ST. LOUIS -- Veteran coaches Ken Hitchcock of the St. Louis Blues and Lindy Ruff of the Dallas Stars have been around long enough to understand that anything can happen when teams return from the Christmas break.
Games tend to be wide open, scoring is up, and defending is normally lacking.
The Stars and Blues are two teams that get back to the grind of the NHL schedule Saturday after three days away from the rink, away from watching video, and away from the rigors of the job.
"I find these games quite frankly are loose, very fast, very loose, and that's not to our advantage," Hitchcock said. "We have to get the bruise on bruise feeling going quickly, so that's going to be important for us. One of the things when you take three days off, your body really kind of mellows out, and getting back engaged and getting alert again is going to be important. If we're not alert against Dallas, they're going to just be blowing right by us like they did against Toronto. We've got to get really alert early, we've got to get to our game early. If we get to our game early, I really like our chances. But if we're chasing the game, then it's going to be advantage Dallas."