Playoff bound Pirates win final tune-up

AHL Rookie of the Year Nathan Gerbe scored a pair of goals, his 29th and 30th of the year, as Portland closed its regular season with a 5-4 win over Manchester. Pirates rookie Matt Generous scored his first career goal in the win. Playing his fourth game since ending his NCAA run with St. Lawrence, the Chesire, CT native also received his first fighting major at 1:51 of the first period to miss the Gordie Howe Hat Trick by an assist. Tim Kennedy added two assists, while Felix Schutz, Marek Zagrapan, Marc-Andre Gragnani, and Mark Mancari all were credited with single helpers. The win gives the Pirates the #3 seed in the AHL Atlantic Division playoffs. Portland travels to #2 Providence on Wednesday for Game 1 of the best-of-seven series. The Rundown: Gerbe: 2G Generous: 1G Kennedy: 2A Zagrapan: 1A, 4 SOG Schutz: 1A, +1 Gragnani: 1A Mancari: 1A Kostka: +1 Turnbull: -1 Whitmore: -1
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Anonymous
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Monday, April 13, 2009 ×

With Generous coming out of college on such a high note, and Kostka leading the defense in +/-, do you think they'll be the ones making the push for 7th d-man next year (assuming Weber makes the jump)?

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Kris Baker
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Monday, April 13, 2009 ×

Off all the Portland dmen for next season, I think Kostka is in the best spot. He can knock at the door as a more confident, short-term call-up guy next season, while Genny should be in that confident depth discussion pool because he's on the upward spike of a patient developmental curve.

Brennan and Schiestel are all more skilled, but will need a full season away from juniors to really acclimate. I want them to compete hard in camp, go to Portland, and just play without worrying about coming up to Buffalo. Same with Persson. Go and compete hard. That's all we need to see right now.

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Anonymous
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Tuesday, April 14, 2009 ×

Nice work, Kris.
Yea, I think that Kostka should have the inside track as #7 D-man. Also, it seems as if Mathieu Darche has a good chance of making the roster next season, if they re-sign him.

Btw, I'd like to start a Dineen for Sabres head coach crusade (assuming Lindy Ruff will not return.)

Dineen has a Calder Cup. He has done an impressive job with talented prospects (Gerbe, Kennedy) lesser prospects (Darche, Kostka) forgotten prospects (Zags)and every player that was called up (Butler, Gerbe, Kennedy, even Mancari) seemed well-prepared for the NHL (with various success rates.)

In addition, I remember a time back in Jan. when the Pirates were "pulling d-men off the street" because of call-ups and injuries (much to the dismay of irrate Portland fans.) Yet, they still made the playoffs and have one of the better GA percentages in the AHL.

Kevin Dineen is a winner, imo, and it would be a travesty for him to leave as another NHL team's head coach.

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