3rd Quarter results are in for the Binghamtonas they ended up 7-10-0-1 over the past 19 games for an overall record of 22-31-3-1, good for 48 points keeping them at the bottom of the North Division, which has been a mainstay for the club for most of the season. In comparison at this point the last two years, in 2015 the record was 24-26-7-1, and 33-19-1-4 in 2014. A steady decline that needs to be addressed very soon.
A bunch of new faces as trades took place, including a big seven player AHL deal sending veteran forward Eric O'Dell, Cole Schneider, Alex Guptill and defenseman Mike Sdao to the Buffalo organization in exchange for forward's Jason Akeson, Phil Varone and defenseman Jerome Leduc.
Before that, a blockbuster deal was pulled off between two unlikely candidates involving Toronto and Ottawa, as they made a splash up top that included players at the AHL level. Forward's Tobias Lindberg and Colin Greening to Toronto for Michael Keranen, after Allen appeared in 17 games during his brief stay.and . Also sent packing later was D-man Conor Allen to Minnesota for forward
Ottawa has since recalled Ryan Dzingel,, Matt Puempel and recently Michael Kostka. So, with the many moves that have taken place during the last quarter, there's not much left to grade for those that remain, but we do have some to offer.
"I'm going out on a limb and predicting Luke Richardson and Steve Stirling will get this team to the post season because I believe in them. I strongly do."
Yup, that was my prediction at the end of the midway point, but with all the changes that have now taken place, that's not going to happen. The organization is attempting to find out how the future will shape up with the players that are currently here in Binghamton, as this season is now (un)officially toast. The remaining 19 games will decide who stays and who goes for those that qualify during the coming off-season.
Here are my grades covering the third quarter in numerical order with a minimum of 8 games played, 5 for goaltenders. As usual, I'm shooting from the hip with very little usage of stats in the thought process. 1st & 2nd quarter results are listed as a comparison.
This is the chart that I use which is a familiarity here in the States when grading school papers and such.
#3 Fredrik Claesson B+, A-, B+
Seems to be falling into a content role while doing his duties filling in as the guy with the most games. I believe he's around 250+, but obviously he's done the work and needs to be set free. Still a force on the blue line and the PK, and has that once in a while offensive attributes that is a bonus.
#5 Mark Fraser
Can't deny his toughness but at some point his reckless, yet pointless penalties has gone on and hurts the team, although this quarter he's toned it down considerably. Has laid off the fighting but is still one of the most feared players in the league, not Boro type of feared, but the younger players have learned to stay away from the salty vet.
Keep doing what you do my friend, and that is being a sub for all spots, including playing forward. Life in the minors, as he is considered a defenseman in the long run. Good speed and somewhat offensive smarts. Lacks physical play. Can't see him playing both sides of the spectrum, therefore a less grade than the previous quarter.
#21 Michael Kostka B-, A-, A
Recently got the call-up, but qualified. Experience veteran that should've been the player with the 'C'. Huge plus on the power play playing quarterback. Great guy to have in the locker room, as his infectious smile makes Thor a crowd pleaser.
#24 Ben Harpur
Below average but steadily improving since spending some time at the lower level. Slow and yet weak physically, but he's progressing. Spotty positional play and poor man on man coverage. He's young and has time on his side, as long as the organization is in agreement to not rush him. Haven't tossed in the towel as of yet.
#28 Guillaume Lepine
Biggest player improvement on the club. Big body and ready to defend, as he's a quiet, yet steady influence on the blue line. Possesses a powerful punch when challenged, as he has formed a reputation all on his own as being one of the tougher guys in the league. Bald, brawn and beautiful is what you get from this defenseman. Bring him back!
#8 Kyle Flanagan N/A, B-, B+
This is perhaps has been his strongest stretch as he has looked. Great vision, eye-seeing passes that makes him an upcoming force in the future for this team. Picked up mid-season and still on a PTO, as he's one of the better hustlers out there, which makes up for his size, or lack of. Needs to be re-newed ASAP.
#9 Matt Puempel
# 10 Buddy Robinson
Honest player that excels as a league premier penalty killer, with opposing players see as a legit threat. It's a guaranteed situation that the big guy will force a shorthanded breakaway at some point. Just a big improvement in his play as a dominant forechecker that was once briefly written off. Now is his time to shine coming up in the final quarter of the season.
#11 Travis Ewanyk
Despite the top 50 pretty boy rankings in all of hockey according to Instagram, his play on ice is questionable at times. Feisty player that gets in your face, but the team has plenty of them, as his role continues to be one of them. Not a great puck mover or shooter. Should be his last quarter for the organization.
#12 Eric O'Dell
#13 Nick Paul C-, C+ On Recall (6G)
#15 Cole Schneider
#16 Colin Greening C+, C Traded
#17 Max McCormick
He continues to fight his way while gaining confidence, as this young player is the meat and potatoes for the club. Without his on-ice presence, the chemistry and flow is lost as was witnessed when he was called up. Always great hustle and determination, two important elements you want to see night in and night out, and he delivers 100%. Slight dip in grade with a drop-off on offense.
#19 Danny Hobbs
Below grade fill-in. Not an abundance amount of talent to showcase, as he recently returned from the bottom league to fill the missing gaps offensively in the line-up. Don't expect him back next season. However, he did beat Vincent Dunn as a call-up. So there's something to mill about when considering depth issues within.
#22 Dave Dziurzynski B-, Inc., B
His best quarter by far, as he must have realized this might be it in picking up his play during his last of a 2-year deal with the physical side front and center. High marks deserved playing on the checking line which has been a sight to see with hits galore. I for one hope he returns.
Meh. Another average forward leaning towards the small side, as this club with an abundance of them already. Seems to be that throw in guy with that trade. Haven't seen anything to warrant a return next season. Mediocrity at its best.
#23 Tobias Lindberg
#25 Casey Bailey B-
Great potential and could be a catalyst for the big club in the bottom six role at some point. Good legs and has a knack for the net as the rookie settles into his new digs after a trade. Impressed, not overly thrilled, but impressed. Should be back to save face for Ottawa.
#39 Ryan Penny N/A, C+, C-
Another player in question for his future in the organization. Just your average mill of a player as he's recently been sent down. Too much of this going on as of late, and not enough talent to spread around up front.
#43 Ryan Dzingel
#45 Zack Stortini
Maybe a burden for some, but is the team's captain and has shown signs that he is still one of the heavy's in the league with his recent bout with an ex-teammate. Love him or hate him, he'll be around for a second year as one of Luke's good guys. Not gonna change anything, he's just an average shell of his old self, which was average then as well.
#29 Matt O'Connor Inc., B-, C
On the right track (again) as he continues to develop after suffering a previous injury. He's been totaling handled wrong by the organization and deserves a fair shake in moving forward. Fans have been on him, as well as myself in the past, but give the guy some credit in learning what it takes to succeed in the pros on the fly. Hopefully this last 19 games will be a window for his, as well as the team's future success.
#33 Chris Driedger
Off and on throughout the quarter, as he's the baby of all netminders in the organization. At a time you look as his glove to be a weakness, only to be a weapon as of late. Just too inconsistent but should settle down the more he matures. Still has game in him that shouldn't be dismissed.
Inc. = Incomplete
*Cover Pic Courtesy of @AliciaS20