Down On The Farm, Mar. 20
After sharing with Black & Blue & Gold’s readers what kind of season the Portland Pirates are having, I decided to duplicate my Playoff Race Clusterf**k series for the farm team. Thus, Down On The Farm was born. It’ll function exactly as the former series, continuing onward until the end of the regular season.
As you can see above, the Pirates are sitting pretty in first place in the division and second in the conference following their 5-3 victory over the Providence Bruins coupled with Manchester’s loss to the Worcester Sharks. Those same Sharks are the Pirates’ next opponent, with the puck dropping at a very strange time (11AM) on Tuesday. A win at home against the Sharks would, by Chris Roy’s (@MEHockeyJournal) math, lock up the Pirates’ playoff spot
What’s impressive about where the Pirates are sitting and what they’ve done is who they’ve done it with. They’ve been soaring up the standings at times with Jhonas Enroth, Mark Mancari, Luke Adam, Mark Parrish, and Paul Bryon spending time with the Sabres due to injuries while also enduring their own rash of ailments that at one point had six starting players including captain Matt Ellis out of the lineup. It’s a massive credit to Kevin Dineen and his coaching to see where his team is at this point. With the team getting healthy and both role players and stars stepping up in a big way, perhaps the first round curse will finally be broken.
( Down On The Farm will be a daily series running until through the end of the AHL season. Except tomorrow – no games scheduled.)