Milton Keynes Lightning v Sheffield Steelers – Tom Barrasso eyes timely burst of consistency

IF there is one thing that has frustrated Tom Barrasso more than anything else during his time at Sheffield Steelers, it is the inconsistency of his team.
Sheffield Steelers head coach, Tom Barrasso 
Picture: Dean Woolley.Sheffield Steelers head coach, Tom Barrasso 
Picture: Dean Woolley.
Sheffield Steelers head coach, Tom Barrasso Picture: Dean Woolley.

As with the majority of sporting campaigns, there have been highs and there have been lows for the two-time Stanley Cup champion since he first walked through the FlyDSA Arena doors in early October.

As has been well-documented, this will prove to be head coach Barrasso’s only campaign in charge of the Steelers, after the five-time Elite League champions opted to look elsewhere for the 2019-20 season when the 53-year-old American refused to commit himself to returning until he had explored all his options.

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The Steelers are thought to have settled on a new head coach, but – out of respect for Barrasso – will not reveal his identity until the current campaign has ended.

That could come as early as next weekend should the Steelers – who finish their regular season off with a trip to bottom club Milton Keynes Lightning tomorrow – find themselves out of the play-offs in the first round.

But Barrasso is hoping his players can produce a timely burst to carry them through to the Final Four Weekend at the National Ice Centre in Nottingham on April 13-14.

The kind of form and consistency Barrasso is looking for has been all too rare so far this season, the Steelers’ best spell being a four-game winning streak in November.

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Other than that, sustained success has proved elusive, although Barrasso knows that, at times, his team possesses the quality to compete with the Elite League’s best.

“We’ve shown flashes of brilliance as a group and we’ve shown moments of indifference which is really the thing you hate to see as a coach,” said Barrasso.

“You like to see that you’ve kept your team motivated and fired up all of the time. But it happens in professional sport that every now and then players don’t perform well and lay an egg which we have had it happen a couple of times – too many for my own personal liking.

“But the players should be able to build up some confidence from what we’ve achieved as a group for the last four-and-a-half months and know that we can be prepared and be competitive against anybody.”