Maine Hockey Journal

Pirates need offense….NOW!!

Hartford, Conn. – If the Pirates don’t start to figure out how to put the puck into the net, it will be a short series against the Hartford Wolf Pack.

The Pirates were once again anemic on offense as Hartford picked up two goals from former Pirate Pierre Parenteau, in a 3-1 win over Portland in game one of the Atlantic Division Semifinals.

Over the span of the last 10 regular season games, Portland has only managed to average 1.9 goals per game, while allowing a respectable 2.8 per game. It clearly indicates the defense isn’t the issue for the Pirates, but rather an issue of generating offense and more importantly generating offense from key players on the team.

Again, using the last ten games of the regular season as a benchmark, the top-five point scorers for the Pirates could only tally 19 points (5 goals, 14 assists) as the Pirates fell behind the Wolf Pack for home ice advantage in the playoffs. This includes rookie Bobby Ryan, who has been with the Anaheim Ducks since March 7 after Corey Perry suffered a leg injury.

One player who has had a difficult time scoring since Ryan’s recall has been forward Geoff Platt.

Platt, acquired in a trade from the Columbus Blue Jackets earlier in the season, became an instant offensive powerhouse scoring 17 points (7g, 10a) in his first 10 games with the Pirates. However, in the last 10 games, he’s been on a sordid scoring slump, going goal-less with only three assists since March 14. A major issue for Platt right now is his ability to find chemistry with another linemate like he did with Ryan, but if the Pirates are going to have any success in this round; they’ll need Platt to net a couple goals this series.

Another issue for the Pirates is the power play.

There’s nothing positive about it right now, as the Pirates once again went scoreless, going 0-for-5 on the night. So far, going back over the last 11 games, the Pirates have gone 3-for-49 or a miserable 6.1% with the man advantage.

I don’t care who you are. If your power play is only scoring at six percent, nobody is going to win a playoff series. Now, it’s not to take away from the Pirates as they did have scoring changes, but contenders find a way bury those chances.

As for the solutions, the biggest thing for the Pirates would be for Drew Miller to get back in the lineup quick, but healthy because he gives Dineen an opportunity to create a secondary scoring line. Something the Pirates can’t do because they have to put all their ducks in the same line – no pun intended. With Miller back in the lineup, it provides Platt that playmaker on the wing and somebody who can keep up to the speedy forward.

The other fix has to come from Anaheim.

If Anaheim isn’t going to use Bobby Ryan and I’m not sure they will from here on out with Corey Perry returning to the lineup for game four. Send him back Portland where he’ll get valuable playoff time, at the same time give this Pirates squad a boost in the arm.

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The Pirates released Greg Gardner and Nate Dey from their respective ATO’s Gardner played five games with the Pirates, going scoreless while Dey hadn’t seen any action with Portland

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