It has been awhile since my last Binghamton update. You can get game-by-game reflections from theianalex over at The Silver Seven or from Jeff Ulmer at SenShot. Back in December (my last update), the B-Sens were on a hot streak and seemed to be getting over some of their issues, but 18 games later and the reality is this roster has significant weaknesses. Binghamton is 6-10-2 over the stretch, including a particularly ugly losing streak earlier this month. Their 129 GF keeps them 3rd in the Conference, so scoring isn’t an issue, but their 137 GA puts them 14th and that’s where the trouble is. Team defense and goaltending just isn’t up to snuff. As for individual numbers, here’s a quick look:
|5||Nick Tuzzolino (total)||D||3||0||0||0||-2||0||0||0||0.00||0.00||3|
|31||Peter Mannino (total)||G||8||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.00||0.00||0|
|4||Peter Mannino (total)||8||420:49||25||0||3.56||1||3||2||252||227||0.901|
It’s worth noting that Scott Greenham, with by far the better numbers of Binghamton’s goalies, is currently babysitting the awful Evansville affiliate in the ECHL. Picking Mannino off the scrap-heap hasn’t helped and Luke Richardson still hasn’t figured out Hammond can’t handle back-to-back starts. The results are certainly the reason Bryan Murray threw Bingo’s goaltenders under the bus last week.
As for the rest of the roster, Wideman continues his fantastic season, even if he hasn’t been able to keep up his point-per-game pace. Prince leads all scorers over the 18 games with 14 points (followed by Camper with 13, Wideman with 11, and both Puempel and Mullen with 9; Schneider and Alex Grant, if healthy, would certainly be among the leaders). On the negative side, it’s clear FA signee Thompson is a complete dud (two points in his last fifteen), while Guptill (three points in his last fifteen) looks like dead weight Dallas was ejecting when they traded for Jason Spezza. I think if Dzingel cleaned up his play without the puck he has a bright future. I’m on the fence about Puempel; I expect more production from a first-round pick whose forte was scoring, but on the other hand he needs the opportunities to make it happen and whatever his stats are he’s still near the top of Bingo’s charts.
Back to my favourite topic, Binghamton’s goaltending. I’m not sure why management wanted to send Greenham down and sign a veteran goaltender mid-season, but doing that, why choose Mannino? The decision has been a disaster and the blame can’t fully fall on the team in front of him since Greenham won with the same players. Mannino has won just a single game and only had a GAA under 3.00 in his most recent (OT) loss. Incredibly, Hammond has also only won a single game since his signing and his numbers are worse with his new partner. Admittedly, Binghamton has no hope of making the playoffs, so the team might as well play younger players, but that means Mannino‘s addition makes even less sense. The move smells of Bryan Murray–acquiring an older player when it’s too late who has no positive impact whatsoever. It’s still early, admittedly.
With Jakub Culek no longer part of the organisation, only Troy Rutkowski and Chris Dreidger are the only prospects remaining in Evansville. Neither player is excelling, but given how awful the team around them is, I’m not sure how much can be drawn from that. Driedger is a young goalie, so there’s time for him to improve, but I think the clock has run out on Rutkowski‘s.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)