Trade-Mart Dundee Stars boss, Marc LeFebvre has given his evaluation of the first half of the Elite League season and says they are now in the crucial and decisive dog days of the campaign.

By Kris Smith

So far this season, LeFebvre’s men have racked up 15 victories in all competitions and sit halfway up the league table in fifth, with 31 points from 29 games played.

After a slow start, the Stars have strung together some winning runs and point-streaks to put them over the 50 per cent mark of points won this season, with their recent success putting them within touching distance of second place, with a gap of only four-points between.

However, the Elite League has been more competitive than ever with every team picking up points continually and also means, Dundee are not clear of the bottom half and only nine points separate them from Nottingham Panthers at the foot of the table.

Reflecting on the first half of the season, LeFebvre said: “Obviously it was not the start to the season that we wanted to have but by the grace of god, we played a lot of Challenge Cup games at the start of the year and were able to figure out where we were.

“Then we made some changes that we needed to make within our lines, to our structure and we got to know our players better through that first bit of the season and from there we managed to kick on and get ourselves on a run.

“Since about the end of October, things have really turned around and to be mid-table at the halfway point, we are happy with that obviously but we are not satisfied, we want to keep climbing up the table and get as high as we can.

“We are preparing for a big challenge now in the second half and every game is going to be a playoff game, we know that and teams want to catch us, just like how we want to catch other teams.

“It is one of those things where we just cannot get ahead of ourselves and need to take it one game at a time and we need to be hungry every night.”

 

 

One key factor behind the Stars success this season has been their performances against their Scottish rivals, Fife Flyers and Glasgow Clan, as they have won three times out of five against each club, amassing 13 points.

Whilst the Canadian is happy to be doing well against their biggest rivals, he insisted that nothing else matters other than the two points that are up for grabs against every team.

LeFebvre explained: “It is always nice to send the fans home happy if we beat our rivals teams like Fife and Glasgow but it does not matter who we are playing in the league games, two points are still two points.

“So, they all count the same whether we are playing a rival or we are playing a team from down south, we just have to get the job done at the end of the day.”

LeFebvre also shared what he is looking for in the second half of the year as teams hit mid-season dips and begin the difficult run-in for a playoff spot.

He said: “January and February are kind of the dog days of the season and we just cannot get complacent or cheat ourselves.

“We have to stay hungry and we have to stay focused every night and that starts in training as well, we have to be hungry in training and that is my job to keep on top of the guys.

“I need to make sure we are doing things the right way, we have good habits and that those habits carry into games.

“This is the time of year when you really need to pick up points because you do not want to be chasing down a playoff spot with a few weeks to go.

“You want to do your business at this part of the season, during these dog days where you know guys get a bit complacent and that happens across all teams.

“So, my job as the coach is to stay on top of our guys and make sure they are keen every day to get better and put the work in, then make sure we are ready to go when it comes to the games.”

The Stars next outings see them visit Cardiff Devils on Saturday as they aim to draw level on points with the Welsh side, before welcoming Nottingham Panthers to the DIA, on Sunday.

 

 

Banner image: James Assinder.

Featured image: Kirk Humphries.

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Trade-Mart Dundee Stars Team
40 Games
17 Wins
17 Losses
6 OT Losses
40 Points