Senators News: April 22nd

-Ottawa plays Pittsburgh (34-10-0) tonight; the Penguins are lead by Chris Kunitz (49 points) and backstopped by Tomas Vokoun (12-4-0 2.54 .915).  No lineup changes are expected for the Sens.

Ken Campbell writes a glowing assessment of the Senators:

If the Ottawa Senators can hold on for one more week and make the playoffs this season, it will be almost impossible not to vote for Sens coach Paul MacLean for the Jack Adams Award. But more importantly, it will mess things up from now on for teams who use injuries as a crutch. Come to think of it, if the Senators don’t buckle, no team will ever be able to use injuries as an excuse ever again. As the Senators have displayed this season, an organization can insulate itself against the effect of devastating injuries by having three things in place – an elite coach, superior goaltending and organizational depth. The Senators have used 13 skaters this season who fit the rookie criteria, a number that would be one higher if first-year defenseman Andre Benoit were not 29 years old. Of those 13 players, nine were original Senator draft picks, two were signed as free agents and two were acquired in trades.

If I were to pick one factor that made the most difference for Ottawa it has to be goaltending.  Excellence between the pipes hides a lot of mistakes which allows young players to grow.

Mark Parisi provides his ups and downs for the week that was and his opinions are sound (although it’s interesting reading his comments on Chris Neil in light of those from Varada below).

Scott has the scoring chances in the Toronto game 19/11.

WTYKY guys have an entertaining and look at Ottawa’s season.  It’s hard to encapsulate the entire discussion, but James’ wondering about Jason Spezza‘s health going forward and how it impacts the center position along with Varada’s Chris Neil thoughts are the most interesting (I’ll quote the latter):

Can I take a moment to hate on Chris Neil? [He] is just driving me crazy out there – should we really be giving him those 14 minutes a night? Are they really not better served by an enthusiastic prospect who doesn’t take more penalties than he draws and have mediocre possession numbers against other teams’ third line? His numbers aren’t bad for a pest (credit where it’s due: 3 of his whopping 4 goals are game winners) but at this point I feel like the guy gets a pass for always outperforming terrible expectations.

I’ve been critical of Neil for lacklustre defensive play before and in an ideal world he would not be seeing the ice time that he is, but he’s not someone who gets frequently criticised.

-Here’s a look at Binghamton’s final six games.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Binghamton’s Final Games (71-76)

The Binghamton Senators’ season has ended so it’s time to take stock of their last six games and see how the team and the players are doing (for the previous ten games go here).  Binghamton went 4-1-1, finishing 4th in their conference and 2nd in their division.  The B-Sens 227 goals-for are 4th in the conference, as is their 188 goals against.  Binghamton will play Wilkes-Barre (42-30-4) in the playoffs.

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

Mark Stone 6-3-5-8 +3
Corey Cowick 6-3-3-6 +6
Pat Cannone 6-2-4-6 +5
Cole Schneider 6-3-2-5 +5
Buddy Robinson 5-2-2-4 +2 SCR 1
Shane Prince 6-1-3-4 +4
Brett Lebda 6-1-3-4 +1
Hugh Jessiman 5-0-4-4 +3 INJ 1
Stephane Da Costa 6-1-2-3 +3
David Dziurzynski 6-1-2-3 +2
Derek Grant 2-1-1-2 +1 INJ 4
Cody Ceci 3-1-1-2 +2 [OHL 12-1-9-10]
Chris Wideman 6-0-2-2 +7
Fredrik Claesson 6-1-0-1 +4
Dustin Gazley 6-1-0-1 -1
Mark Borowiecki 6-0-0-0 -2
Danny New 5-0-0-0 +2 SCR 1
Michael Sdao 3-0-0-0 +2 SCR 3
Tyler Eckford 3-0-0-0 +2 INJ 3
Jakub Culek 3-0-0-0 Even SCR 3
Darren Kramer 3-0-0-0 Even SCR 3
Wacey Hamilton 3-0-0-0 -2 SCR 3
Matt Puempel 2-0-0-0 +1 [OHL 10-3-4-7]
Jack Downing 2-0-0-0 Even [ECHL 1-1-0-1]
Louie Caporusso [ECHL 3-1-3-4]
Ben Blood [ECHL 3-0-0-0]
Andre Petersson (injured)
Brad Peltz (DNP)

Nathan Lawson 2-0-0 2.19 .938
Marc Cheverie 2-1-1 2.80 .907
Scott Greenham (DNP)
Andrew Hammond (DNP)

Stone lead the final charge offensively, while Cowick was able to thrive without his regular line mate Pageau and Cannone enjoyed his 0first spurt of production since being taken off Silverberg‘s line in the fall.  Robinson has been excellent since arriving from college, while consistency continues to plague Da Costa.  I’m not sure what’s happened to Eckford, but his offensive game has completely disappeared since the early part of the season.  Wideman lead the team on the plus side of the ledger, while Borowiecki and Hamilton were on the negative side.  Gazley is firmly back to earth offensively, while Lebda lead the charge from the blueline.  It was a strong finish to the year for the B-Sens who have held the line extremely well despite losing so much talent to their parent club.