Friday’s Central Division matchup presents two teams in very different states of mind in the Dallas Stars and Winnipeg Jets.
The Jets host the Stars one night after the Minnesota Wild obliterated them in the faceoff circle. Winnipeg bench boss Claude Noel didn’t sugarcoat the Jets’ inability to control the puck lately, as the Winnipeg Free Press reported on Thursday.
“We don’t start (with the puck) so we’re always checking, chasing it down,” Noel said. “Regardless of which end, we’re always checking.”
While the Jets might be a little bleary-eyed on a back-to-back that’s causing some soul-searching, the Stars may argue that they’re still searching for their identity.
Dallas hasn’t played a game since Oct. 5 and Friday marks the Stars’ first game against a Western Conference team in 2013-14.
If it wasn’t obvious enough that they’re seeking a strong start, this also begins a three-game tour of the Central Division as they go from Winnipeg tonight to Minnesota on Saturday and Colorado on Tuesday.
Defending Big D points out that Stars owner Tom Gaglardi could be in the building, too, so the Stars obviously want to make a good impression.