TOM BARRASSO expects healthy competition between his Sheffield Steelers’ netminders – although he doesn’t envisage having to make a change to the starting role anytime soon.
Last week saw head coach Barrasso bring in seasoned goalie Matt Climie, taking the number of netminders on the Steelers’ books to three with current first-choice Jackson Whistle being backed-up by Brad Day.
Climie has five NHL apearances to his name, but spent most of his career in the AHL before a two-year stint in the German DEL.
But the 35-year-old has only played only 15 games in the last 15 months, meaning he has plenty of work to do before he can be considered a serious rival to Whistle’s position as No 1.
“I scouted Matt when he came out of college and I was with the Carolina Hurricanes, so I know his game,” said Barrasso.
“He’s been off the ice for a while, so he’s got some work to do and then, to top that off, Jackson’s playing well and winning games and I’m not taking a winning goalie out.
He’s been off the ice for a while, so he’s got some work to do and then, to top that off, Jackson’s playing well and winning games and I’m not taking a winning goalie out.Sheffield Steelers’ head coach, Tom Barrasso.
“So, for the time being, Jackson’s our guy, we’re going to ride him until we can’t anymore and then Matt will get a chance, but he’s got a way to go yet.”
On Tuesday, the Steelers will find out who they face in the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup, having entered the knockout phase as as fifth seeds.
In a new format, the top three seeds – Belfast, Cardiff and Nottingham – will choose their opponent from the teams ranked fifth to eighth, with Manchester Dundee and Glasgow below the Steelers in the rankings, while Guildford are the fourth seed.
The draw will be staged live on the Elite League’s official Facebook page at around 12pm.
The Steelers are next in action on Saturday night (7pm) when they bring an end to a run of four home games at Sheffield Arena against Guildford Flames.
They then head north across the Scottish border to take on Dundee Stars, who they beat 4-0 at home on Saturday.