Steelers are hosting their first regular season game of 2023-24 and will be hoping to set the bar high with a performance they can build off.
Blaze’s coach Danny Stewart, though, will be looking for a repeat of their last trip to South Yorkshire when they put five goals past Matt Greenfield.
At the time, an exasperated Fox said his side was “inventing ways to lose” in a series of three straight defeats which ultimately proved costly to their faltering title bid.
Fast forward to the present day and the coach acknowledges that Coventry are: “A team that always plays well in this building.
“Danny does a good job in his recruitment.
“That team is well-coached and they are always going to be a battle.
“We are going to have to be at our best.”
Blaze’s line-up has been bolstered by the addition of last-year Steeler Danny Kristo, who Stewart brought in to “add some experience and skill.”
Fox knows he will need to be well-marked.
“I like Danny a lot, he’s a hockey guy, loves the game, we had a tough finish to the year and Danny had a tough run of play at the end of the year too,” said the coach.
“It would have been no surprise if we would have finished a little bit better than Danny would have been back this year.
“We kept in touch a little bit earlier in the Summer and I am happy he is in the league and I have nothing but good things to say about him.”
Steelers’ captain Robert Dowd has fond memories of Kristo, who shared a line with him and Martin Latal in that defeat last February.
“He was a great team mate, everybody loves Danny” said Dowd.
He left as: “That is the nature of the business – he found a new home in Coventry and I think he will be very effective for them, he is a great player, great on the power play.”
Meanwhile, coach Fox says Liam Kirk may yet make an impact on north American hockey.
The Maltby flyer was squeezed out by his NHL employers Arizona Coyotes recently and has now signed for HC Litvínov in the Czech league.
Kirk’s dream of being a high across the Atlantic isn’t necessarily over, says Fox, who kept an eye on him when he iced for 25 games in Finland last season with Jukurit.
“I have seen players go from Finland to the Czech league and back to north America or the KHL or Sweden.
“He trained with us in the Summer; he is a player that I think skates real well thinks the game at a very high level.
“We will see what happens, I hope he lights it up in Czech, it is a very good league I hope he goes there and puts up good numbers.
“He cares a lot about his game, he takes care of himself and I wish him nothing but the best.”
- The EIHL has published the roster make-up of each of the 10 clubs.
Guildford Flames, who Steelers visit on Sunday, have the most “non-homegrown” players with 18 with just two non-homegrown roster places.
Flames have an overall roster of 24, again the biggest.
Sheffield and Fife Flyers are next with the number of hon-homegrown competitors, 17.