The 2015-16 season began with a bang, giving the Binghamton Senators a win on opening night over the Albany Devils by a score of 4-1. Rookie goaltender Chris Driedger should've recorded a shutout, but the lone goal he allowed was off the skate of defenseman Fredrik Claesson. It was unfortunate at the time as it tied the game up at one apiece.
Rookie forward Tobias Lindberg looked calm and collected in his pro debut as he recorded two assists. It's only one game, and that Albany team was no real serious threat, but it'll be something to see how he performs against loaded rival teams of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton or the Syracuse Crunch.
Also, the play of netminder Chris Driedger should be noted as he was solid giving up almost no rebounds, continuing where he left off from his six-game winning streak late last season. His positional play is better while his glove work is encouraging. Now with O'Connor in the fold, this could have some serious impact for the B-Sens as a one-two punch combination, as long as the players in front of them do their job.
O'Connor Sent To Bingo
Andrew Hammond has returned from a groin injury which means Matt O'Connor is set to join his teammates in Binghamton. The move forced back-up Scott Greenham to Evansville, Indiana. He'll join the recently departed forward Ryan Penny as the two will open up their season for the IceMen on Oct 17th against the Indy Fuel.
This gives the B-Sens the best one-two tandem in recent years. O'Connor has been a highly recruited player recently choosing the organization, giving Binghamton fans some excitement as a reminder of the Robin Lehner days all over again. Let's hope Ottawa handles this correctly and doesn't pull a repeat of a Brian Elliott fiasco.
Syracuse Ice Expansion
The B-Sens have one game on tap for this weekend coming up in Syracuse on Saturday, followed by two against St. John's next week. However, there's some news surrounding the ole barn up north.
The new look Syracuse War Memorial has expanded by 7 feet, (3 1/2 feet on each side in the neutral ice area from center ice), giving them the regulation size 200 x 85, which was requested by parent club Tampa Bay. The expansion also allows more bench room giving a reserved seat for the back-up goaltender with his teammates. This move, I believe, leaves Binghamton with the official smallest ice surface in the league with no official size.
Is the county-owned Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial ready to follow the path of Syracuse and make that next step in expansion? Probably not, as there's just not enough structural room without blowing out some massive concrete dividers on each end which would kill the aesthetic view from a fan's perspective.
Syracuse's Arena is much older than Binghamton's, but it's also larger as the structure as a whole could allow for such an expansion, whereas here it doesn't really seem plausible if you think about it. Besides, the fans have taken a liking to the uniqueness of the building which gives its own character.
Nothing wrong with that as long as the home team prevails and continues to give a seat for the back-up goalies behind the player's entrance.
Cover Pic Courtesy of Matt Trayling