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Scouting 2016-’17 Binghamton Senators; Goalie Preview

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Goaltending will once again be in the forefront for the BSens

Binghamton, NY., Goaltender Chris Driedger makes a kick save in last season’s contest against the Rochester Americans - Photo by Alicia Strauch - S7S

The last of a four part series in scouting the Binghamton Senators 2016-’17 season. You can find the offense here, followed by the defense, the coaching staff and now the goaltenders. I’m somewhat guarded, but at the same time optimistic in the end results for each player between the pipes.

We have Chris Driedger, who has been steadily developing and has responded well enough to be the #1 goaltender for Binghamton this season. That is going to be a given, with a strong camp and equally strong pre-season game last weekend.

However, the big question will be how well will Matt O’Connor rebound after a disappointment rookie campaign last year. Despite his dismal record, at times you just felt for the guy as he had very little help from up top during his struggles while adjusting from the college level to the pros, in addition to a somewhat porous defense for Binghamton.

The hiring of a new goaltending coach for the first time in team history will surely benefit, as Kory Cooper was named to fill that position. This is a big step forward, and perhaps it will set a trend in the AHL, as there is just five other teams that have an advantage of a goaltending coach. (Iowa, Rochester, Syracuse, Rockford and San Diego are the others)

Regardless, if O’C improves combined with a steady diet of wins from Driedger, along with a reliable Scott Greenham being the third man from Wichita, goaltending should round out to be better than average for the BSens in the AHL.

#29 Matt O’Connor


Age: 24 (Feb 14, 1992)

Birthplace: Toronto, ON, CAN

Hgt/Wgt: 6’6 205 lbs Glove: Left Hand

Acquired: Free agent signing on May of 2015, Undrafted

Contract ‘16-’17 : $70,000/$925,000 - 2nd of a 2-year ELC

Last Season: Binghamton; 34 gms 10-20-3 3.31 GAA 0.895 SV% Ottawa; 1 gm 0-1-0 3.10 GAA 0.912 SV%

Notables:

  • Ben Bishop like in size, but has a ways to go if he’s going down the same path as Bishop has
  • Should have been sent down (ECHL) for some experience, as his adjustment to the pros was a struggle early on and lasted throughout the season
  • Potential is there, just needs to reel it in and make it happen
  • Was in net in last week’s pre-season loss to Rochester, as he gave up 4 goals on 15 shots during the first 10 minutes

Outlook: A full-time goalie coach will help. But, the big concern is the defense and how well it will perform in front of him, a problem last season. Will be competing with Driedger for the back-up role in Ottawa some day, but time is not on his side. This has to be a break-out year, and yet at the same time a confidence builder, otherwise forget it. Pressure on? Perhaps, but yes if you think about it.

#31 Chris Driedger


Age: 22 (May 18, 1994)

Birthplace: Winnipeg, MB, CAN

Hgt/Wgt: 6’3 203 lbs Glove: Left Hand

Acquired: Ottawa Senators – 3rd round draft pick in 2012 (76th Overall)

Contract ‘16-’17 : $70,000/$780,000 - 3rd of 3 year ELC

Last Season: Binghamton; 39 gms 18-15-4 2.83 GAA 0.912 SV% Ottawa; 1 gm Mop up duty

Notables:

  • Looked good in pre-season action with a shutout win
  • New goaltender coach should help solidify his play, as the previous one seemed to be a determinant of sorts on a more personal level
  • Good Excellent glove work and quick on his feet, anticipates well with strong net coverage
  • Expect him to carry the load out of the gate

Outlook: Look for a strong outing in net in his third season for Binghamton. He’s right where he should be in his development and is still young enough to be considered a top contender in replacing Craig Anderson in due time. With all said and done, he is the most under-rated player on the team. Chris is going to be a star someday folks, mark my words. Ottawa, do us a favor and don’t mess this one up unlike previous ones.

#35 Scott Greenham


Age: 29 (Apr 24 1987)

Birthplace: Addison, ONT, CAN

Hgt/Wgt: 6’2 190 lbs Glove: Left Hand

Contract ‘16-’17 : (Undisclosed) Binghamton AHL/ECHL

Last Season: Binghamton; 6 gms 3-1-0 2.19 GAA 0.928 SV% Evansville (ECHL); 23 gms 11-9-3 GAA 0.920 SV%

Notables:

  • This will be Scotty’s fourth season for the organization with 40 career games that has compiled a 22-12-3 2.51 GAA 0,918 SV% record for Binghamton
  • Very reliable back-up that will get his share of action, one of the best in the business in that role
  • Streaky type, yet possesses a history of solid numbers to back his results

Outlook: Will get the start for the new affiliate in Wichita, Kansas representing the Thunder of the ECHL. However, instead of riding the bus on an 11 hour journey, it’ll be a couple hours on a plane if and when he gets the call. Mad respect for him returning to the organization that he loves to be a part of.

-—-——

Thanks for taking the time to check out a few, if not all of the four Scouting Reports leading to tomorrow night’s season opener against the Hershey Bears.

Thanks also goes out to Alicia and her efforts for game pics, as she does an awesome job! She enhances my work and makes it whole!

Let’s Go Sens!