Portland Rock City

by Ryan

We haven’t talked about the Sabres farm team much this season, but when we have it’s been about suspensions. Yesterday saw another Pirate get a few games off their workload, with Cody McCormick suspended for five games. Maine Hockey Journal has the story:

McCormick, 26, was involved in an incident midway into the third period during a game against the Providence Bruins where he came off the bench, charging Bruins’ forward Brad Marchand. McCormick was given two minutes for cross-checking, two minutes for instigating, five minutes for fighting, 10 minutes misconduct for instigating and a game misconduct for leaving the bench.

The AHL suspended McCormick for leaving the players’ bench on a legal line change for the purpose of starting an altercation.

There’s a video of the event floating around on YouTube, but it’s hard to see the start of the incident:

The Pirates haven’t started well, going just 2-5 in their first seven games. They are tied for an Atlantic Division-worst 16 goals for, and an AHL-worst 30 goals against, which certainly points to plenty of problems on the team.

Where they don’t struggle is racking up penalty minutes. Cody McCormick is the only Pirate to crack the leaderboard with 29 but they have seven players in double figures, most notably Travis Turnbull (21), T.J. Brennan (20), Mike Weber (18), Jeff Cowan (17), and Joe DiPenta (17).

It probably means nothing, but it certainly seems to be a very tough team in Portland this year. The only time we saw Portland in HSBC Arena last season it was fight night, with Nathan Gerbe getting kicked out of the game for fighting. Looks like their two visits this season will give us more of the same.