Binghamton Senators Playoff Preview

Binghamton finished the season with a record of 44-24-8, good for fourth in their conference.  They face the Wilkes-Barre Penguins (42-30-4) as their first round opponent, the team they played most in the regular season (ten games, with Binghamton going 6-4-0).  Here’s a breakdown of the team’s games against each other (I’m following lines at practice in deciding who qualifies as a “current regular” for the playoff match-up, minus New who I see as the seventh defenseman):

October 13th 2-1 Binghamton (boxscore)
Robin Lehner made 35 saves as the B-Sens rallied from a 1-0 deficit in the third to win in regulation (Jeff Zatkoff took the loss)
B-Sens who played who aren’t on the playoff roster: Lehner, Silfverberg, Zibanejad, Cowen, Gryba, Wiercioch, Pageau, Petersson, Hoffman, Benoit
Current regulars who did not play: Lawson, Da CostaSchneider, PrinceLebdaWideman, Ceci, HamiltonRobinson, Puempel

November 7th 0-1 (SO) Wilkes-Barre (boxscore)
Lehner made 32 saves in the loss (Zatkoff earned the win)
Departed B-Sens: Lehner, Silfverberg, ZibanejadWiercioch, Pageau, Petersson, Hoffman, Benoit
Current regulars who did not play: Lawson, Da CostaLebdaCeci, Hamilton, Robinson, Puempel

December 14th 3-1 Binghamton (boxscore)
Ben Bishop made 28 saves for the win (Brad Thiessen took the loss)
Departed B-Sens: Bishop, SilfverbergGryba, Wiercioch, PageauHoffman, Benoit
Current regulars who did not play: LawsonLebda, Ceci, Hamilton, Robinson, Puempel

December 19th 4-3 Binghamton (boxscore)
Lehner made 36 saves for the win; the B-Sens rallied from a three-goal deficit in the third to win in regulation (Zatkoff took the loss)
Departed B-Sens: Lehner, Silfverberg, Gryba, Wiercioch, Pageau, Hoffman, Benoit
Current regulars who did not play: Lawson, Borowiecki, Lebda, Ceci, Hamilton, Robinson, Puempel

January 4th 3-1 Binghamton (boxscore)
Lehner made 43 saves for the win (Zatkoff took the loss); the B-Sens were outshot 44-15
Departed B-Sens: Lehner, Silfverberg, Gryba, Wiercioch, Pageau, Hoffman, Benoit
Current regulars who did not play: Lawson, Claesson, Lebda, Ceci, Hamilton, Robinson, Puempel

January 9th 3-1 Binghamton (boxscore)
Lehner made 31 saves for the win (Zatkoff took the loss); B-Sens outshot 32-16
Departed B-Sens: Lehner, Silfverberg, Gryba, Wiercioch, Pageau, Hoffman, Benoit
Current regulars who did not play: Lawson, Wideman, Lebda, Ceci, Hamilton, Robinson, Puempel

February 12th 5-1 Binghamton (boxscore)
Lehner (filling in for Lawson who was injured early) made 24 saves for the win (Zatkoff was pulled but still took the loss)
Departed B-Sens: LehnerGrybaPageau
Current regulars who did not playDa Costa, StoneCeciRobinson, Puempel

February 16th 5-2 Wilkes-Barre (boxscore)
Lehner made 30 saves in the loss (Thiessen earned the win)
Departed B-Sens: LehnerPageau
Current regulars who did not play: Lawson, Da Costa, Stone, Dziurzynski, Grant, Ceci, Robinson, Puempel

March 27th 4-2 Wilkes-Barre (boxscore)
Nathan Lawson made 30 saves in the loss (Zatkoff earned the win)
Departed B-Sens: Pageau
Current regulars who did not playEckford, Ceci, Robinson, Puempel

March 30th 3-2 (SO) Wilkes-Barre (boxscore)
Lawson made 30 saves in the loss (Zatkoff earned the win)
Departed B-Sens: Pageau
Current regulars who did not play: Eckford, Ceci, Robinson, Puempel

The biggest roster change for Wilkes-Barre throughout the series was the addition of AHL veteran Chad Kolarik (who played in the final four games against Binghamton).  Kolarik (68 points), Trevor Smith (54), Riley Holzapfel (51), and Derek Nesbitt (47) lead the charge offensively for the Penguins.  Beau Bennett is the only player of note who might be returned to Wilkes-Barre from the NHL roster.  There’s no reason to doubt that Jeff Zatkoff will get the start.

Things to note:
-the B-Sens powerplay was abysmal after the initial call-ups for the NHL season (1-25)
-seven of the ten games featured Robin Lehner (and an eighth Ben Bishop), with Nathan Lawson losing both starts and Marc Cheverie not facing the Penguins
-the lineups that faced Wilkes-Barre the first eight games are radically different than the one that will suit up on Saturday
-players available to the B-Sens not included in the “regular” list: Gazley, New, Downing, Sdao, Kramer, Culek, Blood (of these players I think Downing, New, and Sdao could dress at some point)
-if Mike Hoffman gets healthy in time expect him to be added to the lineup
Borowiecki, Dziurzynski, Grant, Cowick, and Cannone were on the Calder Cup winning squad of 2011, although neither Cowick nor Cannone played in the playoffs; Lebda won a Stanley Cup with Detroit

Jonathan Bombulie offers a preview from a Wilkes-Barre perspective while nafsnep (Jason Iacona) grades the Penguins players for their fourth quarter performances.

It’s hard not to see Wilkes-Barre as the favourite in the series, but I expect it to be close regardless of the outcome.  For the B-Sens to have a chance they need Lawson to be healthy and get contributions from young players like Puempel, Ceci, and Robinson.  In terms of a prediction, given the job Luke Richardson has done with his ever changing lineup I’ll stick with Binghamton who will beat Wilkes-Barre in five.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Senators News: April 25th

-Ottawa plays Washington (26-18-2) tonight; the Caps are lead by Alexander Ovechkin (53 points) and backstopped by Michal Neuvirth (4-5-1 2.81 .905).  The focus, however, is on Erik Karlsson playing tonight (more on that below).  EK‘s return apparently knocks Patrick Wiercioch out of the lineup (more on that below), but no other changes are expected (I still think Robin Lehner should start instead of Craig Anderson).  Here’s a shout out to Andrew Tupper whose game preview I quite like.

Nichols contemplates the Karlsson return and dislikes the choice to keep Eric Gryba in the lineup over Wiercioch and it’s a sentiment I agree with–I wonders if the reason for picking Gryba is that MacLean wants someone he trusts defensively to play with Chris Phillips.

Michael Aubry tries to pour cold water on Karlsson‘s return by talking to athletic therapist Richard Gregory who says:

I would say he still has a few more hurdles to jump over before he gets in game-ready state. I don’t think we’ll see him playing next week. 10 weeks is fast to be game-ready. But it’s no miracle. He had a healthy Achilles and a healthy foot, so he’s going to be a faster recovery than it would in a tear. Usually it’s six months and it’s a very progressive return. When it comes to the Achilles, conservative is better than aggressive because if you over-stretch the tendon, you lose strength. The health care team isn’t going to take a risk in the first round to maybe ruin his career and tear his tendon. But the more often that he skates with the team, the better for his brain, the better for his body.

Given that Karlsson‘s return is official Gregory’s speculation has to be put aside unless there’s a setback.

Wayne Scanlan looks at the Sens potential opponents (Pittsburgh, Boston, Washington, Montreal, and Toronto) and doesn’t offer any conclusions other than Not Pittsburgh.  I like Scanlan, but you’d think he could have included the team’s record against each opponent (something like this), along with a look at the various scenarios (like what I did yesterday or this).  Regardless, clearly the best opponent for the Sens is Washington–they have the least established goaltending among the five teams and have a history of playoff failures.  Regardless, being in the post-season is reason enough for fans to celebrate.

Adrian Dater offers up his final power rankings of the season and has Ottawa 18th, saying:

These guys could still blow it. The odds do favor them making the postseason,  which would still be a great accomplishment for a team with so many injuries.  And there seems to be real hope that Norris Trophy-winner Erik Karlsson could be  back even before the playoffs. He’s been practicing lately. The Sens lost a  chance at gaining satisfaction over Matt Cooke and the Penguins with a loss at  home on Monday. Cooke bailed out of a chance to fight Chris Neil at the start of  the game, which was probably a smart decision on the smaller Cooke‘s part. He  even got an assist on Tyler Kennedy‘s insurance goal at the end. “We have to get  back to basics,” goalie Craig Anderson said.

The odds of blowing it are extremely slim, but Dater is right that the Sens have been slipping of late.

-Here’s a look at Binghamton’s regular season.

Nathan Lawson was again absent from Binghamton’s practice.  I have to wonder if the B-Sens can beat Wilkes-Barre with Marc Cheverie as the starter.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Binghamton Senators: 2012-13 Regular Season Review

The Binghamton Senators finished 5th in the AHL with a 44-24-8 record for 96 points, which represents a 31-point (and 15 win) improvement over last season (when they were 30th in the league).  The team was 10th in scoring (their 227 goals is 26 more than last year), and 4th in goals against (their 188 goals allowed is 55 less than last season).  No Binghamton player scored more than 38 points, 11 less than Mike Hoffman‘s meagre team-leading total from last season.  Back in October I predicted that Binghamton would finish third in their division and compete for a playoff spot with 38 wins, their fate determined by scoring.  I was spot on that their goaltending and defence would be better (despite Jared Cowen only suiting up for 3 games and Andre Benoit never returning from the NHL), and as it turned out they scored enough to be one of the best teams in the league.  Last season’s team suffered from a subpar group of veterans, but Benoit (for the first half) and Hugh Jessiman were big upgrades on that front.

Throughout the year I posted ten-game segments looking at how Binghamton performed, so here’s a brief recap of the season that was:
The first ten games Binghamton went 4-4-2 with Mike Hoffman, Andre Benoit, and Tyler Eckford leading the way offensively; Patrick Wiercioch was +5, while Fredrik Claesson and Eckford were both -6; Jared Cowen was injured and would only return to the NHL in the final few games of the regular season
The next ten games the team went 9-1-0 with Jakob Silfverberg, Pat Cannone, and Derek Grant leading the way offensively; Cannone was +12; Andre Petersson was injured and would miss the rest of the season
The next ten games the B-Sens went 7-2-1 with Silfverberg, Hoffman, and Benoit leading the way offensively; Cole Schneider and Jean-Gabriel Pageau were +5
The next ten games Binghamton went 6-3-1 with Stephane Da Costa, Corey Cowick, and Mark Stone leading the way offensively; Eric Gryba was +11; Silfverberg, Benoit, and Wiercioch were permanently added to Ottawa’s roster, while Mark Borowiecki also joined it temporarily; Danny New was added to the AHL roster
The next ten games the team went 4-5-1 with Scheider, Shane Prince, and Pageau leading the way offensively; Gryba was +6, while Eckford was -4; Brett Lebda was added to the roster; David Dziurzynski, Grant, Gryba, Borowiecki, Mika Zibanejad, and Da Costa all spent time in the NHL
The next ten games the B-Sens went 6-3-1 with Prince, Pageau, Cowick, and Lebda leading the way offensively; Pageau was +7, while Louie Caporusso was -5; Zibanejad returned to Ottawa permanently, while Stone and Grant spent some time with the parent club; Nick Craven played on an ATO, but was released after four games
The next ten games Binghamton went 4-5-1 with Schneider, Stone, and Prince leading the way offensively; Schneider was +5, while Pageau was -4; Jakub Culek, Andrew Hammond, Michael Sdao, and Buddy Robinson were added to the roster
The final six games saw the team go 4-1-1, with Stone, Cowick, and Cannone leading the way offensively; Chris Wideman was +7; Matt Puempel and Cody Ceci were added to the roster

Here’s a look at how each player performed throughout the season with my analysis and a grade for each player (A=outstanding season, B=above expectations, C=expectations met, D=below expectations, F=well below expectations), for players who played in the NHL I’m only looking at how they did with Binghamton (the only ECHL call-ups included are those whose rights were owned by the organisation or they became regulars; INJ=games missed due to injury, SCR=scratched, FM=fighting majors):

Mark Stone 54-15-23-38 +21 INJ 17 [NHL 4-0-0-0 -1] Grade C
This may seem like an unfair assessment of Stone, but expectations were high so it was going to be difficult for him to play above them.  The adjustment to the pro game came smoothly, although the further transition to the NHL will have to wait until at least next season.  Of the players who weren’t permanently added to the NHL roster, Stone lead the B-Sens in points-per-game (0.70).
Stephane Da Costa 57-13-25-38 +14 INJ 12 [NHL 9-1-1-2 -3] Grade D
I’m not sure that Da Costa really progressed this season; perhaps some intangibles improved, but I expected him to dominant at the AHL-level, but his production actually slipped slightly from last year.
Shane Prince 65-18-17-35 +12 INJ 7 SCR 4 Grade B
Expectations outside my blog were quite high, but I thought Prince was even money to return to junior given the glut of forwards in Binghamton.  Instead he became a key offensive contributor, finishing second on the team in goals.
Cole Schneider 60-17-18-35 +19 FM 1 INJ 4 SCR 12 Grade B
A rocky start for Schneider (who was in and out of the lineup), but he made great strides and became more consistent as the season wore on (24 of his points came from January onward).  The future seems bright for last year’s unheralded NCAA free agent, although I’m not sure how he projects at the next level.
Corey Cowick 72-16-19-35 +8 FM 3 INJ 4 Grade B
After two disappointing seasons as a pro everything came together for Cowick.  Although he didn’t receive a call-up to Ottawa, he finally found the consistency he needed to be an important player in Binghamton.
Jakob Silfverberg 34-13-16-29 +4 [NHL 45-9-9-18 +8] Grade B
Even with high expectations Silfverberg‘s half-season in Binghamton was excellent; he quickly became the catalyst for the team, able to make teammates around him better.
Hugh Jessiman 68-10-19-29 Even FM 7 INJ 8 Grade C
Coming off his most productive AHL campaign, the former first-rounder wasn’t able to give the team the same offensive contribution, but was a useful contributor throughout the season.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau 69-7-22-29 +8 FM 1 SCR 1 [NHL 6-1-1-2 +1] Grade B
Like Prince above, I thought there was a good chance that Pageau would return to junior.  Instead he remained on the team and worked his way up from centering the fourth line to being a key offensive player, eventually getting the call from Ottawa.
Brett Lebda (Bin/Roc) 59-3-26-29 -9 FM 1 Grade B
The former NHLer was an inspired pick-up by the organisation who solidified a paper thin blueline once the NHL lockout ended.  He’s not as good as Benoit, but given that he only cost the Sens an AHL contract the dividends are fantastic.
Derek Grant 63-19-9-28 +11 FM 1 INJ 4 [NHL 5-0-0-0 -1] Grade C
Despite earning an NHL call-up, leading the team in goals, and receiving team accolades, I expected more production from Grant.  There’s a lot to like about him, but the ceiling looks a bit lower at the next level.
Mike Hoffman 41-13-15-28 +9 INJ 19 [NHL 3-0-0-0 -1] Grade D
Contract years are typically where offensively gifted prospects will blow-up in the AHL, but that wasn’t the case for Hoffman whose production remained about the same as last year’s.  There’s NHL potential in him (as his call-up illustrates), but I think the top-six ceiling is extremely unlikely.
Pat Cannone 74-10-15-25 +21 FM 1 SCR 2 Grade D
Rewarded with a fat AHL contract after his solid rookie campaign last season, Cannone was a total disappointment, with a third of his production courtesy of a month spent riding Silfverberg‘s coattails.  The Sens tossed him out on the waiver wire in January, but found no takers.
Andre Benoit 34-9-16-25 +3 [NHL 33-3-7-10 -3] Grade C
At the AHL level he was exactly what was expected–absolutely fantastic.
David Dziurzynski 54-4-16-20 +7 FM 5 INJ 3 [NHL 12-2-0-2 -1] Grade C
Firmly established as a checking forward, he’s not an overwhelming talent, but quite a find as a BCHL free agent.
Patrick Wiercioch 32-10-9-19 +10 INJ 1 [NHL 41-5-14-19 +8] Grade B
Finally broke out and was on pace for a 45-point season before moving up to the NHL (where he can be expected to stay).
Chris Wideman 60-2-16-18 +8 FM 2 SCR 6 [ECHL 5-0-5-5 +2] Grade B
Looked out of place early in the season, but towards the end of the year suddenly found his game and began to pile up the points.  As an undersized defender he always has to do more than his larger compatriots, but there are signs he might be able to do just that.
Mark Borowiecki 53-4-10-14 +21 FM 14 INJ 13 [NHL 6-0-0-0 +1] Grade C
His rugged style resulted in missing considerable time due to injury.  It was something of a surprise that he was unable to stick with the undermanned Senators.  He earned the “C” late in the season.
Tyler Eckford 59-7-6-13 Even FM 1 INJ 17 Grade D
After a great start to the season, Eckford went ice cold and struggled with injuries.  Solid play in the post-season would help salvage his season.
Eric Gryba 38-5-6-11 +28 FM 1 INJ 9 [NHL 31-2-4-6 -1] Grade B
Continued his steady play at the AHL level, but his lengthy stay with Ottawa is something of a surprise given the organisational support for Borowiecki.
Mika Zibanejad 23-4-7-11 +3 INJ 17 [NHL 39-7-13-20 +10] Grade D
Ironically, Zibanejad has been much better at the NHL level than in the minors.  He was inconsistent with Binghamton and struggled with injuries.
Fredrik Claesson 70-3-8-11 +4 FM 3 INJ 3 SCR 3 Grade B
One of the youngest players on the team, after a rough start to his AHL career he became a steady defender.
Dustin Gazley 29-4-5-9 +2 INJ 6 [ECHL 37-14-35-49 +6] Grade C
Initially a breath of fresh air offensively when he was first called up to Binghamton, that production disappeared and the undersized forward has slipped down the roster accordingly.
Wacey Hamilton 38-4-4-8 -7 FM 1 INJ 34 SCR 4 Grade D
Missed half the season with the concussion and when he returned to the lineup continued the internal conundrum for me in wondering what the organisation thinks they have in him.  An undersized player, he continues to be on the wrong side of the plus/minus ledger and he doesn’t score, so what is he exactly?
Danny New 33-2-5-7 +9 FM 1 SCR 8 [ECHL 21-2-9-11 +4] Grade B
Played his way up from Elmira to Binghamton and while he didn’t light the world on fire the fact that he was a plus player and suited up in place of actual prospects (like Blood) is a pat on the back to the NCAA grad.
Louie Caporusso 23-1-5-6 -1 [ECHL 41-19-26-45 +15] Grade F
Despite earning his first AHL points, he hasn’t done nearly enough to justify the organisation re-signing him.
Andre Petersson 17-2-3-5 -7 INJ 59 Grade incomplete
Injured early in the season, Petersson‘s season never really got off the ground.
Buddy Robinson 6-2-2-4 +2 SCR 1 [NCAA 38-8-8-16] Grade incomplete
NCAA free agent signee has looked good in limited action.
Jack Downing 19-3-1-4 -2 FM 2 INJ 19 SCR 2 [ECHL 34-14-14-28 +2] Grade D
A Binghamton regular last year, Downing was an injury fill-in and clearly hasn’t been able to take that next step.
Jared Cowen 3-0-3-3 Even [NHL 4-0-0-0 -1] Grade incomplete
Injured after a promising start.
Cody Ceci 3-1-1-2 +2 [OHL 69-19-45-64] Grade incomplete
Late addition from junior.
Michael Sdao 12-1-0-1 +4 FM 3 SCR 3 [NCAA 31-8-7-15] Grade incomplete
Finished his college career and added some toughness to the team.
Darren Kramer 21-1-0-1 -3 FM 11 SCR 22 [ECHL 19-3-7-10 +1] Grade D
Unable to establish himself as an AHL regular.
Matt Puempel 2-0-0-0 +1 [OHL 51-35-12-47] Grade incomplete
Late addition from junior.
Jakub Culek 3-0-0-0 Even SCR 3 [QMJHL 9-3-4-7] Grade incomplete
Late addition from junior.
Kyle Bushee 3-0-0-0 -1 [ECHL 63-9-23-32 +15] Grade incomplete
Emergency call-up from Elmira, he could not force himself into the lineup like New.
Nick Craven 4-0-0-0 Even [NCAA 25-16-17-33] Grade F
NCAA free agent signed an ATO, but couldn’t keep his place on the roster.
Jean Bourbeau 6-0-0-0 -3 [ECHL 64-20-18-38 +2] Grade incomplete
Not very impressive in limited call-up duty.
Ben Blood 24-0-0-0 -4 FM 2 SCR 6 [ECHL 32-1-1-2 +8] Grade F
NCAA grad struggled mightily at the AHL level.
Brad Peltz SCR 56 [ECHL 13-2-2-4 +2] Grade F
A surprise signing (AHL-contract), he never earned his way into the lineup and barely played at the ECHL level.  It’s hard to imagine he’ll be retained.

Robin Lehner 18-10-2 2.12 .938 [NHL 4-3-4 2.22 .936] Grade A
A fantastic season for Lehner which earned him an NHL roster spot.
Ben Bishop 8-3-2 2.59 .928 [NHL 8-5-0 2.45 .922] Grade C
Played as expected in Binghamton, but was ultimately outplayed by Lehner.
Nathan Lawson 12-6-2 2.19 .938 Grade B
After a rocky start he’s been excellent as the starter.
Marc Cheverie 6-6-1 2.80 .907 [ECHL 11-9-1 2.60 .917] Grade C
After initial struggles at this level he was able to win some key games down the stretch.
Andrew Hammond [DNP] Grade incomplete
NCAA free agent signee arrived on an ATO, but was never put into the lineup.
Scott Greenham [DNP] Grade incomplete
Inexplicably signed to a PTO at the end of a season, was thrown in for a period at the end of the season.

Whereas last year Binghamton’s season collapsed under the weight of key injuries, this year they shrugged off both injuries and permanent roster loses to the NHL.  The inexperienced Luke Richardson was able to squeeze enough production out of his ever-shifting lineup to make them a formidable opponent. Goaltending, above anything else, lead the team.  No player scored 20 goals or produced 40 points, yet there was always just enough scoring to put the team over the top.  The organisation was able to consistently add talent to the roster and that will continue going into next season (albeit the blueline is a bit thin on offensive talent).  I believe the team is already a success, but there’s nothing preventing Binghamton from making a spirited run in the playoffs.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Senators News: April 24th

-It was a good night off for Ottawa as they now need only two points to make the playoffs.  Winnipeg (who lost to Washington last night) has one game left, so despite owning the tie-breaker against both the Sens and the Rangers, they need to win and have some help to make it into the post-season.  If the Jets lose their final game then the Sens make the playoffs by default.  The Rangers (who lost to Florida last night) have two games remaining while Ottawa has three, so any way you look at it the Sens are in good shape.

Erik Karlsson will travel with the team to Washington, but no decision has been made on whether he will play or not.  I expect the Sens will leave his participation vague until the last moment.

Dave Young is concerned about the Sens scoring woes, as surely everyone is, but doesn’t reflect on how little we should be surprised.  What was surprising was how much Ottawa scored in the absence of Jason Spezza, Karlsson, and Michalek.  Scoring is cyclical however and I expect the Sens will break out; they should not be expected to be a high scoring team without the former two players.

Nathan Lawson was the only Binghamton player to miss practice.  Luke Richardson said:

He’s getting better and progressing, hopefully progress a little more tomorrow. Right now at this time of year if you’re not 100 percent, you don’t play. We want guys that are 100, 110 percent ready to go.

Matt Weinstein speculates that Cody Ceci and Buddy Robinson have done enough to be part of the playoff lineup.

-There’s still no indication that Louie Caporusso has been brought to Binghamton, so I wonder if his time as part of the organisation is over.  It wouldn’t surprise me if that’s the case, as his performance has not warranted the Sens re-signing him.

-Central Scouting has released their final rankings and here are the top players from their various categories (CSS splits players into North America/Europe and skaters/goaltenders):

North American Skaters

1 SETH JONES PORTLAND WHL D 6′ 3.5″ 205
2 NATHAN MACKINNON HALIFAX QMJHL C 6′ 0″ 182
3 JONATHAN DROUIN HALIFAX QMJHL LW 5′ 10.5″ 186
4 DARNELL NURSE SAULT STE. MARIE OHL D 6′ 3.5″ 185
5 SEAN MONAHAN OTTAWA OHL C 6′ 2.25″ 187
6 HUNTER SHINKARUK MEDICINE HAT WHL C/LW 5′ 10.25″ 181
7 VALENTIN ZYKOV BAIE-COMEAU QMJHL LW 5′ 11.75″ 209
8 FREDERIK GAUTHIER RIMOUSKI QMJHL C 6′ 4.5″ 214
9 MIRCO MUELLER EVERETT WHL D 6′ 3.25″ 184
10 ANTHONY MANTHA VAL-D’OR QMJHL RW 6′ 3.75″ 190
11 SHEA THEODORE SEATTLE WHL D 6′ 1.75″ 178
12 RYAN PULOCK BRANDON WHL D 6′ 0.5″ 211
13 ZACH NASTASIUK OWEN SOUND OHL RW 6′ 1.25″ 190
14 CHRIS BIGRAS OWEN SOUND OHL D 6′ 0.5″ 186
15 BO HORVAT LONDON OHL C 6′ 0″ 206
16 RYAN HARTMAN PLYMOUTH OHL RW 5′ 11″ 181
17 KERBY RYCHEL WINDSOR OHL LW 6′ 0.75″ 205
18 WILLIAM CARRIER CAPE BRETON QMJHL LW 6′ 1.5″ 198
19 MAX DOMI LONDON OHL C/LW 5′ 9.25″ 197
20 CURTIS LAZAR EDMONTON WHL C/RW 5′ 11.75″ 190
21 JAMES LODGE SAGINAW OHL C 6′ 0.5″ 166
22 NIKITA ZADOROV LONDON OHL D 6′ 5.25″ 221
23 SAMUEL MORIN RIMOUSKI QMJHL D 6′ 6.25″ 202
24 IAN MCCOSHEN WATERLOO USHL D 6′ 2.5″ 205
25 MORGAN KLIMCHUK REGINA WHL LW 5′ 11.25″ 180
26 ADAM ERNE QUEBEC QMJHL LW 6′ 0.5″ 210
27 JOSHUA MORRISSEY PRINCE ALBERT WHL D 5′ 11.75″ 186
28 LAURENT DAUPHIN CHICOUTIMI QMJHL C 6′ 0″ 165
29 JOHN HAYDEN USA U-18 USHL C 6′ 2.5″ 210
30 JASON DICKINSON GUELPH OHL C 6′ 1.25″ 179

European Skaters

1 ALEKSANDER BARKOV TAPPARA FINLAND C 6′ 3″ 209
2 VALERI NICHUSHKIN CHELYABINSK RUSSIA RW 6′ 4″ 202
3 ELIAS LINDHOLM BRYNAS SWEDEN C 6′ 0″ 192
4 RASMUS RISTOLAINEN TPS FINLAND D 6′ 4″ 207
5 ALEXANDER WENNBERG DJURGARDEN SWEDEN-2 C 6′ 1″ 190
6 ANDRE BURAKOVSKY MALMO SWEDEN-2 LW 6′ 1″ 178
7 JACOB DE LA ROSE LEKSAND SWEDEN-2 LW 6′ 2.25″ 190
8 ROBERT HAGG MODO JR. SWEDEN-JR. D 6′ 2.25″ 204
9 ARTTURI LEHKONEN KALPA FINLAND LW 5′ 11″ 163
10 PAVEL BUCHNEVICH CHEREPOVETS 2 RUSSIA-JR. LW 6′ 1″ 176
11 BOGDAN YAKIMOV NIZHNEKAMSK 2 RUSSIA-JR. C 6′ 5″ 202
12 MARKO DANO BRATISLAVA RUSSIA C 5′ 11″ 183
13 LINUS ARNESSON DJURGARDEN SWEDEN-2 D 6′ 2″ 187
14 VIKTOR CRUS RYDBERG LINKOPING JR. SWEDEN-JR. C 5′ 11″ 190
15 WILHELM WESTLUND FARJESTAD JR. SWEDEN-JR. D 5′ 11.25″ 184
16 LUCAS WALLMARK SKELLEFTEA JR. SWEDEN-JR. C 5′ 10.5″ 175
17 ANDREI MIRONOV DYNAMO MOSCOW RUSSIA D 6′ 2″ 176
18 CARL DAHLSTROM LINKOPING JR. SWEDEN-JR. D 6′ 3.25″ 211
19 VIKTOR ARVIDSSON SKELLEFTEA SWEDEN LW 5′ 9″ 172
20 ANTON SLEPYSHEV UFA RUSSIA LW 6′ 2″ 194
21 RUSHAN RAFIKOV YAROSLAVL 2 RUSSIA-JR. D 6′ 2″ 181
22 EMIL DJUSE SODERTALJE SWEDEN-2 D 6′ 0″ 185
23 JUUSO IKONEN BLUES FINLAND LW 5′ 9″ 169
24 ALEXANDER HENRIKSSON FARJESTAD JR. SWEDEN-JR. LW 6′ 1.75″ 190
25 ANTON CEDERHOLM ROGLE JR. SWEDEN-JR. D 6′ 1.5″ 204
26 NIKLAS HANSSON ROGLE JR. SWEDEN-JR. D 6′ 0.5″ 175
27 FABIO HOGGER KLOTEN JR. SWISS-JR. C 6′ 0″ 169
28 PETER CEHLARIK LULEA JR. SWEDEN-JR. LW 6′ 2″ 192
29 VICTOR OHMAN MODO JR. SWEDEN-JR. C 5′ 8.5″ 170
30 SERGEY STETSENKO CSKA 2 RUSSIA-JR. D 6′ 3″ 191

North American Goaltenders

1 ZACHARY FUCALE HALIFAX QMJHL 6′ 1.0″ 181
2 ERIC COMRIE TRI-CITY WHL 6′ 0.75″ 167
3 TRISTAN JARRY EDMONTON WHL 6′ 1.25″ 183
4 CALVIN PETERSEN WATERLOO USHL 6′ 2.0″ 183
5 SPENCER MARTIN MISSISSAUGA OHL 6′ 2.25″ 198
6 EAMON MCADAM WATERLOO USHL 6′ 2.25″ 188
7 PHILIPPE DESROSIERS RIMOUSKI QMJHL 6′ 1.25″ 182
8 PATRIK BARTOSAK RED DEER WHL 6′ 1.0″ 187
9 ANTOINE BIBEAU PEI QMJHL 6′ 2.5″ 207
10 AUSTIN LOTZ EVERETT WHL 6′ 0.0″ 188

European Goaltenders

1 JUUSE SAROS HPK JR. FINLAND-JR. 5′ 10.25″ 178
2 EBBE SIONAS AIK JR. SWEDEN-JR. 5′ 10.25″ 183
3 LUKA GRACNAR SALZBURG AUSTRIA 5′ 10″ 185
4 MARCUS HOGBERG LINKOPING JR. SWEDEN-JR. 6′ 4″ 205
5 IVAN BOCHAROV MVD BALASHIKHA 2 RUSSIA-JR. 6′ 2″ 172
6 VILLE HUSSO HIFK JR. FINLAND-JR. 6′ 2″ 192
7 MELVIN NYFFELER GCK ZURICH SWISS-2 5′ 10″ 172
8 RENE SVOBODA VITKOVICE JR. CZREP-JR. 5′ 9″ 170
9 ANDREI FILONENKO CSKA 2 RUSSIA-JR. 6′ 5″ 220
10 MAROS MIKOLAS ZILINA JR. SLOVAKIA-JR. 6′ 2″ 196

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Senators News: April 23rd; Ottawa 1 Pittsburgh 3

-Ottawa lost 3-1 to Pittsburgh last night; Craig Anderson made 21 saves in the loss and clearly needs a break; Patrick Wiercioch scored the only goal.  Here’s the boxscore; Darren M was unimpressed by the team’s effort.  Scott had the scoring chances 17/16.  I can’t say I’m surprised the Sens lost; above and beyond the Pens being a good team, it seems like whenever Ottawa has a huge distraction (like Matt Cooke) they’ve stumbled.  I thought Robin Lehner should have played this game (which may not have changed the outcome), but MacLean wanted to go with his top goaltender even if he struggled in his prior start.  Regardless, it’s not the end of the world, but the playoff race is definitely more interesting (there were already plenty of reasons to not want to face Pittsburgh in the post-season and last night just emphasized the point).

Bobby Kelly offers us his Binghamton playoff preview, but rather than making predictions he provides us with a look at their opponent Wilkes-Barre:

The WBS Penguins are led on the stats sheet by Chad Kolarik, an AHL veteran who has played a grand total of six games at the NHL level. He came over to the Penguins halfway through the regular season and has been very good since- their very own Rob Klinkhammer. Riley Holzapfel and Trevor Smith are important pieces to the Penguins’ offence as well. Jeff Zatkoff back-stops this team, and does it very well. After 49 regular season games, Zatkoff is showing off a .920 save percentage and 1.93 goals-against-average.

Bob Howard writes about the Binghamton-Wilkes-Barre rivallry which he points to beginning with the Penguins upset of the Jason Spezza era B-Sens.

Duncan Keith took some stupid pills and he told reporter Karen Thomson:

[You’d be the] First female referee – You can’t probably play either, right? But you’re thinking the game, like you know it? See ya.

I want to think Keith‘s comment is connected to Thomson saying that she can’t skate, but he has to know better than throwing her gender into the equation.  His argument doesn’t make much sense either; playing the game can give you some insight, but it’s not a prerequisite to understanding it.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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.