Maine Hockey Journal

Pirates power play struggles could prove to be costly

Springfield, Mass. – This is not a good way to go into the playoffs.

For the last several, the Pirates have struggled mightily, going a meager 3-4-3-0 in their last ten games.

Right, like I said, this is not how you want to be heading into the playoffs.

Momentum being huge at this time of year, the Pirates certainly dropped the ball losing two games in overtime, 3-2, to Worcester and Springfield, respectively. In both games, the Pirates had a lead only to give it up along with the OT winner.

“It was a very sloppy hockey game,” said Dineen after the 3-2 loss to Worcester. “We got our just deserts we deserved after that effort.”

Dineen also added, “It looked like we believed that we can just turn the switch on Wednesday and that’s not going to happen.”

The biggest issue for the Pirates isn’t the ability to turn the switch on or off at whim, it’s about execution of the game plan that Dineen puts in front of them. More than several times during the game against Worcester, the Pirates had a chance to nail the coffin shut against the Sharks, but they just didn’t execute, especially on the power play.

If I had to pick one thing that has let the Portland down, it would be the power play as it’s been atrocious over the last ten games. In fact, it’s been an embarrassment to watch at times. Since March 22, they’ve only been able to score at a discomforting rate of 6.8% (3-for-44) during that span. I could break down the numbers down even further showing home-and-away power play stats, but what’s the point. It will still reflect the fact that the Pirates have struggle badly when they’ve had the extra attacker.

If the Pirates don’t get it together starting Wednesday, it could be a very short series against Hartford.

Ironically, the Pirates struggles began when Drew Miller went down with an ankle injury. I only point this out, because looking at what Miller brings to the lineup; he provides cohesiveness to the roster, giving Dineen the ability to ice multiple lines instead of relying on Ebbett, Platt and King to provide all the offense.

********************

If the Pirates struggles seem paramount, one only has to look at their parent team, the Anaheim Ducks, as they head to Dallas down 0-2 after dropping both games at home nonetheless to the Stars in the first round of the best-of-seven series.

Losing both games by a combined score of 9-2, the Ducks have also run into special teams’ trouble allowing Dallas to go 6-for-13 on the power play. No team will win a series, if they can’t stop the power play.
The series shift to Dallas also poses a few issues for the Ducks. Being down 0-2, you can almost bet that you’ll see Corey Perry suit up on Tuesday night, after missing close to six weeks with a leg injury, to try and give the Ducks some offense as they attempt to stay alive in the series and preventing from going down 0-3.

If he does suit up, what happens to Bobby Ryan?

Ryan was recalled back on March 7 on an emergency recall basis because of Perry’s injury. Now, if he comes back, the Ducks should have to send Ryan back to Portland unless, of course, if Burke decides to convert Ryan’s emergency recall to a regular recall. It will burn up one of the Ducks recalls – they have three – but if they decide to go that route, who will sit so he can play because it doesn’t make sense to not have him in the lineup, but have him up in Anaheim warming a press box seat.

********************

On Friday, the Portland Pirates handed out their end of season awards.

Pirates Partner Award: Al Perkins (Video Assistant) and Dan Mahoney (Videoboard cameraman)
This award is presented to individuals that have shown commitment and dedication to the Portland Pirates organization and have preformed his or her role with a great attitude and proven ability to go above and beyond their duty.

Allied Home Mortgage Award: Andrew Ebbett
Goes to the Player who was recognized this season the most as a 1st, 2nd or 3rd star this season based on the point system of 3pts for #1, 2 for #2, 1 for #3.

Unsung Hero: Brian Salcido
The player who you feel has surpassed all expectations this season to be one of the club’s most valuable assets.

Player’s Player: Tyler Bouck
Voted on by the Pirates players as the player the team feel represents the team’s character and values.

Jack Button Award: Bobby Ryan
Honors the late Washington Capitals? Director of Player Personnel Jack Button and is awarded to the Pirates top prospect.

Tom Ebright Award: Jason King
It is given to the player who best exemplifies what it means to be a Portland Pirate, as envisioned by team founder, the late Tom Ebright.

Most Popular Player: Mike Hoffman
The player the fans admire the most.

MVP presented by Maine Medical Center: Andrew Ebbett
The player fans feel has contributed the most to the team’s success this season.

Unum Challenge Winner: Andrew Neilsen
Andrew guess the closest to the correct shot total over the course of the ten game season series. He was invited to the final regular season
home game and helped present the Unum Cup during the post-game award ceremony.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply