Binghamton Senators continue to slide down the slippery slope of losing as they rack up another pair from last weekend in the loss column. As good as they might appear on paper, it's not transferring over on the ice very well as the team struggles in finding ways to win. This week's Bites we try to break it down and keep everyone informed on the latest coming out of Bingo.
- THE HAMBURGLAR
This past weekend the BSens came out on the losing end on Friday against Springfield, then on Saturday with the Bears. Both games saw the return of goaltender Andrew Hammond as he was sent down on a conditioning assignment after missing some time with a concussion suffered during practice. His line reads 51/59 shots while giving up the eight goals in just over 118 minutes of action.
He's shown some improvement since the last time he donned a BSens' jersey earlier this year, but with the way the defense has been and how unpredictable it is, the numbers don't really relate. The team played well enough to win Friday night but quite frankly, Hammy wasn't all that sharp as one would expect with the extended time off. Saturday night, same story except a dreadful first period of action with him allowing four goals on 16 shots.
In the end, it doesn't really matter as he got his work in and the team marches on without him. Perhaps that's the way things work out for the better for both parties, as Hammond's game is best suited for the fluid style of the NHL rather than the helter-skelter type at times In the AHL.
- STATS TIME
Binghamton is out front in several categories in the AHL, but not in a way that makes any fan exactly thrilled. They are 6-15-2 for 14 points, which is next to last in the league at a 0.304 winning percentage while the team has a 0.3% chance of making the playoffs according to SportsClubsStats.
They are the most penalized team in the league averaging 23.48 minutes per game with a total of 540 minutes as Max McCormick (86) and Zack Stortini (70) are in the top five. They also lead the league with a whopping 28 majors.
I think some of us knew ahead of time that this was going to be an issue (good or bad) with the likes of Mark Fraser, Stortini, McCormick, Guillaume Lepine and Mike Sdao (even though he's been out) in the line-up.
As we look at the Special Teams, the Senators are 14th on the power play at 16.0% while next to last in 29th place on the PK, 78.9%. Cole Schneider leads in pp goals (3) and assists (3), however they are tied with the Stockton Heat in shorthanded goals (5) which is best in the league. As far as shots, a slight improvement over recent seasons in giving up 31.13 (21st) on average, while taking 30.52 (11th) per game.
Same can be said with goals allowed. Lowest in the league giving up 3.74 per game while ranked tied at 14th (Grand Rapids, Bakersfield) scoring 2.91 per outing. Binghamton and Syracuse are tied with the fewest shots on net (1), but it's the Sens that are tops for lowest game total (6), with second fewest held by Rochester (14).
Team wise, Eric O'Dell leads with a 22.0 SH% (minimum 10 games) and shares the team high (9) in goals with Schneider. 2nd year pro Ryan Dzingel leads with the most assists (15) and points (21) as he continues to become an offensive force carving his way in the line-up.
In the plus/minus category, rookie defenseman Ben Harpur is a team worst -11 after 18 games while another D-man Michael Kostka, leads with a +9 after 17 games. Fredrik Claesson has been the team leader in this category before, but has played the role of showing the ropes being partnered with Harpur that has sunk him down to a career low of -2.
I don't normally rely on stats in player evaluations, but there you have it.
- MATT O'CONNOR GETS A WIN
(I ran into some work issues and missed last week's Bites, but didn't want this to go under the radar, unnoticed.)
Two weekends ago the Binghamton Senators split their two games, on the losing end in Syracuse on Friday followed with a win the next night over St. John's. Matt O'Connor was in net for both games, which eventually was the right call as he earned his first professional victory on Saturday. It's a rare event for a rookie goaltender to play in back to back games, but the coaching staff (with the possible urging of Rick Wamsley) thought he played well enough in Friday's loss to play the next night.
It wasn't all his fault in letting in five goals on Friday, as two came off his own players. The defense wasn't there as well, but things tightened down on Saturday with a 60 minute effort over one of the top teams in the league that was encouraging. Let's hope this gives the struggling rookie some confidence as he continues to improve.
- OUR HOME FANS ARE THE BEST
As bad as this season has been thus far, the Binghamton faithful have outdone themselves once again as a handful of hardcore fans still remain positive by creating some home-made signs in a show of support .
The story? A few fans got together at a local church and spent some time making their creations, which was on display at a recent home game. Then right before puck drop, a local organization known as BingPop.com hooked them up to a suite for the entire game with a return of some promotional activity. Good deal!
Maybe our coolest Random Act of Cheer? Pulled Erin from Greene out of her crummy old seats at the… https://t.co/ipdw5llcu7— BingPop.com (@BingPop) December 6, 2015
Pretty cool. Nice job guys!
*Cover Pic Courtesy of Alicia Strauch.
Tonight the Sens take on the Toronto Marlies on home ice and I'll have the re-cap following the game.