By Kris Smith
The Stars play only their third and fourth league fixtures this weekend after splitting their first two with Manchester Storm, two weeks ago as each side claimed a victory on home ice.
Last weekend, Dundee suffered a pair of defeats in the Challenge Cup at the hands of their bitter rivals, Fife Flyers after taking the lead on both nights but allowing the Kirkcaldy club back into each game.
American forward, Johnny Walker returned to action last Sunday after serving his two-game suspension for a check to the head but Dundonian defender, Kris Inglis will miss tonight’s clash in Nottingham after he boarded Fife’s Adam Holwell on Sunday and will sit out for one match.
Marc LeFebvre’s men will meet the Panthers for the first time on Saturday with both clubs in mixed form after the English club lost their last match 7-4 in Manchester against the Storm.
Nottingham also has a new coach at the helm in Jonathan Paredes and he has led his side to two wins in their first three league matches.
Looking ahead to the pair of away games, Stars Head Coach, Marc LeFebvre said: “Well first of all there is zero panic from us right now.
“We have played two league games and we are one win, one loss and our goal at the start of the season was to win the playoffs and make it into that top eight to begin with.
“So, there has been zero panic amongst the players, the coaching staff and the management because we set out our goals at the start of the season of reaching and then winning the playoffs.
“Right now, everybody is beating everybody, so we just have to take it one shift at a time and try to get better as the games go.
“We know what is in front of us and we want to finish in that top eight and go from there but from our perspective, no game is going to be easy and that is across the whole league and Nottingham will not be any different.
“Their results have been mixed as well, so I am sure they want to put on a good show for their fans as well and we are going to give them a tough game tonight.”
He continued: “It is a matter of us worrying about ourselves, it is a hard to get a read on some teams with league and cup games getting mixed in at the start of the season because for us, it has always been about reaching our goal of making the playoffs.
“The cup games are second fiddle to what the league and the playoffs are about and we want to win the playoffs and that is all that matters.
“So, I do not get worried about these other games, we are focusing on our long-term ambitions and it is a marathon, not a sprint, so right now we are 1-1 in the league and we are just focusing on that.”
American forward, Johnny Walker also shared an insight into how the team are feeling heading into their first away double header.
He said: “The boys are excited, we got a bit of experience with the travel in this league on the trips to Manchester and Belfast, so we are still looking to learn and grow from those games and bring what we have learned over the first few weeks of the season into this weekend.”
After a tough start in the Challenge Cup, Johnny added: “We are excited to get back to league play and looking forward to a taking few good results this weekend.
“The key will be sticking to our game plan and being a hard team to play against for 60 mins.”
Face-off for tonight’s game in Nottingham is at 7pm and Sunday’s game in Sheffield will begin at 4pm.
All images: Panthers Images.