Looking for a silver lining in what could end up being the worst season in Halifax Mooseheads’ history?
Here are five reasons for optimism.
1. The No. 1 line of Gerrad Grant, Tomas Knotek and Travis Randell is consistent and effective, accounting for more than 50 per cent of the team’s league-low 43 goals. Grant and Randell have both emerged as surprising contributors.
2. Three young defencemen have shown signs of developing into impact players in the next two seasons. Konrad Abeltshauser, Garrett Clarke and Steve Gillard, all 17 year olds, form an excellent foundation for the future.
3. Work ethic. Mooseheads head coach Cam Russell has always wanted a lunch-pail, blue-collar team, and is arguably getting better results than he has in four seasons behind the bench. That change in culture bodes well for the future.
4. The power play has been surprisingly effective, operating with a 23.2 per cent success rate, seventh in the league.
5. Last but not least, an awful season could mean the Mooseheads will get the No. 1 overall pick in next year’s draft. Although they’ll miss the playoffs if they are one of the bottom two finishers in the QMJHL standings, they would also be entered into a 50-50 lottery for a shot at the draft’s top selection.