B-Sens Notebook: Consistency remains out of reach
by Chris Nardi/Correspondent
Struggling to find consistency after ending two consecutive weeks with a losing record, the Binghamton Senators saw a golden opportunity to climb back to the top of standings with back-to-back games against division-rivals Norfolk Admirals.
Unfortunately, the team continued it’s hot-then-cold routine, winning a thriller last Friday 4-3 thanks to goals from four different B-Sens and a strong performance by Robin Lehner before coming out flat the next day, losing 4-2 and allowing the Admirals to take a quick two goal lead, which the visiting team would never overcome.
In response to his team’s first loss of the week, left wing Shane Prince had a very straightforward answer.
“We need to play a full 60 minutes,” Prince told the Star Gazette. “(Coach) Luke (Richardson) has been telling us that since camp started. If we take one break it could cost us the game and it has a few times already this season.”
Coach Richardson’s analysis was spot on, as the B-Sens outshot Norfolk throughout all three periods in their winning effort, but were outshot 31-24 throughout the first two periods the following day, allowing three Norfolk goals while only scoring one in the process.
“Just a momentary lapse can result in a goal against or even a loss,” Prince added on Tuesday. “We’ve been playing hard but just need to be consistent through the whole game.”
Hoping to return to over .500 against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins four days later, the B-Sens knew that only a full 60 minute effort would win them the game. Unfortunately, the visiting Senators weren’t able to throw in an additional ten minutes, as they lost 1-0 in an eight-round shootout. Though his team wasn’t able to pot him the win, goaltender Robin Lehner once again kept his team in the game, getting his first shutout of the season despite the loss.
- Though much of the B-Sens’ success can be credited to goalie Robin Lehner, not as much can be said of highly-touted backup Ben Bishop. In both games he’s started this season, Bishop has allowed four goals, giving him a save percentage of .902 and a miserable 4.04 goals-against average.
- Binghamton’s problems all seem to revolve around the net, as the team has also scored only 22 goals in nine games. Only eight teams have scored fewer goals, all of which are understandably below the B-Sens in the standings.
- Star defenseman Jared Cowen missed his seventh consecutive game this week because of a tweaked muscle suffered against the Rochester Amerks on Oct. 16. Forward Mark Stone also missed his sixth game, leaving the team with a much-diminished offensive arsenal.
Week to come
The B-Sens are facing a first-time foe this week in the Adirondack Phantoms, the Philadelphia Flyers’ AHL affiliate. Sitting in 13th place in the Eastern Conference to the B-Sens’ 7th, the Phantoms are only one point behind the Binghamton team, meaning that a loss for the Sens could represent a plummet of six spots in the standings.
The team then stays at home for a game against the Rochester Amerks the following day. The B-Sens won their first game of the season against their New York rivals 3-1, but lost a key player in Jared Cowen, ultimately costing them much, much more. The Binghamton team hopes to continue its successful winning streak against the Amerks, who feature no less than three star Buffalo Sabres players – Marcus Foligno, Luke Adam and Cody Hodgson.