By Terry Phillips
Patrick Bordeleau, Cardiff Devils own ice hockey wrecking ball, is a man on a mission this weekend.
The former NHL enforcer adds a tough, physical edge to the Devils team and has Coventry Blaze plus Sheffield Steelers in his sights.
Bordeleau, potentially the toughest man in British hockey, returns to the ice after serving a one-match Elite League suspension, but is clear there will be no let-up in his quest to strike fear into the hearts of opposing teams.
The 6ft 6ins ‘Bordy’ hits hard, is ready to fight at the right times and will ensure Sheffield’s tough guy Zack Fitzgerald knows he won’t back off.
Bordeleau has the backing of head coach Andrew Lord and told Icetime TV: “Lordo wants me to play a physical game and fight more.
“I want to fight more, but either nobody else wants to or it just doesn’t happen. That’s okay.
“But I’m ready if the time is right.”
Devils travel to Coventry on Saturday (7pm) before playing League title rivals Sheffield Steelers at Ice Arena Wales the next evening (6pm).
That game will be a sell-out – the fifth successive capacity attendance at the IAW – and Bordeleau says he will be fired up to make a big impact.
“I can hardly wait for Sunday’s match, I hate Steelers,” says Bordeleau, who also makes it clear that while he is keen to fight and fire up the IAW atmosphere he will only drop the gloves when it’s right for his team.
Things changed for the former Colorado Avalanche hard-man after Devils 6-4 win against Coventry Blaze in the last match of 2016 when his big hits rocked Cardiff’s visitors.
Bordeleau’s final period rampage led Devils back from 4-2 down to earn a remarkable victory.
Before that game he had been playing a fourth-line role, but says: “I got mad, really mad, in that game. That’s the way I should play, the way I will play.
“I am getting more time on the ice and that is crucial.”
Defenceman Gleason Fournier will play against Blaze and Steelers even though the League disciplinary panel assessed a five minute plus game misconduct penalty for the hit he threw against a Belfast Giants player last Sunday.
A penalty was not called at the time, but Belfast asked for the game tape to be reviewed. The decision is entered on Fournier’s record, but does not stop him playing this weekend.
Devils asked the League to review a hit by Belfast’s Matt Nickerson in the same game and he has also been assessed a five plus game penalty.
Nickerson is able to play for Giants this weekend.
Devils will be at full strength this weekend and coach Lord will demand a high tempo start from his players.
Ticket information is available from the club’s official website at http://www.cardiffdevils.com or via the hotline on 0800 0842 666.
Elite League – top five
All teams play 52 fixtures
1 Cardiff Devils 32 49
2 Belfast Giants 33 46
3 Sheffield Steelers 31 44
4 Nottingham Panthers 30 37
5 Fife Flyers 31 34