With an outstanding record of 21-8-3, the Binghamton Senators are 4 points back of division rival Syracuse Crunch. The Crunch are essentially the Norfolk Admirals of yesteryear, the team that won twenty-eight straight games to close out the regular season, on their way to a Calder Cup. At the time, Norfolk was an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning, but the affiliation was switched in the offseason to Syracuse. Considering their slow start, the boys from Binghamton have been on a phenomenal run of late so as to to be in striking distance of last year's record-setting championship squad. Look out, Crunch.
Binghamton had a busy weekend. A necessary evil of the AHL schedule is the draconian triple-header weekend, but it was one from which the B-Sens emerged with a strong 2-1 record, defeating Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and the Hershey Bears 3-1 on their way to a Sunday afternoon 5-2 loss at the hands of the Albany Devils.
A tiresome pattern for Binghamton last year was that they would be woefully outshot by the opposition on their way to crushing losses. Somehow, Luke Richardson has managed this season to turn that result partly on its head: no more does Binghamton lose games in rashes, but they continue to be outshot. Badly. Outshot 44-15 on Friday night, the B-Sens rode to victory on the strength of goals by Derek Grant, Hugh Jessiman, and a powerplay marker courtesy of Mike Hoffman. Interesting, that. Robin Lehner's season has been both well-documented and outstanding--Friday night was the epitome of his season. He must have known the end of the lockout was on the horizon. How did he know this? We will never know.
Luke Richardson must have ogled the scoresheet from Friday night as much as the rest of us, as his team threw the puck from everywhere during their next game. On Saturday, the B-Sens defeated Hershey, outshooting the Bears 36-21. In a losing effort on Sunday, the exhausted squad was again outshot significantly, dropping a 5-2 decision despite the best efforts of Shane Prince and Patrick Wiercioch, who both registered goals.
Of course, the attention of hockey fans has since been drawn to the resolution of the farcical labor negotiations that defined the 2012 portion of this 2012/2013 season. Nonetheless, even as the NHL returns to our minds, televisions and credit card bills, the Binghamton Senators will remain an important part of Ottawa's development system.
- The resurgence of Derek Grant has been one of the prominent headlines of this short season. Grant, who has excelled on shorthanded opportunities, has also done more to fulfill the intelligent, two-way role envisioned for him by fans and likely the organization.
- Jakob Silfverberg overcame an early season adjustment to the haphazard nature of the AHL to have a terrific campaign to date.
- Dave Dziurzynski has 70 PIMs through 30 games. Last year, he had 90 total through 72. That's a developed element of his game. His offense has been somewhat inconsistent, but Dziurzynski has shone on occasion.
- Peter at Eye on the Sens does a good job here of looking at where the B-Sens stand at the thirty-game mark, alluding to the disappointing season Pat Cannone has had thus far. Disappointments are easily lost in the shuffle when a team is succeeding and THE LOCKOUT IS OVER! But they shouldn't be forgotten. Cannone's stock has been hurt of late.
- Binghamton's next game is tomorrow night against the WBS Penguins. They play two more games this weekend against the Adirondack Phantoms and Norfolk Admirals. The NHL won't be back yet, so you have no excuse not to watch the games. Go B-Sens!