JONATHAN PHILLIPS believes Dundee Stars coach Marc Lefebvre will be keen to prove a point this season.
The Scottish club play host to Sheffield Steelers tonight as the South Yorkshire club finally launch the defence of their regular season Elite League title.
The defending champions go into the game on the back of three impressive victories in the Challenge Cup and will face a familiar face in Stars head coach Lefebvre, the 33-year-old Canadian having both played and coached in Sheffield.
Lefebvre was part of Steelers’ double-winning team of 2003-04 before returning to work as Doug Christiansen’s No 2 in 2013.
He departed midway through that season to take over as coach at another former club, Coventry Blaze.
But despite ensuring Coventry made the play-offs, a poor start to the following season saw him sacked in November. A brief spell followed at MOL Ligsa side DAB-Docler from Hungary before he was chosen to succeed the outgoing player-coach Jeff Hutchins at Dundee.
“Mark’s a very passionate coach and, during his time with us, you could tell he’s very much a people person,” said Steelers’ captain Phillips.
“He’ll be keen to prove something up at Dundee after what happened to him at Coventry.
“From the video we’ve seen of them so far this season, he’s got them playing well and they seem to be very strong defensively.
“We’re confident at the moment but aware of not becoming over-confident because there are plenty of teams – including Dundee – who will make you pay.”
After tonight’s trip to Tayside, Steelers return home to welcome Manchester Storm to Sheffield, coached by former Hull Stingrays’ player-coach Omar Pacha.