Nikita Filatov steps around Mike Komisarek, keeps puck. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
The Binghamton Senators started the season in the same manner as the big club: with back-to-back losses on a Friday and Saturday night. However, the team rebounded somewhat this past weekend with an overtime loss, followed by two wins. Three games in three days is unheard of in the NHL, but seems commonplace in the AHL. Don't believe me? Check out Binghamton's schedule. Peculiar. Perhaps the powers that be in the AHL are trying to make things easier on my schedule, which I appreciate. Nonetheless, Bingo handled the idiosyncrasies of the schedule fairly well. Follow me, to the jump and beyond, as I recap the weekend that was in Binghamton, and ogle at some gigglesome prospect statistics.
Syracuse Crunch 5, Binghamton Senators 4
The game on Friday night was entertaining hockey. It was also a game filled with lapses on the defensive side of the puck, and inconsistent spurts of dominance on the offensive side. Binghamton's first line on the night (Kaspars Daugavins - Corey Locke - Nikita Filatov) created chances on just about every shift. All three are gifted passers, have terrific vision, and worked hard in the corners to play some awe-inducing keep-away with Syracuse's defenders. Filatov finished the night with
three two goals, starting well enough with his first shot, and looked like he had the game winner on his stick in overtime, had Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers been a split-second slower with his glove hand. Daugavins had a shorthanded marker to tie the game in the third. Mike McKenna had some very strong moments in net, especially when Binghamton was being peppered with shots in the first and second.
Binghamton Senators 5, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 4
For the rest of the weekend, the net belonged to Robin Lehner. For stretches, the team needed him to be at the top of his game. They hung on through a barrage of shots to win their first game in overtime, after an outstanding night by Mark Parrish. Thus far, Parrish has come in doing just about everything that could be asked of him. Although he has scored thirty goals in the NHL in the past, and was once a piece of the infamous trade that sent Roberto Luongo and Olli Jokinen to Florida, those days are largely behind him. He was brought in to be a reliable leader. Parrish did that and more, putting up four points on Saturday night, including the overtime winner. (Parrish also was credited with potting the game-tying goal on Friday night, but that really depends on whether you believe the official scoresheet, or Nikita Filatov). In many ways, the second game of the weekend resembled the first. For stretches of play, Binghamton couldn't seem to get things together. At others, they would seem to click on every shift. Granted, these are the ebbs and flows of any game, but they seemed more pronounced on Friday and Saturday night.
Binghamton Senators 4, Albany Devils 2
For the third straight game, Binghamton was outshot. Nonetheless, Albany had one goal Lehner likely wanted back, as it just barely trickled through before being knocked home. Otherwise, Lehner looked quite solid. David Dziurzynski got a glimpse of the first line, and drove hard to the net on a few instances, and looked strong in the process. Dziurzynski doesn't get spoken about much as some of the Senators' prospects, and it was interesting to see him clicking on the top line. Picking up their second win of the season, their first game that ended with more than a one-goal difference, was a good way to finish the weekend. Owing to their totally bizarre schedule, Bingo doesn't play again until Friday.
The Senators have released their prospect update. Take a look. Then, take a look at my parting points:
- Much has been written, and I shall here add to it, about Filatov's performance in Binghamton. He skated hard all weekend, and was noticeable on every shift (owing only partially to me constantly looking for #15). On one particularly notable play, Filatov made a fancy move to get around a defender, lost it to another, chased him back to the Binghamton blueline, took his puck back, and got a shot on goal. Typical lazy Russian.
- Kaspars Daugavins has played himself into the discussion, as well. Daugavins made his fame with Sens fans by means of his awesome post goal/game celebrations, and his 'stache, which is the only one in the organization that could bristle like MacLean's. He hustles hard on every shift, and sees the ice well. His chemistry with Locke and Filatov was apparent. Moreover, he has a knack of positioning himself in the right spot at the right time. Alas, Ottawa has a glut of forwards ahead of him on the depth chart. For as long as the big club nearly has a fifth line resting in the press box every night, Daugavins won't draw into the lineup. However, should the injury bug grow tired of harassing the Pittsburgh Penguins, and turn its head on the Senators, there may be some openings. Daugavins practiced in Latvia with a KHL club this summer and, for a time, seemed to be on the cusp of departing the Senators organization. Should that come to fruition when this one-year deal runs out, it would be a big loss.
- Pat Cannone was a free agent signing last spring, just before the playoffs started. As a result, he was not on the team's Clear Day roster, and was unable to partake in the championship run. He's looked good in the early goings of this season, though.
- Head West to Manitoba to check in on
Cory CloustonMark Stone, and it becomes apparent that last year's biggest surprise is on track for another outstanding season. Not having watched any of Stone's games so far, I cannot provide any conjecture on his poor skating we've all been warned of. Seriously, though: 21 points in 9 games? Maybe that will make him smile.
- For anybody in the Ottawa area looking to catch some Senators' prospects in action, Shane Prince has recovered from his injury. Also, Jean-Gabriel Pageau seems to be off at a good pace.
- The Senators organization does not have exclusive rights on the ECHL's Elmira Jackals, as they are shared by the Anaheim Ducks. Louie Caporusso is the lone Senators' forward on assignment there. Craig Rivet also plays there. He is not under contract with the Senators.
- For anything Binghamton Senators related, the best source is absolutely Joy Lindsay of the Press & Sun-Bulletin. For anyone who has not read Joy's work, do. She provides comprehensive coverage of the B-Sens, and does it very well. Also, follow her on twitter @PSBJoyOnTheSens for in-game updates that are far more reliable and frequent than my own. I am sporadic and tend to focus on the inanities.
- If sporadic updates and inane observations are your thing, you can also follow me on twitter, if you so please @BobbyBKelly.