Senators News: December 29th

-Binghamton plays Rochester (15-11-3) tonight.  The Amerks are lead by T. J. Brennan (29 points) and backstopped by David Leggio (14-8-1 3.12 .904).  The B-Sens beat Rochester 5-1 in their last meeting.

-Here are highlights from Binghamton’s win over Albany last night.

Nichols wonders if Binghamton can keep up their winning ways:

Despite being outshot in 17 of their 27 games by a shot differential of -118 and owning the league’s worst shots allowed per game (36.4 shots/game) mark in the league, somehow the Senators have managed to outscore the opposition 90-70. They are three shots per game worse than 29th ranked Norfolk (33.4). The team they are in spitting distance of for the division and conference lead, Syracause, is giving up only 24.8…or 11.6 shots per game fewer than the B-Sens.

Operating at an 87.7% success rate, Bingo has the second best penalty killing unit in the league and it leads the AHL with 8 shorthanded goals for. Nonetheless, the fact that the team is so heavily reliant on the Silfverberg line to score goals and on Robin Lehner (11-4-1-1, 1.93 GAA, .943 SV%) and Ben Bishop (6-3-1-0, 2.89 GAA, .926 SV%) to bail them out has to disconcerting. It’s an old maxim for a reason — ‘show me a good coach and I’ll show you a good goalie’.

Binghamton does give up an enormous number of shots, but the goaltending really is that good.  If an NHL season is salvaged and Ben Bishop plays in Ottawa that will put more pressure on Robin Lehner, but he seems up to the task this year.  Nichols also offers his opinion on Mark Stone (attributing his modest offensive numbers to playing on a checking line, which I think is correct), as well as offering up more words from Luke Richardson about Jakob Silfverberg:

I don’t know if they have any goals of his on Youtube or that… this guy can shoot a puck. I don’t understand how someone can get this much on their (shot)… It’s a heavy, heavy shot and the release is scary. He loves (going) glove and I can say it because it doesn’t matter. He scored two goals the other night in Rochester – one on a half-breakaway and the other one was in a shootout which is really a breakaway. The goaltender, I don’t care, he can know that he’s going over his glove or he can put his glove there and (Silfverberg) still beats him. (His shot) is that hard and that fast. It’s wicked. He’s finding it for sure in probably the last month. I talked to him the other day a little bit after practice, I knew he was finding it and he is finding it a lot more comfortable out there and even the physicality, this guy is a competitor. He is not afraid of anything. Not to compare him to Daniel Alfredsson, but he reminds me of him; very shy off the ice but when he gets revved up on the bench, he’ll come off just like anybody else – yelling and screaming and mad when things don’t work out. And if someone takes a run at him, he’ll go back out there and he’ll get right in that guy’s space and give him a little bit of a shot. He’s a big guy and strong but he can really take over a game. He’s smart. Defensively, he’s a real key to our penalty killing unit. We’ve got him now playing with Mike Hoffman and (Stephane) Da Costa, so it’s a pretty potent offensive line… He’s going to be a guy that when the lockout ends, unfortunately he won’t be in the (AHL) long for me, but to his credit, he’s a world class player and he deserves to be in the best league when it gets going.

The comments about Silfverberg‘s shot echo what Pierre Dorion (and others) in the Sens organisation have said before.

-Elmira defeated Evansville 6-3 last night, with Jack Downing enjoying a three point night, Dustin Gazley picking up two points, and Louie Caporusso adding a goal.  Elmira plays the Fort Wayne Komets (15-13-2) tonight; the Komets are lead by Brandon Marino (36 points) and backstopped by Ken Reiter (8-6-1 2.90 .911).

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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