Binghamton Senators Update

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As the Sens (along with the bulk of the Atlantic Division) enjoy an extensive hot streak, it’s time to take a look at Ottawa’s dark reflection: Binghamton. As has been apparent all season the BSens are a bad team; after enjoying a seven week hot streak mid-season (13-5-1) they’ve regressed to the mean and are in the midst of a 1-9-1 run. None of the various roster moves have helped the team and everyone is struggling in net. With that said, Kleinendorst deserves credit for what he’s been able to do given the atrocious roster (more about that below) and while I don’t expect him to be back next season, I’d be happy if he was. Binghamton currently sits 27th in the league with an .419 winning percentage and the results can be firmly dumped on the doorstep of management.

Since my last update the BSens are 4-9-1 (0.321). The problem isn’t special teams, as the powerplay has sizzled at 11-48 (22.9%) and the PK is a tolerable 42-51 (82.3%, league-wide this would put them 13th). Four players have been added to the roster (Gormley, HansonCazzola, and Leblanc) to no effect; the injured Kostka was traded to Calgary, Nehring hasn’t played at all, Hagel has been a limp addition, Varone is often in Ottawa, McCormick is on a cold streak, and neither Rupert nor Gagne‘s time in the ECHL has helped them at this level. Here are the individual performance breakdowns (players are organized by points-per game):

Varone 9-1-9-10 1.11 (3 PPP)
Akeson
14-6-7-13 0.92 (5 PPP)
Blunden
12-7-3-10 0.83 (4 PPP)
Bailey 12-6-3-9 0.75 (5 PPP)
Perron 14-0-9-9 0.64 (3 PPP)
Harpur
14-0-9-9 0.64 (5 PPP)
Paul 13-3-4-7 0.53 (3 PPP)
Rumble 11-1-4-5 0.45 (1 PPP)
Flanagan 14-2-4-6 0.42 (1 PPP)
Rodewald 14-3-2-5 0.35 (1 PPP)
Sieloff 9-0-3-3 0.33 (1 PPP)
Gormley 3-1-0-1 0.33
McCormick 12-3-0-3 0.25 (1 PPP)
Krushelnyski 11-0-2-2 0.18
Carlisle
13-0-2-2 0.15
Lepine 13-0-1-1 0.07
Englund 14-0-1-1 0.07
Hagel 14-0-1-1 0.07
Kostka 1-0-0-0
Gagne 3-0-0-0 (ECHL 4-1-2-3)
Hanson 3-0-0-0
Cazzola 3-0-0-0
Leblanc 3-0-0-0
Doornbosch
 6-0-0-0 (ECHL 2-1-4-5)
Rupert 14-0-0-0
Nehring DNP

Driedger 3.54 .902 1-6-0
Hammond
 3.66 .869 2-1-0
O’Connor
 4.06 .894 1-2-1

While Driedger has been inconsistent of late he’s still performing better than anyone else. In fairness to all the goaltenders, the blueline has been poor all season so they aren’t getting much help (the team has given up 40+ shots four of the last six games and hasn’t held a team under 36 in that time).

On the prospect side of things this has been Perron‘s most productive stretch; Harper continues to put up numbers (the question with him remains: is he the beneficiary of the point-inflation that can happen on a bad team?), and Paul‘s production has been fairly consistent (albeit not, I think, what Sens fans once hoped for him).

I have a lot of sympathy for Kleinendorst this season–he hasn’t had a fourth line he can rely on, vets expected to score have under performed (Blunden and Nehring), his blueline lacks talent and depth, other than Driedger goaltending has been subpar, and Ottawa is continually leaching talent. The team is a hodgepodge of unexpected ECHL support (RodewaldRumble) attempting to cement the gaping holes of failed and struggling prospects (DunnGagneErkamps), and useless vets or acquisitions (Stortini, RupertHagel).

Sens draft pick Chris Leblanc (6-161/13) joined the team on an ATO–the Sens thankfully had no interest in signing the NCAA grad (27-5-10-15)–I don’t expect him to be in the lineup for long.

In terms of other prospects who could join the team the most likely is defenseman Cody Donaghey (acquired from the Leafs as part of the Dion Phaneuf trade last year), whose team’s season (Sherbrooke) will end on Saturday. Another candidate was NCAA grad Robert Baillargeon, whose season ended in late February (28-9-12-21), but it remains an open question if the Sens want him or not (I’d guess not). The highly touted Marcus Hogberg is in the midst of the playoffs in Sweden right now and there’d be little point in signing him and bringing him over to Binghamton with two healthy ‘tenders already on the roster. Christian Jaros is also in the playoffs, but like Hogberg he needs to be signed and given that it’s quite rare for a European to jump to the AHL at the end of the season I’m not expecting it here. All the other CHL propects are playoff bound and there are no other NCAA players (other than the NHL-bound Colin White) or Europeans expected to turn pro.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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