4-4 Devils. Will that home run of form continue? Will the Devils be able to beat the Steelers on Saturday on the big arena ice? with Sheffield take the points in the Big Blue Tent in Cardiff? First up the Sheffield Arena on Saturday evening in front of over 6,000 fans – the place will be wild…

4: The Guillaume Desbiens factor – what an impact the big man has had since arriving in late November. 15 points in 21 games with 63 minutes of penalties doesn’t tell the whole story. Desbiens' presence – his effect on those around him have helped turn the Steelers form and season around. With him out of the line up the club looked different but just having him back on the ice has seen an upturn in form and confidence. He is a big man for big occasions. None bigger than this weekend.

5: Conny Stromberg scored twice and had 4 points in his last game for the Steelers before the break – was that a sign of things to come from the veteran 40 year old Swede? Stromberg has had an effect inside the dressing room, the slightly “strange Viking” has put a smile of many faces. His skills are outrageous. His days as a first line superstar are passed him yes, but as a player who can change a game, make something out of nothing happen – well old Conny might just be the man to deliver at the Arena on Saturday.