Things couldn’t be going any better for the Portland Pirates than they are right now.
The Pirates are riding a three-game winning streak, and have won six of their seven games and will look to continue their strong run when they hit the ice on Wednesday night in Worcester for a game that has been rescheduled twice because of poor weather conditions.
Not only are the Pirates winning, but they will be at their healthiest since late November.
Add to that, they will have rookie Luke Adam in the lineup as the Buffalo Sabres have assigned the 20-year old back to Portland.
Adam has spent nearly a month with Buffalo after a rash of injuries hit the club which included the loss of leading team scorer Derek Roy with a torn quad muscle in his right leg.
This was Adam’s fourth recall to the Sabres of the season where he’s played in 18 games, scoring three goals, one assist for four points with a minus-4 rating.
The move to send Adam back to Portland was twofold. The Sabres are healthy for the most part with Pat Kaleta returning to the lineup and Adam wasn’t going to get the minutes that he needs in order to continue his development.
“I thought he gave us some good periods of play,” said Sabres coach Lindy Ruff. “He needs to go play. He needs to play 20 minutes a game. He needs to be involved in special teams in a big way, which he has been down in Portland. We think a lot of him. We just think it’s not good for him to be here and only play, when we’re healthy, only eight, nine minutes. He needs to work on a little bit of play in his own end, and I think he understands that. But I think he’s given us some good play.”
When Adam has been with the Pirates he’s been one of the team’s top offensive players tallying 22 points (12G, 10A) in 20 games and was recently named to the Eastern Conference roster for the upcoming AHL All-Star Classic that will be held in Hershey, PA at the end of the month.
With Adam’s arrival back to Portland, it more than likely means the end of Justin Bowers stay in Portland unless Pirates head coach Kevin Dineen decides to keep an extra forward or two during what will be an extremely busy month for the team as they play five games in the next days.