0 Have your say Sheffield Steelers could be on the verge of a shock team selection in tomorrow's semi-final against Nottingham Panthers. Steelers qualified for the final four of the Play Offs, last weekend, with Matt Marquardt and Tim Wallace deemed surplus to import requirements.At first sight, many fans thought coach Paul Thompson would stick with the 14 imports who helped keep the club's season alive.But tactical adjustments required to take on four-line Nottingham Panthers, together with a close scrutiny of player form and attitude during a week of practice, has made that less likely, I understand.I believe the chances are now high that winger Marquardt and centreman Wallace will get the nod.Thompson has declined to discuss the matter in detail, other than to say every import in his squad is "a strong contender."Marquardt and Wallace felt pretty wretched last weekend - but I think they will now be handed the chance to get Sheffield into Sunday's final.Thompson relies on … [Read more...] about Sheffield Steelers may spring a shock in the Play Offs
Brett Perlini says Nottingham Panthers deserve to win the Play-Offs, but they have to give every last bit of energy they have left to make it happen. The 27-year-old has proven to be a key player in his first season in the Elite League after scoring 68 points in 73 games in all competitions. He admits the abbreviated end of season campaign is a culture shock considering his time spent in North America, but feels that means players are well placed to leave nothing on the ice. “It’s so different over here. Normally you’re going into the play-offs thinking ‘ok, we’ll play this team at least four times’,” he said. “Over here, four games can win a trophy, so you’ve got to really go for it. “Every play, every shift counts. It’s desperate hockey, you’ve got to do whatever it takes to win. “It would mean a lot to win the Play-Offs. We would deserve it. “We’ve got such a great team, even if the league got … [Read more...] about Perlini: Play-Offs win would be ‘deserved’ but Panthers must give everything
Corey Neilson heads into his last weekend as Nottingham Panthers head coach looking to add one more medal to a vast collection. Neilson has won 14 major trophies, 10 as coach, in 12 years with the club, but he will depart when his contract expires after Play-Offs Finals Weekend at the Motorpoint Arena. It is perhaps apt that arch-rivals Sheffield Steelers stand in the way of a place in Sunday’s final. Frankly, no one would want Neilson’s last game in charge to be the near pointless third/fourth place game. The Canadian is confident his players can progress to a showdown with Cardiff Devils or Fife Flyers though, after they came through a high quality quarter-final with Belfast Giants, 8-7 on aggregate. Neilson feels there is more to come from a team which threatened excellence, but lost its way desperately in December, before gradually recovering its poise in the final weeks. “We’ve been through an awful lot. We’ve had a lot of hard lessons,” he … [Read more...] about Neilson says there is more to come from Panthers as he eyes Play-Offs win
We’re officially at the sharp end of things. WATCH: Alex Neil's pre-Reading press conferenceWith six games to go there’s still a top six place up for grabs, a situation most Preston fans would have been happy with at the start of the season.It is the time of year when focus is as much on results elsewhere as it is on North End’s showing any particular Saturday or Tuesday night.No more so was that in evidence over the Easter weekend as Alex Neil’s side slipped to back-to-back defeats but only fell a point further adrift of the play-off places.The gap stands at just three ahead of the trip to Reading on Saturday, the Lilywhites finding themselves towards the back of the chasing pack in 10th.PNE have amassed 60 points from their first 40 games, two shy of what they picked up in each of the last two seasons when they finished 11th under Simon Grayson.As we enter the make or break stage just what will it take for PNE to extend their season beyond the meeting with … [Read more...] about PNE in Numbers: How many points will be needed to make the play-offs?
Former Bristol City defender, Christian Ribeiro, has been impressed with the Robins season and believes that the negativity towards the team needs to stop. A product of the City Academy, Ribeiro made his professional debut in 2008 but his career at the Robins was halted due to injuries and loan spells with the defender only making 14 first team appearances before leaving for Scunthorpe United in 2012. Ribeiro, who was forced to retire last year with a knee injury, still keeps a close on his former side and even appeared on the latest Robins on the Wire podcast for a chat with Sky Sports’ Michelle Owen. Bristol City’s 1-0 loss to Brentford on Easter Monday saw them drop out of the play-off spots for the first time since October. When asked about the Robin’s chances of regaining their spot, Ribeiro said: “City are still one point out the play-offs, there’s still six games to play, they’ve still got an amazing opportunity. “If City win four or … [Read more...] about Former City man urges supporters to back Robins in play-off push