SHEFFIELD STEELERS’ head coach Gerad Adams believes it is only a matter of time before Dundee Stars find their groove.
The Scottish side arrive at the Motorpoint Arena on Wednesday night (7.30pm) rooted to the bottom of the Elite League table, losing six of their seven opening games.
But Adams believes Jeff Hutchins’s side will soon pose the kind of threat which took them to the Gardiner Conference title last time out.
“They had an extremely balanced hockey team last year and I think they are a team that is still finding it’s balance this time around,” said Adams.
“They have some very good players up there. They have all the ingredients, but sometimes it just takes a bit longer for teams to gel.”
Steelers will be without forward Colton Fretter after the league’s Department of Player Safety banned him for one match following a review of the game misconduct he was handed for boarding in Sunday’s 3-2 Challenge Cup win at Hull.
“I thought the call at the time was fair and it is the Department of Player Safety’s call – so if it’s one game, it’s one game,” added Adams.
It only adds to the Steelers’ coach’s line-up problems, given the battered and bruised state of many on his roster. Forward Rob Dowd is out with a fractured wrist, while Pascal Morency has been day to day after suffering concussion in the opening game of the season at Cardiff.
But Adams has been impressed with the way his players have taken on the “extra load” so far this season as the club look to extend their unbeaten run in the league to four games, playing their first league game since beating Belfast 3-2 on September 21.
“I think we’ve had a really good start to the season, but I think there is still a lot more to come from these guys and, as a coach, that’s exciting,” said Adams.
“Some of our guys have needed to play different roles at times and taken on additional responsibilities – Cullen Eddy, for example, moved up front for us on Sunday in Hull after Colton fretter’s ejection and did a great job for us up there.
“I think he enjoys playing up front and, with Mike Forney and Mathieu Roy alongside him, I expect good things to happen against Dundee.
“But every night we’ve had somebody different who steps up. We’ve got a balanced team here in terms of personalities and they rub off on each other really well.”