Binghamton at the 40-Game Mark

The Binghamton Senators have passed the 40-game mark so it’s time to take stock and see how the team and the players are performing.  The B-Sens went 7-3-0 (roaring out of their losing streak), keeping them 1st in their division and 3rd in the conference (for their previous ten games go here).  The team’s 145 goals remain 1st in the conference, while their 122 goals are next to last.

Player’s stats (NHL=games in the NHL, ECHL=games in the ECHL):

Mike Hoffman 10-3-9-12 Even
Stephane Da Costa 10-3-7-10 +3
Chris Wideman 10-3-7-10 -1
Andre Petersson 10-7-2-9 +2
Fredrik Claesson 10-1-8-9 +9
Cole Schneider 10-3-5-8 Even
Matt Puempel 10-5-2-7 -4
Shane Prince 10-3-4-7 +5
Jim O’Brien 10-3-4-7 Even
Corey Cowick 10-3-3-6 -3
Wacey Hamilton 8-1-3-4 -2
Daniel New 10-0-4-4 -1
Jean-Gabriel Pageau 2-0-3-3 +2 [NHL 5-0-0-0 Even]
Buddy Robinson 8-1-2-3 +4
David Dziurzynski 8-1-2-3 -2
Michael Sdao 9-0-2-2 +5
Derek Grant 6-1-0-1 -1
Mark Borowiecki 10-0-1-1 Even
Ben Blood 6-0-0-0 -1
Tyler Eckford 5-0-0-0 -4
Ludwig Karlsson 5-0-0-0 -1 [ECHL 6-2-2-4 -3]
Darren Kramer 3-0-0-0 -3
Troy Rutkowski [ECHL 10-0-3-3 -7]
Jakub Culek [ECHL 6-2-1-3 -4]

Nathan Lawson 3-1-0 2.52 .923
Andrew Hammond 4-2-0 3.20 .898

The recall of Mark Stone to Ottawa didn’t slow Binghamton’s production at all.  Petersson, Prince, and Cowick‘s numbers took a leap forward from the previous ten games, while Grant‘s took a dive.  Claesson continues to be a dominant plus player and his production continues to improve as well (despite that he doesn’t play on the powerplay).  Puempel and Eckford were at the bottom of the minus pile–the veteran defenseman looks completely done, but given that Blood is also on the roster keeps getting rotated in.  New has been a solid addition, but his fit into the lineup is more of an indictment of a weakness of depth than anything else (certainly Rutkowski is not AHL-ready; Borowiecki‘s numbers are also far off his norm).  Hammond‘s numbers continue to slowly improve, but Lawson is the rock of consistency (Richardson had the option of giving Scott Greenham his first start, but choose to go with Hammond).  With Ottawa playing well there’s less likelihood of call-ups, but assuming there isn’t the default of a Pageau recall (so recently returned), Schneider continues to make his case and the aforementioned Claesson might warrant a reward on the blueline.

With a little over half the season completed it’s worth putting these numbers into context, so here’s the overall player stats thus far (rookies have a * next to their name, players beyond their ELC’s are in blue, and those currently in the NHL are in italics):

Mike Hoffman 38-18-27-45 +5 [NHL 3-0-0-0 -2]
Stephane Da Costa 37-12-25-37 +11 [NHL 4-0-0-0 +1]
Cole Schneider 36-14-18-32 +13
Chris Wideman 38-5-24-29 -5
Andre Petersson 32-15-10-25 +7
*Matt Puempel 40-14-7-21 -10
Fredrik Claesson 40-2-19-21 +27
Shane Prince 34-8-12-20 +9
Jean-Gabriel Pageau 17-6-13-19 +7 [NHL 21-2-0-2 -5]
Mark Stone 19-9-9-18 +2 [NHL 7-1-1-2 -1]
*Cody Ceci 24-2-15-17 +8 [NHL 17-1-4-5 +5]
Jim O’Brien 31-6-10-16 +3
*Buddy Robinson 34-7-7-14 +10 [ECHL 1-0-0-0 -1]
Corey Cowick 37-7-6-13 -8
David Dziurzynski 36-3-8-11 +1
Wacey Hamilton 35-2-8-10 -1
Derek Grant 18-4-4-8 +2 [NHL 20-0-2-2 -3]
Mika Zibanejad 6-2-5-7 +1 [NHL 39-10-9-19 -9]
*Michael Sdao 33-2-5-7 +9
Daniel New 15-1-5-6 +1 [ECHL 22-2-9-11 -12]
Darren Kramer 20-2-1-3 -9
Tyler Eckford 25-0-3-3 +5
Mark Borowiecki 27-1-1-2 -2 [NHL 13-1-0-1 -2]
Ben Blood 30-0-2-2 +3
*Troy Rutkowski 8-1-0-1 -5 [22-0-6-6 -7]
*Ludwig Karlsson 8-0-0-0 -3 [22-6-9-15 -6]
*Jakub Culek 2-0-0-0 -2 [ECHL 25-6-12-18 -1]

Nathan Lawson 22-14-5-0 2.52 .923
*Andrew Hammond 21-11-7-3 3.20 .898

Claesson and Schneider are the most improved players from last year, with the two first-round picks (Ceci and Puempel) the most impressive rookies.  Of the trio of rookies who have spent most of their time in the ECHL only Karlsson looks like he might be getting ready for AHL play.  In terms of disappointment, Eckford‘s complete descent from competent veteran defenseman to third-pairing alternate is shocking, while Cowick‘s drop in offensive production is less surprising.  Hoffman and Da Costa‘s dominance is to be expected (especially the Frenchman’s), albeit I had begun to wonder if Hoffman could really bring the noise at the AHL-level.

What remains to be seen is how Binghamton will do in the playoffs and if they can thrive in the many absences of Lawson.  To my mind they could use a defenseman and (possibly) a veteran back-up, but whether or not the organisation agrees or would make such a move is up in the air (if so, I’d expect it over the next 6 weeks or so).

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)