MOUNT WILLIAM – The Pictou County Crushers head into the Christmas break in sole possession of first place in the MHL’s South Division. The defending league champions own a 20-6-2 mark and lead the league in many key categories. The News sat down with general manager/assistant coach Chad McDavid to talk about the first half of the season, and what might be in store the rest of the way.
The following has been edited for clarity and length.
Q: Are you surprised at how the season has gone for the Crushers so far?
A: We thought we’d be competitive, but did we think we’d be at the top of our division? Probably not, but we’re happy with how things have gone the first half of the season.
Q: Who’s been the biggest surprise on an individual basis?
(MHL leading point-getter Alexis Roy) – we didn’t really know how he would do, but for him to come in and contribute the way he has, he’s been a very pleasant surprise. Michael Dill was a rookie of the year last season, but he’s come in and picked up right where he left off.
Q: Are you happy with the goaltending?
A: (Daniel Vautour and Luke Melanson) both have very good save percentages – goaltending is a big piece of this team and they’ve been good for us.
Q: The MHL trade deadline is January 10. Do you anticipate adding players to the roster?
A: In past seasons, we’ve been able to add pieces without moving anyone out. I don't think that’s going to be the case this year. If we can add the players we hope to add, there’s probably going to be changes, but nothing is set in stone.
Q: Your captain, Benji Curtis, said recently that he can’t help sometimes thinking about winning another title. He’s won two in the past two years and is used to winning championships. Do you think about winning back-to-back titles for this organization?
A: I don’t think you can look that far ahead, to be honest with you. Our focus right now is on Jan. 10 and trying to set up our team for a long playoff run. But once the playoffs start, it’s a whole new ball game.