Roster and Expectations for Ottawa and Binghamton Revisited

I wrote about my expectations for Ottawa’s and Binghamton’s rosters back in July (link and link), providing a Bingo update in August (link) .  With opening night just hours away I thought it was worthwhile to revisit my prognostication.  I made a number of predictions beginning with Ottawa:

1. Nikita Filatov will make the team
Correct
2. David Rundblad will make the team and be ahead of Jared Cowen
Correct in the first instance, incorrect in the second; although he made the team, for the moment he’s the seventh defenseman
3. Bobby Butler will play in the top six
Incorrect; this may eventually be the case, but he starts the season on the fourth line
4. Erik Karlsson will play in the top pairing
Correct
5. Zenon Konopka and Jesse Winchester will play on the fourth line
Correct
6. Chris Neil will play in the bottom six
Correct
7. Peter Regin will play center
Correct
8. I did not think Mika Zibanejad would make the lineup
Incorrect; he may only last 9 games, but he did earn the right to be part of the team to start the season.
9. Projected lineup (I hedged a bit on defence); tonight’s actual lines are in bold (my misses in italics):
Nikita Filatov-Jason Spezza-Bobby Butler
Milan Michalek-Jason Spezza-Nikita Filatov
Milan MichalekPeter Regin-Daniel Alfredsson
Colin Greening-Mika Zibanejad-Daniel Alfredsson
Nick Foligno-Zack SmithErik Condra
Nick Foligno-Stephane Da Costa-Chris Neil
Colin Greening-Zenon Konopka-Chris Neil
Erik Condra-Zack Smith-Bobby Butler
Erik Karlsson-Chris Phillips
Chris Phillips-Erik Karlsson
Filip Kuba-David Rundblad or Brian Lee-Sergei Gonchar
Jared Cowen-Sergei Gonchar
Sergei Gonchar-Matt Carkner or Filip Kuba-David Rundblad
Filip Kuba-Brian Lee

With Peter Regin, Matt Carkner, and Zenon Konopka injured my predictions take quite a hit.  It appears as though when Regin and Konopka are healthy they will slot in as I’d guessed, but it remains to be seen how that shifts the other forwards around.  I got one blueline pairing spot on and I’m correct that when Rundblad plays it will be with Kuba, but the other guesses were thrown off by Jared Cowen making the team.  My overall prediction for the how the team will fair hasn’t changed since the summer.

Here are my Binghamton projected lines with the actual lineup in bold (link); my errors are highlighted in italics:
Kaspars Daugavins-Corey Locke-Mark Parrish
Mike Hoffman-Corey Locke-Mark Parrish
Mike HoffmanStephane Da Costa-Jim O’Brien
Jim O’Brien-Derek Grant-Kaspars Daugavins
Derek Grant-David Dziurzynski-Andre Petersson
Pat Cannone-David Dziurzynski-Andre Petersson
Pat CannoneLouie Caporusso-Francis Lessard
Corey Cowick-Wacey Hamilton-Francis Lessard
Jared CowenEric Gryba
Mark Borowiecki-Tim Conboy
Patrick Wiercioch-Mark Borowiecki
Eric Gryba-Patrick Wiercioch
Tim Conboy-Craig Schira
Bobby Raymond-Craig Schira

With Stephane Da Costa still in Ottawa I’ll give myself a pass on placing Derek Grant on the third line.  I thought Kleinendorst would stick with the veteran Daugavins over Hoffman for first line duty, but the latter had such a good training camp he’s being rewarded.  Both Cowick and Hamilton are on the roster–with the missing Da Costa I would have picked the former to slide into the lineup, but it’s impressive that the younger Hamilton has knocked Caporusso into the pressbox to start the season.

On the blueline I expected Jared Cowen to be with Binghamton, so his absence throws my projections off.  I would not have picked Conboy to be in the top-pairing and wouldn’t have envisioned a top duo featuring he and Borowiecki.  The blueline as it’s currently composed it’s going to be very reliant on both Wiercioch and Raymond to generate offence.

Senators News: October 7th

Today’s Sens news ahead of the season opener:

-Ottawa’s lineup for tonight against Detroit (link, which airs on Sportsnet), with Konpoka out due to bumps and bruises; The Team 1200 just reported that they believe Lee will play instead of Rundblad, but as it’s not definitive I’m leaving both options below:
Milan Michalek-Jason Spezza-Nikita Filatov
Colin Greening-Mika Zibanejad-Daniel Alfredsson
Nick Foligno-Stephane Da Costa-Chris Neil
Erik Condra-Zack Smith-Bobby Butler
Chris Phillips-Erik Karlsson
Jared Cowen-Sergei Gonchar
Filip Kuba-David Rundblad/Brian Lee

The Ottawa Citizen‘s Allen Panzeri has a Q&A with Bryan Murray (link) which includes some interesting statements: “Milan Michalek looks like he has come into camp in great shape. If he can  score 25 goals or thereabout, that would be a real bonus to our team. If Nikita Filatov could get 20, we would be incredibly happy, but I don’t know if we  thought that he would be a goal scorer. I think he’s a playmaker. I think he’s a  guy that creates offence by the way he skates and handles the puck.  I don’t think at any time during his career, even when he was drafted by Columbus, that anyone thought he was going to be a high-end goal scorer.”  I don’t recall hearing Filatov described as a playmaker before and I wonder if Murray is simply trying to adjust expectations away from goals.  “There’s no question Brian Lee has to step up. He’s not going to be a point  getter, so maybe he can be a shutdown guy with (Chris Phillips) or whoever Paul decides to put him with. But he has to be strong, be forceful, be a contributing  player.”  This is pretty straightforward to me–if Lee isn’t great defensively there’s no point in having him on the roster.

-Rob Brodie writes about the anticipation for the season opener (link) which includes some interesting comments.  Chris Phillips said, “It seems like everyone’s on the same page. There’s not a lot of guys behind the scenes trying to figure out exactly what’s going on, or any confusion. It is a clear message about what they expect — a lot of skating and hard work. We’ll start from there and if we do that on a nightly basis, things are going to fall into place for us.”  The implication (that last year there were a lot of guys behind the scenes trying to figure out what was going on) is stark.  Jason Spezza added, “It’s probably the hardest camp that I’ve had in years. He’s got our skating legs under us and we’re looking forward to getting in some games and using our legs in a productive manner and not just in practice … The practices are the hard part and the games are the fun part. We’re looking forward to getting into games and reaping some of the benefits of what we’ve been doing in practice.

The Ottawa Citizen weighs in with their predictions for the Senators this year (link), which range from 12th-15th.

The Silver Seven offers their predictions for the Sens (link), which range from 8th-14th.

-The Binghamton Senators roster has been set (link), with Josh Godfrey, Jack Downing, Mike Ratchuk, Mike Radja, and Corey Milan sent down to the ECHL (Joy’s link accidentally misses Max Gratchev making the team below, so I added him in).
29 — Mike McKenna
40 — Robin Lehner
2 — Eric Gryba
5 — Mark Borowiecki
6 — Craig Schira
9 — Bobby Raymond
17 — Patrick Wiercioch
38 — Tim Conboy
11 — Louie Caporusso
12 — Patrick Cannone
13 — Mark Parrish
16 — Kaspars Daugavins
19 — Jim O’Brien
20 — Andre Petersson
21 — Derek Grant
22  — David Dziurzynski
23  — Corey Cowick
27  — Mike Hoffman
36  — Wacey Hamilton
39  — Max Gratchev
44  — Francis Lessard
84  — Corey Locke

-The Binghamton opening lineup for tonight against Hershey (link), with Louie Caporusso and Max Gratchev as the scratches:
Mike Hoffman-Corey Locke-Mark Parrish
Jim O’Brien-Derek Grant-Kaspars Daugavins
Pat Cannone-David Dziurzynski-Andre Petersson
Corey Cowick-Wacey Hamilton-Francis Lessard
Mark Borowiecki-Tim Conboy
Eric Gryba-Patrick Wiercioch
Bobby Raymond-Craig Schira

-The Elmira Jackals released six players from their training camp roster (link), Alec KirschnerMatt MoffatPaul ArnottVinny GeonnettiClay Goodall, and Michael DiLorenzo.

The Canadian Press included some amusing comments from Chris Nilan after Don Cherry‘s rant on Hockey Night in Canada, but this morning Sportsnet had removed them from the article so I had to go and find them elsewhere (City TV‘s site, link): “Let’s get it straight right here and now, I never said that players who were fighters were prone to alcoholism and drug abuse. I guess those who can’t play coach, or just had a show called coaches corner. pretty sad he has to say that to get ratings. Guess he see’s the writing on the wall with CBC losing market share to Bell and TSN.