I guess I got it wrong!!

Remember back in the summer? Lots of rain, lots of speculation and for some, lots of optimism. During this time of light nights and flooded countryside I wrote a season preview for all  teams in the Elite League. It caused a bit of a stir at the time because I had predicted that the Sheffield Steelers would finish in 6th place. Last night the Steelers were confirmed as league champions!!

In my defence, think back to the start of the season. Steelers had lost Dan Tessier and replaced him with Nathan Gillies, signed a bench warming knuckle dragger as their enforcer and had re-signed the consistently inconsistent pair of netminder Jody Lehman and defenceman Rod Sarich. Things didn’t start to well for them either, losing their home opener to Edinburgh, losing the first game of the series against Panthers and being knocked out of both cup competitions. Early on my prediction was looking generous, but then the turning point of Steelers season came along. Gillies was injured in a cup game in Belfast and in came Brad Cruikshank from Basingstoke to replace him. Up until his injury, Gillies had been off the pace, managing just 1+3 in 11 games played. Compare that to Cruikshank, who joined from the Bison with 7+9 in 12 games and went on to add a further 19+13 in the 42 games he has played so far for the Steelers. His contribution cannot be understated and I believe he is a major reason why the Steelers ended up with the title.

Other factors have been that they have managed to stay relatively injury free, something that prevented a serious challenge from the Belfast Giants. Another reason is that the aforementioned Sarich & Lehman have been quite simply outstanding, both having career season’s (or another career season in Lehman’s case!) The defence has been as mean as you like and although it can be argued that they don’t play the most entertaining hockey you can’t argue at its effectiveness.

So there you go, humble pie well and truly eaten. Roll on the Play-Offs!


1 Response to “I guess I got it wrong!!”

  1. 1 Daryl March 9, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Very disappointed Jono..I expected something humourous, just what has TCW slumped to.

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