Binghamton at the 50-Game Mark

The Binghamton Senators have passed the 50-game mark and it’s time to take stock and see how the team and the players are performing.  The B-Sens went 5-5-0, keeping them 1st in their division and 3rd in the conference (for their previous ten games go here).  The team’s 191 goals remain 1st in the conference, while their 153 goals has improved to 12th.

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

Mike Hoffman 10-9-9-18 +3
Shane Prince 10-8-5-13 +7
Andre Petersson
9-1-11-12 +12
Jim O’Brien
10-5-5-10 +8
Mark Stone
6-6-3-9 +4
Cole Schneider 10-3-5-8 +2
Jean-Gabriel Pageau
10-2-6-8 +4
Chris Wideman 10-1-7-8 +10
Matt Puempel 8-4-2-6 Even
Corey Cowick 10-3-3-6 +5
David Dziurzynski 9-2-3-5 -1
Daniel New
10-0-5-5 +1
Stephane Da Costa
3-1-3-4 +3 [NHL 8-3-1-4 +1]
Buddy Robinson
9-1-2-3 Even
Mark Borowiecki
10-0-2-2 +5
Wacey Hamilton
9-0-2-2 -3
Michael Sdao
6-2-0-2 +3
Derek Grant
3-2-0-2 +1
Danny Hobbs
2-1-1-2 +3 [ECHL 7-4-2-6 Even]
Fredrik Claesson 10-0-1-1 +3
Darren Kramer 6-0-1-1 Even
Tyler Eckford 5-0-1-1 +3
Ben Blood 9-0-0-0 +6
Ludwig Karlsson [ECHL 12-4-3-7 +1]
Jakub Culek
[ECHL 12-2-4-6 +7]
Troy Rutkowski [ECHL 13-0-3-3 -2]

Andrew Hammond 4-3-0 2.73 .901
Nathan Lawson 1-1 2.68 .917
Scott Greenham 1-0-0 3.00 .917

It was a fantastic stretch for Hoffman, who earned an AHL all-star selection.  This is the kind of dominance expected of him at this level when he arrived, but only in his fourth year has he final reached it.  Prince and the rest of the offence also exploded, so it’s easier to focus on players not producing, amounting to two forwards: Robinson (who has truly fallen off since the start of the season) and Hamilton (who just doesn’t put up numbers at this level).  New continues to play regularly, ahead of actual Sens prospects, and it’s interesting that Blood (who offers nothing offensively) played more than Sdao who has a little more punch (in more than one way) than he does.  Petersson lead the team as a plus, while Hamilton was the worst of only two minuses.  Hammond‘s numbers continue to improve (including earning his first shutout) and Greenham won his first start with the B-Sens; Lawson‘s problems in staying healthy remain.  In the ECHL, Culek and Karlsson‘s production remains erratic, while Rutkowski seems a bit behind where they are in his development (certainly his offensive talent has yet to show itself).

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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Olympic Thoughts

A few thoughts on hockey at the Olympics:

-I’m not a fan of lopsided games (eg Canada’s stomp over Austria etc)–it’s not interesting or entertaining.  Twelve teams is too many for the Olympics and I’d rather see eight participate.  I’m not sure the “reward” of getting annihilated in group stage is helpful enough to the hockey federations of the bottom teams–I’d bow to research on that, but on the surface it doesn’t seem to accomplish anything.

-Logistically I understand the reason behind the best-of-one format in the Olympics, but if the idea is awarding a gold medal to the best team than it simply doesn’t work.  Unfortunately, given how short the Olympics are it’s not possible to have a true test of that, but if the World Cup ever comes back they should have best-of-five’s (I don’t see that happening either, but it’s the minimum they would need to be).

-The streaming of games online has been excellent thus far, although I dream of the day where the commentators can be muted in favour of just game sounds.  Listening to Craig Simpson is almost as bad as listening to Shawn Simpson (TSN 1200).  Let the game speak for itself.

-I feel for Russia losing today, as they should have beat the US 3-2.  The winning goal was disallowed because the net was off its moorings.  It was the correct call, but the Russians must feel like they missed out.  In the grand scheme of things it may not be that relevant.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

Senators News: February 2nd

-The Sens have gone 3-3-2 since I last checked in, giving up a pile of goals and playing erratically.  This leaves them in the morass of teams on the outside looking in, with a tantalizing chance to make it.  Incomprehensibly, the team recalled Stephane Da Costa back on January 20th–Paul MacLean must have a hard-on for seeing the Frenchman struggle with limited minutes on the fourth line (his two goals against Columbus earned him only 2 more minutes of playing time the following game).

-The team continues to kick the tires for a playoff rental, but Murray’s track record in doing so is largely abysmal so I’d prefer they stayed the course (unless they can remove some dead weight at the same time).

-Binghamton is 6-2 over the last couple of weeks and while both losses were ugly (5-1 to Manchester and 5-2 to Rochester) they’ve played quite well.  Jeff Ulmer’s excellent recaps of those games can be found over at SenShot.  Interestingly enough, the team choose to recall Danny Hobbs rather than one of Ottawa’s prospects (he did well in his first game, picking up a goal and an assist).  Scott Greenham, now back in the ECHL, finally did get an AHL-start with Bingo and won it (against Albany).

-Here’s my look at Binghamton at the forty-game mark.

-In Elmira, Jakub Culek has returned to the lineup and put up good numbers (6-1-6-7); Ludwig Karlsson has gone cold (8-2-4-6) with only one point in his last five; Troy Rutkowski (9-0-1-1) continues to struggle.

Peter Morrow looks at the Sens pro prospects, but unfortunately it’s a mere summary rather than offering specific insight, scouting reports, or projections for those players.

-Fans may not want to hear about the economics of the team, but money impacts the organisation whether fans like it or not, so its worth tracking.  TSN, having given up on national coverage, locked up regional coverage of the Sens a few days ago.  Travis (via the link) raises the most interesting question: will the extra money Ottawa receives be pumped into the hockey team or into Melnyk’s other business ventures?  The owner isn’t required to do the former, so it will be interesting to watch.

-Here’s a look at how the various players in the Sens system are doing (the ranking in brackets is their position in team scoring for the team or among defenseman, depending on the position of the player):

CHL
Curtis Lazar (WHL) 38-29-25-54 (2nd)
Vincent Dunn
(QMJHL) 36-20-17-37 (3rd)
Ben Harpur (OHL) 20-3-13-16 (4th)
Jarrod Maidens (OHL) injured
Chris Driedger (WHL) 20-12-6 2.55 .918
Francois Brassard
(QMJHL) 23-9-6 3.00 .908

US Junior
Tim Boyle (USPHL) 29-5-13-18 (2nd)

Swedish Junior
Tobias Lindberg (SuperElit/Allsvenskan) 21-6-5-11/3-0-0-0 (7th)

NCAA
Ryan Dzingel (NCAA) 24-17-19-36 (1st)
Max McCormick (NCAA) 24-10-14-24 (2nd)
Robert Baillargeon
(NCAA) 25-6-12-18 (2nd)
Quentin Shore (NCAA) 23-6-13-19 (2nd)
Jeff Costello (NCAA) 27-8-6-14 (7th)
Chris Leblanc (NCAA) 21-5-5-10 (3rd)

Swedish Pro
Mikael Wikstrand (SHL/Allsvenskan) 10-2-3-5 (5th)/27-4-16-20 (1st)
Marcus Hogberg (Allsvenskan) 5-7-0 2.86 .897

Not much has changed among the junior prospects, although Driedger and Brassard‘s numbers have declined and Hogberg‘s have improved.  On the college side a number of players have moved up a little in terms of where they sit in team scoring, but no one has had a meteoric change in their numbers.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)