Simmsey column: Sheffield Steelers fans should get off Mathieu Roy’s back

Mathieu Roy - a genuine, hard working talent going through a goal drought. Pic Andrew Roe
Mathieu Roy - a genuine, hard working talent going through a goal drought. Pic Andrew Roe

New day, new week, new signing.

Yes there will be a new signing going into the weekend, one I trust you will be excited about. The club will announce his details on Friday, 24 hours before he makes his debut at Nottingham in the Challenge Cup.

The club was aware that Juha Koivisto wasn’t extending his four week injury cover contract and even though both sides had agreed terms on a deal early last week, a chance to return to his home country was too much of a pull.

There hasn’t been the panic inside the club that there seems to have been on social media by some fans. Performances over the past few weeks have been below-par. So changes were always going to happen and they start this week with the new arrival.

The level of criticism surprises me. It must have come from new supporters because those who have followed the club through their winning past know that at the first sign of trouble this club acts. The most successful sporting club over the past decade in Yorkshire challenges itself.

The club doesn’t need to answer to some screaming 14 year old just out of puberty and covered in spots hurling obscenities. They may think they are being smart but the reality is they are just being stupid.

There isn’t a more experienced group of people in the game over here than is at the Steelers. From top to bottom, ownership, coaches, assistant coaches, captains, management. All people who have been there and done it, many times. People who don’t over react or panic.

There is a chemistry issue right now, some players and lines aren’t firing, confidence is low. Screaming about it doesn’t help the situation. Experienced heads who have been there before do that, which is why I suggest we leave them alone and let them get on with their jobs. Everyone loves a crisis in this modern world. Well a crisis just happened in Las Vegas, this is a bump in the road we have experienced here this week at Steelers.

When I see some of our fans hitting on Mathieu Roy I scratch my head. Where is the respect? Sure the King is having a rough patch, he has had no puck luck this year, has played through injury when others may have sat in the stands. Mathieu is a man who has led us in scoring for three seasons, has blocked more shots, killed more penalties and always delivered in big games. God Save the King I say – Mathieu will come through the drought. I’d want no one else leading my charge. No one else with that one chance. He is in my team every day of the week and twice on a Sunday.

Well done to Nottingham Panthers and Cardiff Devils in winning games in the CHL – The Panthers progress into the qualification round and become the first British team to do that. Their barn will be buzzing on Saturday when we go there looking to become the first team to secure a quarter final place in the Challenge Cup.

There are no league games for the Steelers this weekend as we play Braehead Clan at home in the Cup at the Arena on Sunday.

Victories this weekend can ensure we go through to the knock out stages.

I see Coventry Blaze put in a request for discipline against Zack Fitzgerald for his hit on Saturday – I have to say if any other player in the league makes that hit they don’t even get a minor penalty. He has a reputation and the easy thing is to cry to the officials. There isn’t anyone that would support a call for dangerous hits to be removed from the game than I, but some clubs are looking for an easy punishment. I’d be disappointed if Fitzy was suspended for Saturday.

I’m looking forward to seeing Braehead. A lot has been spoken about their new coach John Tripp. He who came up the hockey ranks the tough way, from ECHL to NHL. A fourth liner who ground it out in North America and Europe. We are told that is the style he wants his Braehead Clan team to play so Sunday’s fixture will be an interesting one.

Remember Tim Cranston? Who could forget the Wild Thing Thing?

Well on Sunday he is back in Sheffield and we will be introducing him on to the ice before the puck drops.

Cranston is back in the UK on family business and wants to show his young son where the old man played, entertained and most of all won with us in Sheffield.

Cranston was one of the most important figures in the Steelers’ early history. One of those special characters. Join me in welcoming him home this Sunday

Steelers Vs. Braehead Clan – Sunday at the Arena – Face Off 5.00pm – See you there.