Maine Hockey Journal

Pirates Practice — 11/25/08

Portland, ME — All things were comfy and cozy at the 4-C’s for this morning’s practice. Too bad the same can’t be said for the conditions outside. The wind and rain has been merciless this morning and the forecast doesn’t look much better for the afternoon.

Practice for the Pirates was fairly brisk this morning. It was delayed for the short period of time because the team was on the ice for their team photo. No, I didn’t manage to jump in, but it will be a classy photo nonetheless, once it comes to print.

For roughly 45 minutes, the Pirates worked on their five-on-five play as they tried to improve their transition game in the offensive zone. One of Dineen’s major complaints about this weekend was the team’s tendency to want to play more east-west, getting away from the attacking north-south team play the Sabres organization preaches — More to come that later

Missing from practice was Matt Ellis who according to Dineen was given a day off. Good news for Portland was the return of Dylan Hunter. He skated for roughly 30 minutes before leaving and then returned near the end of practice to skate for another 30 minutes or so. Dineen said he’s still a ways away from the lineup, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he didn’t return by the first week in December.

Dineen also played with his line combinations, but cautioned not to read too much into them. Still, it was interesting to see how he was moving and shifting guys to make up for the loss of the Mark Mancari — More to come on that later as well.

Forward lines were as follows:
Darche-Kennedy-Gerbe
Slattengren-Zagrapan-Bouck
Whitmore-Schutz-Murphy
Bonneau-Hunter-Fretter — extra forwards

Defensive pairings were also mixed.
Weber-Butler
Funk-Kostka
Baier-Gragnani

Card was an extra because he still recovering from the facial laceration.

Portland will have a light skate tomorrow before starting their toughest streak of games, yet to date. The Pirates will play tomorrow night against the Worchester Sharks before playing their first three-in-three weekend against the Monarchs in Manchester and Lowell and Manchester at the Civic Center.

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