The form book goes out of the window when Sheffield Steelers play Nottingham Panthers.
And the mixed results both teams have endured over the last few weeks will stand for nothing when Britain's biggest League game faces off on Boxing Day (4pm.)
Nine thousand three hundred partisan fans will be wondering which team will be the most successful in shedding some of the self-doubts and inconsistencies which have influenced players on either side of the nation's most passionate hockey divide.
Nottingham seem the most vulnerable right now.
Saturday's 1-2 Penalty Shootout defeat to Manchester Storm was their FIFTH consecutive loss in the EIHL division.
Steelers have picked up two wins after two losses, their latest win did not help their league position though...they are currently sixth, a slot you would rarely associate with a club of this pedigree.
Asked about Panthers, who they play home and then away 24 hours later, Thompson said: "They are a little patchy like us, to be honest with you.
"They are a good team, they have got a good coach, they have got a good club. We are probably not the two form teams in the top six right now.
"But when we play each other in front of nine and half thousand here on the 26th and seven thousand in Nottingham, on the 27th, you have got to be ready for the battle.
"You have got to be ready to the war" he added, a sentiment he passed on to the team seconds after Saturday's 3-0 shut out of Braehead Clan.
"The players that have experienced it understand it, the new players, I hope, are going to enjoy it."
The importance of winning the festive series cannot be underestimated, he said.
"We need to get on a roll, we know that.
"The last two games, I feel we have taken a step forward.
"It is about the performance.
"We need a big win in front of our fans here.
"The last two years, I don't think they have been great spectacles."
Thompson will tinker with his home pre-match preparation.
He said he would have the players back in the rink on Boxing Day morning, for the first time.
"We will do a bit of video, send them home, bring them in a little later than normal so they can get that rest period. And then we want to put on a show for our fans."
Key to that ambition will be big-game player Levi Nelson.
He was rested from the midweek 6-1 Challenge Cup win over Dundee Stars.
He had been “pretty beaten up for about three weeks” said Thompson.
“The thing is with Levi, being the warrior he is, sometimes he plays himself when he shouldn’t play.”
“We weren’t getting a lot from him because of his injury.
“Not that he doesn’t care, he cares that much he tries to play through it.
“So I took the decision to shut him down for a few days and we got a revitalised and energised Levi back.”