A fairly busy week for Senators' prospects was completely overshadowed on Friday when BSens defenseman Patrick Wiercioch took a puck to the throat on a clearing attempt by a Norfolk defender. Wiercioch was taken immediately to hospital, and later transferred upstate, as Joy Lindsay reported. While thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the young defender, little word has been spoken on the matter beyond "stable condition". The lack of updates weighs heavily, but Patrick and his family deserve our patience and best wishes while his recovery progresses.
Despite the distraction of Wiercioch's injury, Binghamton had to play more hockey over the course of the weekend. Unfortunately, they were not very good at it. The BSens seemed to be on track to turning things around, having won 2 of 3 last weekend, and had a key opportunity this weekend to continue that trend, and didn't. They have since strengthened their steely grip on last place in the East Division, going 4-6 in their last ten, and 9-16-1-1 overall. To make matters dramatically worse, the BSens are without some key pieces. The sick list (again, thank you Joy) includes: Andre Petersson (had been playing a top-line position in Locke's absence, and scoring), Josh Godfrey, Derek Grant, and Jim O'Brien. All of these players will miss at least a few weeks, with Corey Locke already having missed serious time as a result of a hand injury. The Calder Cup Champions could use a good break.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 1, Binghamton Senators 0
Binghamton battled hard, and Robin Lehner was a big reason why the BSens were in this one all the way to the end, stopping 35-of-36. Nineteen of those shots Lehner faced in the first period. Last week, Stephane Da Costa had two assists, but only one shot on goal to show for his first three AHL games. Shooting helps score goals, and the Frenchman tallied a team high of five. Unfortunately, Da Costa's seemingly building confidence was not enough to beat the Penguins' veteran goalie, Scott Munroe.
Norfolk Admirals 5, Binghamton Senators 1
This game was a blowout, but will be remembered for the rest of the season because of the injury Wiercioch sustained. Still, Andre Petersson showed the team what they would be missing, rocketing a shot top shelf before going down. Reminiscent of problems from earlier in the season, the BSens were absolutely blanketed on the shot count, trailing 39-22 after three. No Sen registered more than three shots on target.
Norfolk Admirals 5, Binghamton Senators 2
If 39-22 is ugly (it is), then 42-17 is significantly uglier. The BSens are floundering right now, in need of a change of momentum. Unfortunately, in a league where games are played in sporadic spurts, gaining momentum gradually is difficult, while losing it is only too easy. Losing streaks can feel like they carry on forever when there are four day breaks between games. A sub-par performance for Robin Lehner was followed up by a mediocre (I didn't feel like using the same word twice) showing from Mike McKenna. Still, his team gave him no support. The only BSen to score was newcomer Rob Klinkhammer (so tempted to make pun... I'll save it.) Mike Hoffman's four SOG was a team high.
Being a struggling championship team is understandable, especially in a league with so much turnover. Being plagued by injuries to key players is lamentable and sympathetic. However, Sens fans have a stake in ensuring that Binghamton is developing players in a positive fashion. For the Calder Cup winning players, this may be a good time to grow as a player. For those stepping in, it would be nice to start getting some wins.
- I'm not breaking news when I remind everyone that Nikita Filatov is returning to his native Russia for the rest of the season. This does not necessarily spell the end of his days on the team-- at least, I hope not. I will diligently update this space with his performance, as the season wears on.
- In Team Canada's World Junior Championship selection camp, Brent Bulmer was credited with a goal in the Red v. White scrimmage. The goal was later given to Mark Stone. That must happen a lot.
- More injury news with
DID YOU HEAR ABOUT SIDNEY CROSBYJakob Silfverberg slated to miss the next six weeks with a hurt in his shoulder.
- Mika Zibanejad had an assist this week.
- Stefan Noesen, in the interests of showing Team USA what they missed, has increased his point total to 31 in 27 games.
- The Senators did not release a prospect update today, much to my chagrin. When they do, I will post it in the comments, and/or tweet about it (@BobbyBKelly)