Binghamton at the Ten Game Mark

The Binghamton Senators have reached the 10-game mark and it is time to take stock and see how the team and the players are doing.  Binghamton is 4-4-2, good for 7th in their conference and 4th in their division.  Their 22 goals for put them ahead of only Providence and Albany in their conference and both of those teams have only played 8 games.  Binghamton has allowed 28 goals which is 9th in the conference, but removing 30 minutes of Nathan Lawson brings the team down to 22 goals which would place them 3rd (behind Springfield and Albany, each having played 9 and 8 games).

Player’s stats (INJ=games missed due to injury, SCR= scratched, SUS=suspended, NHL=games in the NHL, ECHL=games in the ECHL):

Mike Hoffman 10-2-3-5 +1 (leads the team in shots with 36)
Andre Benoit 10-2-3-5 Even
Tyler Eckford 10-2-3-5 -6
Mark Stone 4-0-4-4 +2 INJ 6
Andre Petersson 10-1-3-4 -4
Jakob Silfverberg 10-2-2-4 -5
Jared Cowen 3-0-3-3 Even INJ 7
Patrick Wiercioch 9-3-0-3 +5 INJ 1
Hugh Jessiman 10-3-0-3 -1
David Dziurzynski 9-2-1-3 +1 INJ 1
Mark Borowiecki 10-1-2-3 +1 (leads the team in pims with 51)
Mika Zibanejad 10-0-3-3 -3
Corey Cowick 10-1-1-2 Even
Derek Grant 10-1-1-2 -2
Jean-Gabriel Pageau 9-0-2-2 +2 SCR 1
Shane Prince 3-0-1-1 Even INJ 7
Cole Schneider 5-0-1-1 Even SCR 5
Stephane Da Costa 5-0-1-1 -2 INJ 5
Fredrik Claesson 8-0-1-1 -6 SCR 2
Pat Cannone 10-1-0-1 -2
Eric Gryba 4-0-0-0 Even INJ 6
Ben Blood 3-0-0-0 Even SCR 3 [ECHL 4-0-0-0 +3]
Louie Caporusso 3-0-0-0 Even [ECHL 2-1-1-2 Even]
Chris Wideman 3-0-0-0 -2 SCR 3 [ECHL 4-0-4-4 +4]
Darren Kramer 1-0-0-0 Even INJ 2 SCR 6 [ECHL 1-1-0-1 +1]
Jack Downing 1-0-0-0 Even SCR 1 [ECHL 7-1-1-2 -1]
Dustin Gazley [ECHL 9-5-8-13 -3]
Danny New [ECHL 8-1-6-7 +1]
Brad Peltz [ECHL 8-2-1-3 +2]
Wacey Hamilton DNP (injured)

Robin Lehner 4-2-1 1.70 .943
Ben Bishop 0-2-0 4.04 .902
Nathan Lawson 0-1-0 10.52 .769 [ECHL 1-0-0 2.00 .941]
Marc Cheverie [ECHL 4-1-0 2.13 .933]

Without a doubt Lehner is the MVP of this block of games; with the team struggling to score the importance of good goaltending is magnified and he’s the main reason Binghamton has won as many games as they have.  What stands out most is the lack of scoring on the team, which I think has been exasperated due to injury.  Da Costa hasn’t been healthy all season due to a knee problem, Stone has only played a handful of games, and Cowen was injured early.  The rookies have not been able to carry the freight on their own and while veteran Jessiman has been a little below average offensively, Cannone has completely fallen off the map.  Eckford and Claesson are both a team worst -6, and while that’s somewhat understandable from the teenage Swede, it’s not from the veteran.  On the opposite end Wiercioch is a team high +5 and seems to be back on track after a rough sophomore campaign.

The team will improve as the season moves forward–perhaps not substantially in the win column, but they will start to score more, particularly when they get healthy.  Losing both Cowen and Gryba on the blueline has really hurt, forcing Claesson and/or Blood/Wideman to play more than what’s ideal.  I also expect Bishop/Lawson to round into form at some point, giving Lehner a break and the team a boost.

Senators News: November 8th; Binghamton 0, Wilkes-Barre 1 (SO)

-Binghamton lost 1-0 in a shootout to Wilkes-Barre last night.  It was not the most entertaining tilt of the season, but it had some good moments and the B-Sens could have won the game.  The PK was superb, as was Robin Lehner.  The powerplay and scoring woes continued despite the line juggling.  It was an uncharacteristic off-night for Andre Benoit who was guilty of a number of unforced turnovers.  I thought Patrick Wiercioch played a strong game, as did Mika ZibanejadZibanejad and Petersson scored in the shootout for Bingo.  One notable play was when ECHL call-up Bobby Farnham ran Robin Lehner, resulting in Andre Petersson making a leaping check at him.  Despite that altercation it was not a particularly physical contest.  Corey Cowick lead the team with 6 shots and was inches away from winning the game late.

-Elmira lost 6-3 to Florida, with Cheverie pulled after allowing three goals; Darren Kramer scored his first professional goal, while Dustin Gazley picked up a goal and an assist; Brad Peltz and Jack Downing were held off the score sheet.  Danny New did not play (he has been placed on reserve).  Here’s the recap.

Nichols delves into the “Sens for sale” rumour Doug MacLean has happily been talking about and lays out additional information.  Everything remains fundamentally vague as MacLean can only back up that the books have been looked at, which Nichols (I think rightly) believes is in connection to his divorce proceedings (as suggested by Scott on Monday).  I’ll simply reiterate that Doug MacLean is not a good source for information.

Mark Spector wrings his hands because he doesn’t think all the NHL clubs are financially viable.  (Some) franchise values are decreasing and it’s getting difficult for small markets to compete.  I have read and heard these comments frequently from sports journalists over the years and I have innumerable problems with them.  Just a few basic points: if the league is meant to be a bastion of free market capitalism then let the weak teams fall.  If a market can’t sustain a team, move it to where it works or fold it.  That’s in the true spirit of a pure profit motive.  If that’s too Darwinian and we believe that a healthy league helps everyone, then the league can easily share revenue between the profitable teams and those which are not.  The NHL doesn’t like either of those scenarios–they want their employees (the players) to sacrifice to mitigate their loses.  I remain amazed how committed the league has been in floating teams that don’t work in particular markets, but presumably they prefer the short term financial windfall of an expansion franchise rather than the discount price of a team forced to move.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)