Senators News & Notes

Since my last post the Sens got rolled by Anaheim (nice to see Jakob Silverberg again).  Curtis Lazar scored, which is a bit like a solar eclipse so I hope everyone enjoyed it, otherwise the game was very much the same-old, same-old (Prince played 5 minutes).  Always worth mentioning that Ottawa took Chris Driedger ahead of Frederik Andersen in the 2012 draft, but mid-round picks don’t matter, right?  RIGHT?!?


After the win against Syracuse (see below) the BSens made a major trade, moving unpopular veteran Patrick Mullen to Nashville for Conor Allen; the move clears a veteran contract off the books, while Binghamton is only committed to Allen for the rest of this season (Milwaukee signed him a one-year deal).  What limited scouting that’s available on Allen emphasizes his physicality, something Binghamton already has in abundance.  The 25-year old was an NCAA free agent signing by the Rangers a few years ago (he posted decent numbers at UMass), but after two seemingly solid seasons in Hartford he was allowed to walk and got picked up by Milwaukee.  His AHL stat lines:
2013-14 72-6-25-31
2014-15 72-11-23-34
2015-16 31-1-5-6
In Allen‘s rookie year he had Aaron Johnson to help him out, while the next year Mat Bodie was there.  With the Admirals he’s fourth in scoring on the blueline, so it’s clear he was given less of an opportunity there than he was with Hartford (or failed to live up to that opportunity, there was certainly hype when he was signed and even the mid-season report card for him is kind).  Without having seen him play much I can only surmise that his offensive numbers were boosted in Hartford by the aforementioned players, so it’s difficult to say how well he moves the puck (time will tell).

Binghamton beat Syracuse (the second worst team in their division) 4-3 in overtime earlier this week; Greenham got the start, while Sdao was scratched in favour of Rutkowski.  The play-by-play:
-Richardson opened with the fourth line and they spent their shift chasing the puck
Fraser panics under pressure and takes a delay of game penalty
-Off a rebound O’Dell shoots it over a half-open net (he wasn’t at a great angle)
-Great chance for Lindberg in the slot off a steal
Fraser with a terrible pass up the gut lucks out as the return shot goes high and wide
1. Mullen steals the puck and then flubs his pass and on the turnover Greenham is beaten five-hole on a stuff play (Mullen watching the puck instead of taking the man)
-Great save by Greenham off a deflection in front
Puempel with a great chance in the slot
Dziurznyski takes yet another delay of game penalty
Greenham with a solid save from right in front while shorthanded
2. Dzingel wins a foot race and makes a nice backhand saucer pass to Puempel who makes no mistake
-After ignoring a couple of blatant hooks the Sens finally go to the powerplay
3. Robinson gets caught puck watching and let’s an untouched Crunch player bang in a cross-crease pass
Dziurzynski takes a lazy holding penalty
4. On the PP Paul scores from the point through a screen (far side just off the post)
Stortini and a Crunch player engage in a tickle-fight and get five minute penalties
-Nice rush by Rutkowski, but with his teammates making a full line change nothing comes of it
O’Dell with a terrible turnover at the offensive blueline requires a great save from Greenham
-Dzingel makes a steel but tries to pass on the break and flubs it
Fraser takes an idiotic boarding penalty
-Great save by Greenham on a stuff play while shorthanded
Greening with a great chance in front but shoots wide
Lindberg off for hooking (he negated a scoring chance so I’m fine with it)
Schneider stoned on a shorthanded breakaway
5. Great steal by O’Dell and Robinson cleans up the rebound
6. You put Stortini on the ice late in the game and you pay the price–the lumbering enforcer makes a late shot-blocking slide and Greenham is beat by a deflection in front
-The last few minutes of the game Dziurzynski was put on every line in an attempt to preserve the tie, which is just bad strategy–it sends the wrong message
Greening with a good chance from the dot
Mullen hits Greening in the head with a 2-on-1 chance
-Crunch breakaway misses the net
7. O’Dell passes on a 2-on-1 and Dzingel finishes

Last night Binghamton beat slumping Rochester 4-0 (the Amerks hadn’t scored in seven periods coming into the game), with Greenham earning the shutout.  Allen dressed for his first game while Rutkowski was scratched in favour of Sdao.  The goals:
1. Paul bangs in Allen‘s pass after it deflects off an Amerk defenseman’s foot
2. Off the next faceoff Dziurzynski steals for a 2-on-1 and then bangs in Penny‘s rebound (the goals were eight seconds apart)
3. On the PP Dzingel puts home Puempel‘s rebound
4. On the PP Schneider is stick-checked in front and the puck goes to an open O’Dell who scores on an unprepared Ullmark

The BSens spent a ton of the game shorthanded and were outshot as well, but a hot goaltender and opportunistic scoring won them a game.

For fans looking for a brief explanation for the team’s turn around (9-2-1) there are a number of reasons: 1) a much-improved penalty kill, which is largely related to 2) much-improved goaltending, 3) an improved powerplay (only the first unit), 4) the team was never that bad in the first place (the 6-17-2 start was below their talent-level), 5) playing against weaker teams and/or backup goaltenders, 6) putting a puck-moving defenseman on each pairing, 7) Stortini on the fourth line, 8) absence of Harpur, 9) fixing the forward lines in general.  I’ll go into it in more detail in my next Binghamton season review.


Evansville beat Rapid City 4-2 on Wednesday (Reichard, back from injury, earning the win).  The goals:
1. Leveille decides to chase the puck leaving a Rapid player all alone in front
2. About a minute later Strandberg is stick-checked just inside the Rapid blueline and Humphries can’t defend the other way and Reichard is beaten on a fanned shot on the semi-breakaway
3. Moon deflects Wideman‘s shot through the Rapid goaltender
4. Moon fakes the pass from behind the net and instead stuffs it in
5. Guptill dekes through the defender and beats the Rapid ‘tender
6. Leveille tips in Wideman‘s centering pass

The IceMen got crushed by Toledo 5-1 (Bengtsberg took the loss in which he was pulled after the fourth goal).  Carlsson returned from injury and re-joined the blueline.  The goals:
1. Strandberg goes coast-to-coast and beats the Toledo ‘tender top shelf, short side
2. Bengtsberg loses control of the puck behind the net and can’t get set back in front as he’s beaten off the turnover
3. On the PP Bengtsberg is beaten off a cross-crease one-timer
4. Moon puck-watches and ignores his check (second-leading scorer in the ECHL) who, left all alone, beats Bengtsberg from right in front
5. Kuqali passes to the wrong team and Hobbs is lazy on the backcheck to the unopposed Toledo forward (the same second-leading scorer in the ECHL) bangs in the accidental one-timer unopposed; Bengtsberg is pulled
6. Just after Reichard stops a breakaway, Himelson gives the puck away behind his own net and on the subsequent possession Reichard is beat on a wraparound

The IceMen were badly outshot and outplayed by Toledo and certainly deserved the loss.  Somehow Evansville still hasn’t scored a powerplay goal (ten straight games now, 0-36), which must be approaching ECHL record territory.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)


1 Comment

  1. […] wasn’t impressed when Allen was acquired from Nashville for Patrick Mullen, and my surmise at the time about his […]

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