Bingo 2013 Calder Cup?
Not only do the Binghamton Senators have a chance….they may very well be the favourites.
As a loyal Senators fan, I want to see a Stanley Cup this year, but without Karlsson I have my doubts. Injuries have loaded the NHL roster with Binghamton players, who are gaining valuable experience and playtime against NHL opponents. In all likelihood at the end of the season they will be sent back down to Bingo for the playoffs. Forgive me if I sound nostalgic and optimistic, this reminds me of 2011. The 2011 Sens were a combination of terrible, stagnant as a franchise and unlucky with injuries. Brian Murray traded away players and commenced a rebuild...morale in Sens Army was at an all-time low. All that was left was to bring up some prospects and minor leaguers to see what they had. It was here we first saw players like Greening, Condra and Smith getting serious NHL minutes. When the season was over, they were sent to Binghamton with a seemingly doomed 1st vs. 8th seed matchup. As it turned out, a young Swedish prospect by the name of Lehner only managed to win for 3 straight games in overtime to win the series. O’Brien, Cowen, Boro, Gryba, Wiericioch, Dizzy and Grant began to make names for themselves in the organization and went on to win a championship. 2 years later, they are primed to win it all again. Only this time they may do so surprising no one with a team built by the Murray's.
At the time of this writing, the Binghamton Senators are 4th in the Eastern Conference, 1 point out of 1st and the league lead (with a game in hand) well missing over a third of their roster. Well the 2011 team had a feeling of a team of destiny; the 2013 team has all the markings of a cup favourite. Four key forwards in Binghamton: Dizzy, Jakub, Mika and Stone will likely swell an already potent offence that includes prospects such as Da Costa, Prince and Pageau. Bingo will regain its top 3 defenceman in Wiercioch, Benoit and Gryba joining potential future Senators in Borocop and Claesson. They will be backstopped by the 2011 MVP and 2013 league-leading goaltender in Robin Lehner. I traveled to Binghamton for the playoffs once, I want to do so again...despite the downtown only having one good restaurant of note.
2 Calder Cups in 3 years....We can only hope.