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Down On The Farm, Apr. 4

04/04/11
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The Pirates lost to the Whale yesterday 4-2, yet still hold a 1 point lead on the division with 5 games to play and 2 games in hand on Manchester.

The Pirates’ magic number still sits at 5 to clinch the division. It would be their first division championship since the powerhouse team from 2005/2006.

No games today that impact Portland. Moving on.

Time to be blunt: the Pirates are not playing good hockey, and haven’t since locking up their playoff spot. Call it dulled mental edge since clinching, call it fatigue from playing so hard and entering into a brutal home stretch, call it inability to fill the talent holes left by the Enroth, Mancari, Gragnani, and Ellis call-ups, call it whatever you want. I warned in a previous blog post that Kevin Dineen’s magic with a shortened bench would only go so far, and even with three players brough in on ATOs, the magic is wearing thin right now. Some serious hard work and focus need to go into righting the ship so they can go into the playoffs with a head of steam.

Portland is off today but play tomorrow versus 9th place Worcester, who will be summoning all the desperation they can muster to try and make up their two-point deficit behind Connecticut, and then take the ice the next night versus a rested Manchester. It’s the biggest game of the season for the Pirates, who can either take a three point lead on the division with a regulation win or possibly drop one point back behind the Monarchs.

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