Pirates coach Ray Edwards is sticking behind his goaltender.
McElhinney, who was expected to be the overall number one goaltender for the Pirates, has struggled this season, recording a 2-6-0 record with a 3.82GAA and a .884 save percentage.
Things seemed to come to head on Tuesday against Adirondack when McElhinney got the hook in favor of recently recalled goalie Marc Cheverie after giving up a pair of goals less than a minute apart in the first period.
Two days later, Edwards still has confidence in McElhinney as Pirates’ goaltending coach Mike Minard worked with him prior to practice.
“It just takes one good game for him to come back,” said Edwards. He works so hard and he’s great goaltender. Our team has got to be better in front him. They need to help him, which is something that they haven’t done. He working hard and us as coaches have got to help him. We’re very confident that he’ll put a nice performance together here Friday night.”
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is not a team that lacks offense led by forward Bryan Lerg, Eric Tangradi and Colin McDonald as they gone 9-1-0 in their last 10 games.
Portland is a currently on their first winning streak of the season, with a two-game streak that has Edwards seeing some signs of progress.
“We’re coming along,” he said. “We’re not perfect, but we’ve seen some good signs. We’re going to continue to try and build off the momentum.”
“(Wilkes-Barre/Scranton) is a top team in the league and it will give us a chance to see where we are and what we have to do so it will be a good test for us.”
Edwards updated on the injury situation with several players including goaltender Justin Pogge, who is still listed day-to-day with a lower body injury believed to be ankle injury that was suffered in a game versus Providence on Saturday. Edwards, while not disclosing the injury, said that it shouldn’t keep the netminder out long term, but he doesn’t want to rush him back only to have it bother him over the course of the year. The status of Brock Trotter and Matt Watkins haven’t changed as both are still listed week-to-week with upper body injuries.
A positive sign is Alexander Bolduc has resumed skating, but Edwards said that he’s not expected back until sometime after Christmas as they are going to ease him back after having off-season shoulder surgery.