By Kris Smith
Both sides have not won in any of their last six Elite League fixtures and each club is locked in a scrap with the bottom half of the league table for a playoff berth, with only nine points separating sixth to tenth.
The Stars play host this afternoon but face the Flyers again tomorrow over in Kirkcaldy as back-to-back rivalry matches take place across the country.
Therefore, this festive double header will be crucial to both sides as they push for a place in the post-season through the second half of the season.
The Stars have won three of the six games between the two old foes this season, with the Flyers picking up two victories and one match ending in a draw, before the Flyers would go on to win the two-legged Challenge Cup Quarter-Finals, earlier this month.
Jeff Mason’s Stars are not the only team to be plagued with injuries this season as Todd Dutiaume’s men have also had their problems of playing short-benched, but both sides could have key players returning to their line-ups after Christmas.
Two Dundee players have scored a point in every game this season against the Flyers, as Philippe Sanche and Elijiah Barriga have both racked up 11 points over the six fixtures.
Meanwhile, Zach Phillips and Janne Kivilahti have led Fife’s offence against their cross-river rivals, with six and five goals, respectively against the Stars, this year.
Discussing the importance of today’s game, Stars Head Coach, Jeff Mason said: “We certainly need to start putting points on the board now, because we have had a number of good performances and have not been rewarded for that.
“However, we have also had some performances that certainly was not up to the standard that we expect and coming out of this Christmas break, playing another team that we atr tightly locked in a race for the playoffs with, we need to be ready to go.
“We have played them a number of times and had a good bit of success against them and know that they are an opportunistic team, who do not generate a lot offensively and they tend to capitalise on the chances they do get.
“So, we need to be sound defensively and try to get our shots to the net with traffic, and make it a difficult night for Shane Owen.”
The Stars boss has also preached the importance of these derbies for both the fans and the league table to his players, adding: “I told the guys before we went off that these back-to-back games are massive, especially against Fife and what they mean for the fans, but also for the two teams in the standings.
“So, I want us to be engaged and ready to go from the drop of the puck, because both teams are in a similar boat right now and have had a few days off, so it will come down to who can play the smartest and get off the big start, which will have a big impact on the game.”
Face-off is at 4pm tonight in Dundee and 7pm in Kirkcaldy, tomorrow.