BSens Update

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There’s a variety of BSens news to catch up on, so let’s get to it.

The team has played two exhibition games, both wins over Laval (5-0 and 4-2). This is a great start, although let’s temper excitement noting two things: 1) it’s the pre-season, and 2) it’s against Laval, a team that was actually worse than Belleville last season. I’ll discuss the lineups below (the games weren’t streamed so I was unable to watch them).

On the negative side, we have coach Troy Mann praising Erik Burgdoerfer. Mann had him in Hershey years ago, but let’s hope he doesn’t give the turnover machine the prominent minutes that Kurt Kleinendorst did.

Roster Moves

My predictions for where rookies would wind up have been a mixed bag thus far, although a lot can change in a month or two. Both Logan Brown and Christian Wolanin, who I thought would start in Ottawa, have been sent down. I correctly predicted Colin White would remain, just as I had Drake Batherson and Filip Chlapik sent down. I wasn’t expecting Max Lajoie to last in camp for so long, but either he or Christian Jaros (possibly both) will be coming down at some point just due to the numbers in Ottawa (the team doesn’t have the wherewithal to demote Ben Harpur).

As for those sent down to Brampton, Macoy ErkampsFrancois Beauchemin, and Jake Paterson were expected. Boston Leier isn’t a huge surprise either (although I would have preferred Ryan Scarfo go down instead of him), but Aaron Luchuk does surprise me–I wonder if it’s a matter of playing time or performance that’s behind that decision.

The team outright released Daniel CiampiniChase Stewart (thank god), Jonathan Racine (thank god), Jordan Stallard, and former draft-pick Kelly Summers. Some or all of them might get looks in Brampton (Ciampini can certainly perform at that level, if nothing else). 24-players remain on the AHL-side with more expected to arrive from Ottawa.

I don’t think the lineups from the pre-season games mean much (since a lot of players are being given test-drives by Mann), but let’s look at them (Hogberg got the shutout for game one, Gustavsson the win in game two):
Forward Combinations Game One
Paul-Brown-Batherson
Leier-Luchuk-Gagne
LaBate-O’Brien-Sturtz
Stallard-Beauchemin-Ciampini
Forwards Combinations Game Two
Paul-Brown-Batherson
Balisy-Luchuk-Gagne
Balcers-O’Brien-Sturtz
Stallard-Beauchemin-Leier

Defense Combinations Game One
Percy-Erkamps
Murray-Summers
Racine-Stewart/Sieloff
Defense Combinations Game Two
Percy-Erkamps
Murray- Wolanin
Racine-Stewart/Englund

The fourth-lines can be thrown away–they are clearly experimental–as are the Luchuk lines now that he’s been demoted. The Paul-Brown-Batherson combination seems locked in (probably as the second line), while Sturtz being paired with O’Brien seems set on the third-line. As for the defense nothing at all seems set other than how far Englund has finally fallen.

Schedule

I wanted to comment on the BSens schedule this year. Cleveland has joined their division, migrating from the Central (where they were the worst team last season). This move was necessitated by the addition of the Colorado Eagles to the league (bringing the AHL up to 31-teams).

Schedule (76) 29-42-5
North Division (54, 71%)
Toronto (Tor) 12 54-18-4
Syracuse (TB) 6 46-22-8
Rochester (Buf) 4 37-22-17
Utica (Van) 6 38-26-12
Binghamton (NJ) 6 25-38-13
Cleveland (Clb) 8 25-41-10 (Central Division)
Laval (Mtl) 12 24-42-10
Atlantic Division (14, 18%)
Lehigh (Phi) 2 47-19-10
Charlotte (Car) 4 46-26-4
Providence (Bos) 2 45-26-5
Bridgeport (NYI) 2 36-32-8
Hartford (NYR) 2 34-33-9
Hershey (Wsh) 2 30-37-9
Central Division (8, 10%)
Grand Rapids 4 42-25-9
Manitoba (wpg) 4 42-26-83

How does this compare to last year? They have four less games against Rochester, two less against both Binghamton and Syracuse, and no games against Wilkes-Barre or Springfield; they’ve added eight games against Cleveland (vs none last year) and four games against Grand Rapids (also none last year). On paper this is a better schedule, as it removes a net 8 games against better teams and adds 8 against a worse team. Deserved or not the team should see a bump in performance.

brampton

The Beast have signed yet another pugilist:

Josh Soares W DOB 1982 Nor 40-9-25-34 (0.85) [ECHL 73-47-56-130 1.41]
The undrafted 36-year old punched his way from the CCHL into a successful NCAA career that landed him an AHL-gig that he bombed out of and headed to Europe (with stops in Germany, Sweden, Austria, and finally Norway). He was an effective ECHL player ten years ago, but I can’t think the mileage has done him any favours.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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