The Halifax Mooseheads’ season has come down to a realistic, achievable task: Win four straight games.
Sounds easy, right? Not so fast.
Sixty-four games into the QMJHL season, and the last-place Mooseheads’ longest winning streak is a measly two games. And they’ve only managed to do that twice.
The Mooseheads are hoping to break new ground in the next five days as they play their final four games of the season starting tonight when they visit the P.E.I. Rocket.
If the Mooseheads win every game, they will pass the Val-d’Or Foreurs and Lewiston Maineiacs and qualify for the playoffs — no matter what the other two teams do.
“Our fate is in our own hands,” Mooseheads head coach and general manager Cam Russell said simply.
The Mooseheads are 18-39-3-4 with 43 points and could finish with the franchise’s lowest point total of all time. The 2003-04 entry, the only Mooseheads team in the past 14 seasons not to make the playoffs, finished with 44 points.
Val-d’Or and Lewiston are tied three points ahead of Halifax, but each has just two games remaining. Halifax must pass both teams to make the playoffs.
The Mooseheads typically travel to Charlottetown on game day, but took the bus up yesterday to get settled.
“We wanted to make sure the players recognized the importance of this game,” Russell said.
“We wanted to make sure they were in a controlled environment, make sure they’re well-fed and rested, so we can get the best out of them.”
The Mooseheads will be looking for contributions from everyone, particularly leading scorer Tomas Knotek, who has just two assists and is a minus-11 in his past six outings.
After tonight’s contest, the Mooseheads return home for three games in three days at the Metro Centre. They host the Saint John Sea Dogs on Friday and Saturday and welcome the Acadie-Bathurst Titan for the season finale on Sunday. Because all three opponents have already qualified for the playoffs, the Mooseheads might catch a break.
“You can get a little bit of luck,” Russell said. “You can run into a backup goalie or a team resting top players.”
• Guillaume Pelletier returned to practice this week from a broken kneecap … A shoulder injury continues to plague Matt Boland … Sunday’s game was moved from 2 to 4 p.m.