This time two weeks ago, the Belleville Senators were sitting comfortably right above the basement of the North Division. Riding some mixed performances, and dealing with the many roster moves associated with a rebuilding NHL team, there were (and still are) a lot of question marks surrounding this team.
One thing this club has managed to do over the past few weeks is prove that they can score with the best of them. Currently tied for 4th in the North with a 13-8-1 record, the B-Sens come into December en fuego. Belleville has won eight of their last ten games, including this past week’s three game sweep, and scored four or more goals in eight of their 14 games in November.
Wednesday, November 27 — Belleville 5, Laval 3
Here are the highlights.
- Filip Gustavsson stopped 21 of 24 shots (0.875 SV%) and allowed Laval to score one powerplay goal.
- Vitaly Abramov, Josh Norris and Drake Batherson were reunited and contributed a combined two goals and an assist.
- Alex Formenton, playing with Jordan Szwarz and Rudolfs Balcers, netted a pair of goals.
- Belleville was successful on two of their four powerplay attempts.
The Norris to Batherson connection #fortheB pic.twitter.com/pTJZitAorX— Belleville Senators (@BellevilleSens) November 28, 2019
Friday, November 29 — Belleville 6, Binghamton 2
Here are the highlights.
- With Marcus Högberg up in Ottawa, Gustavsson got the start again, and he turned away 30 of 32 shots (0.938 SV%), allowing both goals against at even strength.
- Six different B-Sens found the back of the net, spreading the scoring between Jordan Murray, Jonathan Davidsson, Norris, Formenton, Abramov and Andrew Sturtz.
- Abramov, Norris and Batherson combined for two goals and four assists.
- Abramov’s goal was scored on a slick penalty shot move, but the play that led to Abramov’s penalty shot injured him enough that he ended up sitting out on Saturday. He’s expected to return on Friday.
Vitaliy Abramov— Shootout Ideas (@ShootoutIdeas) December 2, 2019
( Source: @sensprospects via @heybarber) pic.twitter.com/clhkTG1xld
Saturday, November 30 — Belleville 3, Hershey 1
Here are the highlights.
- Joey Daccord received the nod for his first AHL start, stopping 26 of 27 shots (0.963 SV%).
- With Abramov out, Balcers joined Norris and Batherson and things happened again. Norris had a goal and an assist, Batherson had a goal and two assists and Balcers chipped in two assists of his own just for fun.
- Formenton was held off the scoresheet for the first time in four games, but still contributed four shots on net.
Batherson’s Time Is Coming
For me, it’s only a matter of time before we see the Sens world explode with tweets about Batherson getting a real shot at the NHL level. After another hot week, where he scored twice and added four helpers, Batherson is now tied for the AHL scoring lead with two less games than the players with which he’s tied. This, amongst other reasons, is why Ary listed Batherson as one of Ottawa’s biggest standouts in yesterday’s prospect report.
The looming question remains: when will this call-up happen? Ken Warren had some solid thoughts on this topic recently that make a ton of sense to me. Essentially, Warren is saying that when someone of importance is recalled, such as Logan Brown, they want to ensure that the player’s in a scenario where they have the ability to permanently stick in the NHL. For a player like Batherson — or Balcers, for that matter — this will have to come from some type of roster move at the NHL level. Basically, we’re waiting for a winger to be traded or hit with a long term injury. It’s tough as a fan to wait something like this out. All I want is to see these exciting prospects play out their NHL dreams, score all the goals, and prove that the Ottawa Senators of tomorrow have something to play for.
The good news is that the longer we wait for Batherson (or Balcers) to get the call, the more likely Belleville will be in a playoff position come the spring. For as long as it takes Drizzy Drake to have room made for him by Pierre Dorion, he’ll be doing what he does best — creating offence for the Belleville Senators.
Daccord is More Than Just Ok
D’accord means “ok” in french, right? The moment they told me in grade 9 I didn’t need to continue taking french, I stopped. You really shouldn’t give a 14 year old that kind of power. Anyways...
Daccord is one of many question marks in the goalie pipeline for the Ottawa Senators, and he got his first taste of the AHL on Saturday night. On the second half of a back-to-back, head coach Troy Mann turned to the 2017 7th round pick in hopes that he’d backstop his team to a 5th consecutive victory — and Daccord did just that.
The netminder’s stint with Belleville is clearly temporarily, barring the trickle down effect of a long term injury or trade to one of Craig Anderson or Anders Nilsson. But it was great to see him suit up and stand tall in his first appearance. He has a save percentage of 0.892 in eleven starts with Brampton, leading them to six wins in those eleven starts.