The Pirates practiced briefly this morning before departing for next several days for their respective homes. Several players will be staying locally, but for the most part everyone will be getting away from the rink which is not necessarily a bad thing at this time of year.
The team has been on a slide lately and while Pirates head coach Kevin Dineen would rather look at the team’s record as a whole, he understands some issues have appeared in their game and began addressing them in the abbreviated practice.
“We got off to a good start (to the season),” said Dineen. “We’re a second place team right now. We’re over .600 which is always a goal.”
“I thought we played a good enough game to win on Friday night, and on Saturday night as much as I was irritated with my own team. You look at the tape and (Manchester) wanted it bad. They played an extremely solid game. (Manchester’s) compete level was higher than ours and that means I’m disappointed in our compete level and I’m impressed with (Manchester).”
“We got outplayed at home and that can’t happen,” Dineen added. “Can’t happen all, so, this was a good wake up call.”
While the Pirates regroup mentally with some time off. One player in particular will still be playing for a few more days as Luke Adam got the call that he was one his way back to Buffalo after practice.
This will be Adam’s fourth recall of the season.
This past weekend Adam scored a pair of assists and a goal in three games in his return to the Pirates lineup after spending nearly three weeks in Buffalo. The 20-year old rookie has impressed as both the AHL level and in the NHL. In 20 games with the Pirates, Adam has 12 goals, 10 assists for 22 points which still has him among the leaders in the rookie scoring race despite missing 10 games for the Pirates.
The recall was prompted by an injury to Tim Connolly who suffered a fractured nose in the game against Tampa Bay although he did return to action wearing a full shield. Connolly is slated to have reconstruction nose surgery and Sabres coach Lindy Ruff is hoping he’ll miss a week.
It’s a year of injuries for the Sabres, which has resulted in several call ups by the Sabres. Adam’s recall marks the seventh time a player has been recalled from Portland.
“We’ve had more call ups probably already than we did all of last year,” said Sabres GM Darcy Regier on his recent visit to Portland. “We were pretty healthy all of last year and then this year, it’s just kind of how things have worked out with Miller out early and (several) others out for (lengthy) periods.”
The Pirates will not practice again until Christmas Day when the team is expected to arrive at the Civic Center for a late evening skate. They will travel to Worcester on Sunday for a busy finish to 2010 as they play four games in six days.