Senators News: October 13th

-Some of tonight’s Binghamton lineup has been announced: Cowen-Benoit, Eckford-Claesson, and Borowiecki-Gryba are the defensive pairings (Lehner gets the start).

-Elmira won 3-2 last night with Marc Cheverie picking up the win; Chris Wideman had an assist and was +2, while Ben Blood had no points and was -1.  Brad Peltz had one SOG while Danny New picked up an assist and was a +1.  Here’s the recap.  The team plays Greenville tonight.

Andre Benoit has been named captain of the Binghamton Senators, which comes as no surprise (Eric Gryba and Mike Hoffman are the assistant captains)–notably, none of these players are expected to challenge for regular spots in Ottawa.

Luke Richardson was on The Team 1200 yesterday and Nichols has transcribed the relevant parts of the interview.  One interesting tidbit is that Ben Bishop is not yet in Binghamton nor has Richardson heard any confirmation that he’s been signed–all that information is coming from Andy Strickland.  Richardson had a lot to say about Jean-Gabriel Pageau:

He has stepped up his offseason conditioning with a lot the guys here around Ottawa and it has really helped. He has been very poised defensively; which is kind of a surprise to me because of his age and his size. At this level, he has played in all three exhibition games and he has contributed offensively, so with the injury to Stephane Da Costa, it has given him an opportunity to start the season with us and he made a real case to make it very difficult to make any movements on him (when Da Costa gets healthy).

This confirms that 1) Pageau is a placeholder for Da Costa, and 2) Da Costa‘s injury is the primary factor in him still being with the team.  Nichols believes these comments mean that Pageau is a serious candidate for Elmira, but I still believe he’ll be returned to the CHL once the team is healthy.  Richardson then talked about Da Costa:

I think working on the strength this summer, he really limits the energy that he spends every shift on skating because he is a great skater. He really can save that strength when he goes into the boards or around the boards into a battle with a big guy. I noticed that he wasn’t afraid at all. He was in there battling with some of the big guys on the other roster in the AHL that were experienced and he showed no signs of backing down or being overpowered, so that’s a great sign because he still has some upside to him to improve in the areas of strength and speed (aspects). He is just a smart hockey player and he’s a great prospect within the Ottawa organization.

There’s nothing surprising in any of this, other than confirming the organisation still thinks highly of Da Costa.  Richardson also talked about the system he’s employing:

It is all about puck movement. We have a very strong defence down here. Some of the guys are bigger and stronger but they can still move the puck well, so that’s great.  So, I think we can run a very similar, if not identical, style [to Paul MacLean’s]. Everybody is just a little bit different, but overall, pretty much close to the same style, so I think the transition will be much easier for players moving up. And really, that’s what it is all about – we want to have that fine line of competitiveness here to win and teach them to win and be unhappy when you lose and learn to fix things when you’re not doing them properly and you don’t have success. At the same time, you want to develop them for the parent club and for the dreams of where those players want to go.

-A comment made by assistant coach Steve Stirling comment worth repeating:

There’s only a handful of teams in the league [AHL] that will have a good team every year, because their goal is to win it every year, and sometimes that may be at the expense of development. Our philosophy is to develop first. We’re here to get prospects ready for the NHL, but at the same time everyone likes to win.

-Here’s my look at Binghamton’s roster and expectations (point projections).  I’ll be posting my thoughts on how the team will perform in the AHL later today.

-Speaking of roster projections, Bobby Kelly weighs in with part two of his own (this time defense and goaltending), which is pretty elementary at this point.  He believes that (when healthy) Eckford and Gryba will form one pair (behind the obvious Cowen-Benoit), while Borowiecki and Wiercioch will form the other.  He suggests seventh defender Fredrik Claesson will get regular playing time, but not at whose expense.  My personal feeling is that Claesson, Blood, and Wideman may transition back and forth between Binghamton and Elmira regularly, although it’s admittedly easier to let the teenage Claesson sit as opposed to the two college grads.

-D. J. Powers provides a CCHA preview, making no mention of Jeff Costello at Notre Dame.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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