With the recent news of Luke Richardson and the Senators organization moving forward without one another after four years, a few loose ends to wrap up for the Binghamton ' 2015-'16 season. Team Awards at the forefront, with 4th Quarter Grades on the tail-end later this week.
The following is the team's awards voted by the players themselves.
- MVP/Chris Driedger (39gms, 18-15-4-0, 2.83 GAA, 0.912 SV%)of the Game -
Didn't really get along with departed Ottawa goalie coach Rick Wamsley, but his time has now arrived and we should see a confident Driedger upfront next season, that is if he (hopefully) re-signs. It began with a 32 save effort in Binghamton's 4-1 win by the Albany Devils in the home opener that earned Driedger the game's Second Star, then ended with First Star honors in last Sunday's win up in Utica. The soon to be 22 year-old has a very, bright future.
Edit: He has another year left on his ELC, so we're good.
- Rookie of the Year -
Spirited, yet versatile player that played both defense and forward positions when the team was in a pinch. Good call.
- 7th Player Award - Kyle Flanagan (44gms, 6g, 14a, 0)
Surprising results, yet skilled forward that was missed down the stretch with a lower body injury that required minor surgery. Hope he returns and is signed by Binghamton full-time, as he lived off of PTO's in his time with the team.
- Best Defenseman - Mark Fraser (60gms, 2g, 5a, -5, 136 pim)
Questionable nomination to be frank, as others were more deserving. Fredrik Claesson and Guillaume Lepine come to mind. I don't expect him back with the potential log-jam on the blueline.
- Best Defensive Forward - Max McCormick (57gms, 15g, 15a, +1, 143 pim)
No doubter. He deserves any award available, especially related to the hardest worker on the ice, at any given time throughout the season. Hope he's locked up during the off-season, as next year's club needs him out of the chute.
- Man of the Year - Zack Stortini (66gms, 8g, 8a, -14, 182 pim)
Deserving community contributor, and one of three under contract for next season. (Matt O'Connor and Ben Harpur the other two on the ending season roster). Not so sure he deserves to be the team's Captain next year, with new coach(es) coming in, but it's likely he will again fill that role.
With Richardson now pursuing an NHL gig, here is a pic of the actual roster line-up from opening night, proceeded by the last home game of the season. I essentially witnessed a major roster change with many alterations that took place during the 76 games for the Binghamton Senators. Yes, Richardson was challenged, no doubt, yet he managed to squeak out 31 wins with little support, and the lack of depth that played out during the course of the season.
I included the actual line-up sheet(s), as it was so unbelievable the amount of players that were moved without proof.
Oct 10, 2015 vs. Albany Apr 15, 2016 vs. Hershey
Only 11 remained out of 24 positional players (Stortini, Nick Tuzzolino, Lepine, Ben Harpur, David Dziurzynski, Danny Hobbs, McCormick, Buddy Robinson, Matt Puempel, Travis Ewanyk and Mark Fraser) plus the two goaltenders (Matt O'Connor and Driedger).
At some point, while processing what had gone wrong for the Senators, and with that many alterations in the line-up, is Richardson the victim of a scapegoat in the long run?
Ranks & Stats
- A look at the special teams found the Senators' power play ended up in 9th (17.8%), while the penalty kill was in 20th position (81.8%).
- Penalties? They finished with an average of 18.04 PIM per game (3rd place), while accumulating 1371 minutes, only 41 behind league leading Bridgeport.
- BSens gave up an average of 31.86 shots per outing (23rd), while producing 27.97 on average (29th).
- The goals for (204) and against (241) saw the result of them ranked 24th in each category in the league.
- A season long problem was too many first period goals allowed with 74, second only behind Chicago with 76 in the AHL.. While they scored just 56, too often this season, the BSens found themselves digging out of a early hole, one of the problems that also plagued Ottawa, and one of the reasons for personal changes that have recently taken place within the organization.
The coaching changes needed to be made, as Pierre Dorion's job was put to the test right from the get go. Tough decisions were made in order to right this organization and it begins in Binghamton, then carries through on up in Ottawa.
It's going to be a very interesting off-season, for sure.
Next up, 4th Quarter Grades Report.
*Cover Pic Courtesy of @AliciaS20