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.

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