I don’t think anyone had the Acadie-Bathurst Titan getting off to a start like this.
I realize it’s only been four games, but in all honestly it’s great to see.
It’s been a long road for the Titan since they won it all.
You can talk about the mistakes made along the way during a rebuild or you can focus on the present and future.
Ironically I had one source within the league ask me when was the last time the Titan won back to back games?
That’s a fantastic trivia question, but let’s face it any success the Titan can muster up right now will go a long long way both on and off the ice.
There’s a number of factors that have gone into such a stellar start to the season.
Obviously Chad Arsenault’s inspirational start to his QMJHL career has the Titan believing anything is possible and rightfully so.
A rebuilding team that trusts their netminder actually can be a very dangerous team, due in large part to their unpredictability and nothing to lose mentality.
Arsenault’s run at number one will unfortunately come to an end sooner than later due to a limited games played rule regarding a trade after the official QMJHL trade period.
The Titan have enough returning players from last years squad that got pushed around to realize that it’s there time to push back.
Of course the core group is another year older and stronger, but collectively the Titan are playing inspired “team comes first” hockey.
You see the Titan’s bottom six have been very solid and reliable, while their top six have been doing their thing as well.
Cole Huckins is playing well, but hasn’t hit full gear as of yet.
Nonetheless, Riley Kidney has been lights out so far for the Titan.
Kidney thinks and plays the game like Boston Bruins star forward David Krejci.
Kidney’s instincts and hockey sense are elite level.
He meticulously plots his way out there so well, it’s really quite amazing to watch.
You see Krejci and Kidney possess an innate ability to measure the pulse of the game within a split second.
I realize that’s a very difficult or perhaps unfair comparison to make, but both players either speed up or slow the pace of the play every time they touch the puck.
Riley Kidney is a very special player. Simply put, he’s a game breaker.
With Kidney and Huckins going on all cylinders and the Titan bottom six providing energy and momentum, the rebuilding team from northern New Brunswick looks pretty damn solid.
The emergence of Bennett MacArthur shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, this kid has performed at every level.
It just seems once he gets acclimatized or accustom to the level of play he simply dominates.
Obviously the knock on MacArthur throughout his career has been his speed and quickness.
His heart, offensive instincts, pro release and character takes care of all the unwarranted perception and criticism.
This kid is a gamer.
When the tough get going, Bennett MacArthur is usually leading the way.
On the backend the Titan have looked composed, poised an above all mobile and physical.
Sure they have given up some “Grade A” scoring chances and have been bailed out by Arsenault, but they have played pretty damn solid hockey.
Adam McCormick’s arrival has undoubtedly steadied the ship.
Actually that’s massive understatement.
McCormick’s arrival could be one of the largest off season acquisitions in the entire league.
The Titan are extremely young on their backend and will look to the savvy veteran to lead to the way.
McCormick looks a lot quicker and stronger out there and in my opinion with another solid year in the Q deserves a look at a pro contract.
The kid from Woodstock, NB isn’t the flashiest, he just gets the job done.
A matter of fact you could say that about the entire Titan team right now.
That’s what makes their start to the season so entertaining to watch.
The Titan play as a team.
They play for one another.
There’s certainly a change of mindset in and around the team and organization.
It’s certainly not arrogance, it’s confidence.
The inspired play of Kidney, McCormick and Arsenault have made all the headlines, but the impact that Logan Chisholm and Mathieu Desgagnes have had on this young team is truly remarkable and immeasurable.
You want to talk leadership you look at those two players.
Trust me the Titan are only going to get better when their imports are allowed to report.
In my opinion from a pure hockey perspective that’s what have made the Titan the surprise of the Maritimes Division so far.
Nevertheless, you can never underestimate the impact that Greg Leland has had on this organization early this season.
Leland brings a sense of calmness and experience to the Titan’s young D-corps that has certainly paid dividends to this point of the season.
The natural born teacher and coach empowers his players and you can literally see the confidence oozing from each one of them when they step on the ice.
I realize it’s really early, and that the Acadie Bathurst Titan have only played four games, but their success so far has been great to see.
The journey continues for the small market rebuilding team.
The organization, the region and its loyal die hard fan base continue to wait patiently and dream of hoisting the President Cup and Memorial Cup once again.
It’s only been four games, but it’s still great to see!