Paul Thompson was philosophical after seeing his Sheffield Steelers team surrender their unbeaten Elite League record to Cardiff Devils on Sunday.
The Steelers won at Cardiff in the Challenge Cup the previous day, but were firmly put in their place in Sheffield as the visitors recorded an impressive 5-2 victory.
“We had a great game down in Cardiff, but today we weren’t at the races,” Thompson told Steelers TV. “It wasn’t one or two guys – it was the team.”
“You have to give Cardiff credit, they came in and bounced back. They had a backup goalie in and they made sure they were solid around him.
“They were in puck lanes all night blocking shots, but we weren’t sharp anywhere. We have to look at the reasons why and that’s our job as coaches to understand that.
“We’ve lost one game in six – if we carry on with that kind of record over the season I’m sure we’re going to be in the hunt for trophies.”
The Devils led 3-0 early in the second period, before Robert Dowd finally got the home team on the scoreboard in the 24th minute.
Thompson’s team were handed a golden opportunity to further reduced the deficit with a five-on-three powerplay, but couldn’t find a way past Devils’ goalie Thomas Murdy.
“I think if we score there it energises the building and we move forward, but they score the fourth goal and the building goes quiet, the bench goes quiet,” added Thompson.
“We are doing everything we can to get guys to kick back and it just wasn’t to be – there’s going to be nights like that.
“You don’t want to do that at home – you want to be the team that’s energised at home and you want to entertain your fans. There’s no excuses – we will look at the reasons why and hopefully get better from that.
“We’ve had a tough night against a good team that were better than us in every department, so we’ve got to come in, get better and start another winning streak again.”
(Image permission: Dean Woolley)