Stephane Da Costa doling out some punishment and angry looks for John-Michael Liles daring to also wear #24. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
For the Senators in general, and for prospect corresponding in particular, the biggest news of the week was Stephane Da Costa riding a limo to Binghamton while Nikita Filatov was cruising in the other direction, to do whatever it takes to stay. It may take rebounds. However, Da Costa does not play his first game for Binghamton until this weekend, when he will play three in a row. Thank you, AHL schedule-makers. On Monday, Mark Stone was named to the 41-man roster invited to partake in Team Canada's selection camp. The camp will take place in Calgary and will run from December 11 through to the 13th. Apart from being a further indication of the outstanding season Stone is having in Brandon, there are a few other things to note from the list itself.
It would have been a surprising slight not to include Stone, seeing has he is the CHL's leading point-getter (with three more games played, he has two more points than Barrie's Tanner Pearson- also an invitee). Stone was also the only Senators' prospect invited. Should that be a surprise? Not entirely. Several of Ottawa's highest selections from this year's draft in Minneapolis were not Canadian. Stefan Noesen and Shane Prince are both American, while Mika Zibanejad is obviously Swedish. Most of Ottawa's Canadian players in the system are too old to play in the World Juniors, and are playing in Binghamton. Who's left? Matt Puempel and Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Pageau's exclusion could have been easily anticipated: he is out for a month with a broken finger, and is not expected to return to the Olympiques' lineup until a week after the camp has concluded. For Matt Puempel, this is no doubt a disappointment.
Likely set back in the draft because of a mid-season hip injury, Puempel was referred to as one of the purest scorers in the draft. Unfortunately, the group leading Canada to the World Juniors did not see it that way. Still, only one player has scored less than Puempel and was invited (Ryan Spooner). Reading too much into something like this can be a little unfair- after all, only 41 go to camp. Sure, it would have been a great opportunity for growth and development, but the lack of invite is not a total indictment of Puempel's play, but some personal fuel to work harder and show the team what they are missing. Also, it would not appear Puempel has been seriously underperforming. For a first-round pick, playing at just a shade over a point-per-game is almost off-putting. Yes, the CHL sees a lot of that, and yes, we are quite spoiled by one extremely productive sixth round selection. Yet, Puempel is the Peterborough Petes' highest-scoring player, and their roster includes the Nashville Predators' Austin Watson (taken 18th overall, six spots earlier). It would be interesting to see the rationale for his exclusion, but I find it unlikely we will.
Binghamton Senators 5, Adirondack Phantoms 2
The B-Sens routed the Phantoms, facing off against longtime B-Sen Denis Hamel, who certainly paid his dues in the Senators organization, serving as captain for several seasons, and providing some outstanding leadership at the AHL level. It was a game in which Nikita Filatov once again caught the attention of Sens fans, scoring his seventh goal of the year and adding two assists. Mark Parrish also continued to lead by example, scoring twice with one assist. Derek Grant and Andre Petersson also scored for the B-Sens. The line of Filatov-Parrish-Grant showed up prominently on the scoresheet and it was reflective of their play on the ice. They dominated possession, cycled the puck effectively and poured shots on goal. Andre Petersson's goal came immediately after the top line had controlled the puck in the zone for over a minute. Remember how Patrick Wiercioch was called out by Coach Kleinendorst last week? He led the team with six shots on goal.
Syracuse Crunch 4, Binghamton Senators 1
Following a 40-shot performance against Adirondack, Binghamton looked tired and listless in this one, being outshot 42-26. Binghamton's lone goal was also Craig Schira's first of the season. A plus side of this affair was that Andre Petersson had an assist on the B-Sens' goal- Petersson had a bit of a slow start to the year, but has really been producing in recent weeks.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 3, Binghamton Senators 2
Recounting a loss to WBS seems to be a recurring part of drawing up these weekly roundups. Binghamton fought hard in this one, putting in a noticeably stronger performance than the night before. Binghamton's third game in three days saw David Dziurzynski score his first of the season, which almost comes as a surprise as Dziurzynski can be a strong force on offense. He has a knack of driving the net hard, on occasion, but has not been capitalizing on opportunities. I missed this one, but will watch the replay this week to find out a little more about why Nikita Filatov was penalized for abuse of officials.
Other things happened this week:
- The Ottawa Senators released their weekly prospect update.
- Mika Zibanejad's SEL season has life! The sixth overall selection took his time, but seems to be adjusting to life back in Sweden. He had a goal and an assist during the last week. Click on the Djurgardens highlights (they lost the game 4-2). He sure looked like the Swedish
Mike Fisher? Tyler Seguin?Milan Michalek with his backhand on the breakaway. And a little bit like the Swedish Zack Smith with his not-giving-a-crap facial expression after the goal. Trying to compare one player to another can pretty easily get out of hand. Mika's next game is today against MODO.
- Jakob Silfverberg has recovered from his injury, and is no worse for wear.
- Darren Kramer has slowed down a bit from his terrific start of 15P in 15GP, with one assist in his last four games. Worry not, he still leads the team in penalty minutes.
Do you hate it when people ask themselves a question, and then answer it right away? Because for whatever reason, I did a lot that in this post.