It turned out to be a fairly eventful week in Ottawa Senators Prospect Land (where I dwell). At the start of last week, Mika Zibanejand was still on this continent and Robin Lehner was in Binghamton with Nikita Filatov and Kaspars Daugavins, where they were all enjoying another peculiar six-day break from any scheduled games. Alas, what a change one week can bring. Today, the three of them are enjoying a sojourn to Boston with the NHL club. Meanwhile, Mika Zibanejad is back in Sweden preparing for his return to larger ice tonight against Alfredsson's former Frolunda HC. UPDATE: Kaspars Daugavins has been returned to Binghamton to have his wisdom teeth taken out, which is something I hope never to have done, but may have to. Daugavins has also scored a goal in the NHL, which is something I would quite like to do, but never will.
How did this all go down, again? Oh, right: the Senators decided the best move in regards to Zibanejad's development was to play on the top line in Djurgardens and get plenty of powerplay time. With Stephane Da Costa getting the bump to second line pivot after Peter Regin re-aggravated his shoulder, Kaspars Daugavins stepped in and filled the hole on the third line. For those who have shut their eyes and ears since Sunday afternoon, Daugavins scored his first goal in the NHL against
Andrew Raycroft "The Monster" Jonas Gustavsson. On Saturday morning, Alex Auld was injured in practice, which resulted in Robin Lehner getting the call and having a front row seat to the Senators' come-from-behind victory over the New York Rangers before getting his first start of the season in a win over the Maple Leafs. Also in Saturday's game was the ejection of Zenon Konopka. Because Robin Lehner felt Filatov didn't belong in the AHL Perhaps weary of a pre-game suspension, the Senators recalled Nikita Filatov. The NHL did not suspend Konopka, but the Senators sat him regardless and Nikita Filatov logged some fourth line minutes. Unfortunately, these players' individual gains were Binghamton's loss. Now...jump with me!
The Binghamton Senators are by no means a one-line team, but losing the entire top line will limit the output of any group. Corey Locke has been sidelined for a month with a hand injury. With Daugavins already in the NHL, and Filatov joining him Sunday, the weekend was shades of 2010-2011 for Kurt Kleinendorst's group.
Lehner faced 44 shots in the night before heading down to New York City. The Devils were actually in a similar situation- with Brodeur out with a shoulder injury, Keith Kinkaid has been playing in the NHL, backing up Johan Hedberg. In the second period, Tim Sestito's elbow met Nikita Filatov's head with a pretty vicious blow that sent Filatov spiraling to the ice and Robin Lehner looking to spar. There is still no update on any possible suspension.
Mike McKenna looked to have his most comfortable night in a Senators uniform thus far into the season. Similarly, Pat Cannone continues to play well under Coach Kleinendorst, making the college free agent signing look good. Jim O'Brien picked a good time to score his first goal of the season: he notched the winner.
Come now, Binghamton! The bears are what we thought they were! (I apologize, but one can't use that line too often when writing about hockey.) Binghamton were down by three during the second period of this one, but fought back well, falling just short. They certainly missed Daugavins in the early goings- two of Hershey's goals came on the man advantage. Wacey Hamilton made it respectable with the first goal he has ever been paid to score, and Andre Petersson made it respectable with only a few left in the third. It wasn't enough. Still, all things considered, the B-Sens showed the same willingness to fight that helped carry them into the playoffs last year.
The B-Sens are back in action on Wednesday against the Albany Devils. Still waiting to see if Tim Sestito will draw into the lineup.
Now, time for some observations, opinions, and digressions:
- Thanks to Crooklyn Banks for the heads up, and congratulations to Mark Stone, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, and Matt Puempel for being named to their respective teams for the Subway SuperSeries. Speaking of Crooklyn, the AHL schedule informed me earlier this week that the Binghamton Senators do not face off against the San Antonio Rampage (Florida's farm team), which, if you ask me, is utter rubbish. Consider the faceoff between prospects correspondents postponed-- but never canceled.
- Speaking of Pageau, as reported by @SeguinSports, Pageau was named the QMJHL's second star of the week, which is impressive. I'm only upset he wasn't first- who is that Huberdeau guy, anyway?
- Louie Caporusso is sustaining his PPG clip in the ECHL, including his first goal. This is good news for my "Louie to Bingo" (or Occupy Elmira?) campaign, which I am starting right now, driven by my ire at never having seen him play.
- As alluded to earlier, Robin Lehner got into a bit of a scuffle on Friday night, resulting in four minutes of penalties- two for leaving his crease, and two for roughing. Those four minutes rocket him to a tie for ninth place in penalty minutes on the team, a fact that may or may not have injured Alex Auld in practice on Saturday. That's a joke.... right Robin?
- David Dziurzynski is at once frustrating and exciting. He is a strong skater, has good hands and plenty of creativity. Yet, he is too often unnoticeable on the ice. He doesn't have a goal yet this season, which is surprising if one watches some of his shifts. No, he's not an enigma, in part because that word is at least eight times more infuriating than the nickname "Cardiac Kids." Still, the roster vacuum left by Locke, Filatov and Daugavins' temporary leave is something Dziurzynski needs to capitalize on. It will be interesting to see if he does. As @PSBJoyOnTheSens commented in response to me on Twitter a few weeks back, his problem is one of "consistency."
- Mike Hoffman looks really good with some added responsibility and ice time.
- Adnan posted it earlier in the week on one of the GDT's, but you can draw your own conclusions about Tim Sestito's hit on Filatov. Or, I'll draw a conclusion: it was bad.
- It's hardly news anymore, but Mark Stone knows how to score lots of points in the WHL.
- For those wary of my selective points of note, take a gander at the Senators' weekly update.