Senators News: January 7th; Binghamton 2, Albany 5

-Binghamton lost 5-2 to Albany (I was only able to watch the first period).  Robin Lehner took the loss while Patrick Wiercioch and Shane Prince provided the offense.  Here’s the box score and the highlights (which do not include Prince‘s goal).  Robin Lehner talked about the loss:

We were sleeping in the first. We have got to look at ourselves and see what’s going on. The last couple of weeks we have had very bad first periods and today too. The first goal I could’ve been a little better and maybe caught that… it’s not good enough right now. We got back in the second (period) and I felt pretty good in the second but unfortunately it wasn’t enough today.

Luke Richardson said:

We weren’t ready to compete and play tonight and they were. You can see that from the penalty kill, the 5-on-5, to everything. They deserved the win.

-For those who missed it, here’s my look at Binghamton at the thirty game mark.

-Elmira defeated Trenton 4-3 last night, with Marc Cheverie picking up the win, Dustin Gazley had three points and Danny New picked up a goal.

-I’ve been asked to speculate about the Sens roster, so here are a few early thoughts:
Forwards: Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek, Daniel Alfredsson, and Kyle Turris are the only locks as top-six forwards.  It’s likely that Guillaume Latendresse will play in that group, but performance (and health) will dictate if he stays.  I expect Jacob Silfverberg to make the team, but I don’t think he has to play with the top forward group to be effective (his time in the AHL will give him an edge in training camp however).  Given the number of forwards the Sens have signed, I think Silverberg is the only realistic addition from Binghamton.  Colin Greening may spend time with the top-six as well (he did last year), as could a healthy Peter Regin.  The other forwards (Chris Neil, Zack Smith, Erik Condra, Jim O’Brien, and Kaspars Daugavins) are all locks for the bottom two lines.
Defence: Erik Karlsson, Sergei Gonchar, Marc Methot, and Chris Phillips form the team’s top-four group while Mike Lundin (when healthy) will play in the bottom pair.  I expect Mark Borowiecki to start with the team while Patrick Wiercioch and Andre Benoit compete for the spot freed by Lundin.  None of the Binghamton blueliners is guaranteed to stick for the season and whatever struggles the team face will dictate who spends the most time there (if defensive grittiness is needed it benefits Borowiecki, while if there’s an offensive deficit I’d expect Wiercioch to see significant time).
Goaltending: I don’t see any alternative to Craig AndersonBen Bishop, despite Robin Lehner‘s play in Binghamton.
Potential deals: I’m not a fan of Ottawa’s blueline when Jared Cowen is on the shelf, so something may be done to bolster it.  The forward group could struggle as well, but given the number of quality players in the pipeline I don’t think there is the same sense of urgency.
The Cap: the Sens are extremely well situated to deal with the new cap and can choose to do nothing to be comfortably within the CBA.
Expectations: as a young team in the midst of a rebuilding transition the club could go anywhere.  Last year the health of veterans played a huge role and I think that and goaltending will be the key to how things unfold this season.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)