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Much like Nicky Foligno so far in the pre-season (or at least against the Toronto Maple Laffs), I’ve come back after a long delay off the site and off what I love—writing about my favourite team in all of sports. Not much has happened since that fateful day (more details below). The Sens’ rookies won the London Rookie Tournament, going 2-1 and really improving the chances of guys like Bobby Butler and Roman Wick on making the team. But first…

It’s been a rough couple of weeks for me. First, my computer went into a spiral downward movement, leading me to finally join the dark side and buy a laptop. After that, I was involved in a car accident, when I was rear-ended by someone riding their Jeep. I lived though, and I thank god for that. In the process, I tore my achilles’ tendon, I had wrist surgery (never knew there was such a thing), and have been able to re-habilitate at the hospital and at home. Everything is fine now, even though my ankle is quite swollen. I can write again, even though I can tell you there are rumours at my work of an imminent promotion. But that’s for later, now on to some Sens talk!

We all saw Filip Kuba go down and early on the first day of training camp. Kuba should be out for 5 weeks, meaning he’ll miss the start of the season. Although you never want to wish someone bad luck, this bodes well for guys like Chris Campoli, Jared Cowen, Patrick Wiercioch, Eric Gryba and possibly Brian Lee (gasp!). The defense should be sorted out by two of the guys mentioned, and especially Campoli needs to step it up. I think there’s no way Sergei Gonchar and Chris Phillips don’t play together on the first pairing. It makes senese, and allows gonch to be more aggresive on the play, knowing the Big Rig is there to back him up. Erik Karlsson and Chris Campoli should be the second pairing, and at time you can get the yelps, jitters, or excitement. Although I expect a great sophomore campaign for Special K, the two diminutive defenseman will have to work against some great second lines in the Eastern Conference. It’s why I think Matt Carkner moving up to play with Karlsson is a possiblity. Either way, that leaves an opening for the 6th Defenseman. Jared Cowen has played great so far in Toronto. Smooth plays, and he’s demonstrating great vision. I think, unless some major collapse or injury, he makes the squad. Now, Cory Clouston will likely want to keep a 7th guy on the back in case. I would say it will be Eric Gryba, who would be a good option on the back six. He’s playing with the regulars tomorrow in Montreal, and with Binghamton needing some help on scoring from defense, it would be smarter to give Wiercioch some time down in Binghamton.

Ryan Shannon seemed to have another concussion last night after Jay Rosehill flat-lined him. If true, it will be the third of his career. I don’t think his speed is enough to pen in him on the top 12, with guys like Zack Smith and Jesse Winchester passing him on the depth chart. If a Top Nine of Spezza, Alfredsson, Michalek, Regin, Fisher, Kovalev, Ruutu, Kelly, and Neil is set, then there’s still spots left. Without a doubt Nick Foligno is on the roster, and he could possibly crack the top six if he plays like he has so far. Zack Smith should make the squad, ash is penalty killing has been key throughout the two first games. Finally, Jesse Winchester has impressed me in camp and in Toronto. I really think he should play on October 8th, as he and Smith could form a deadly duo on the fourth line. That really leaves Bobby Butler and Romas Wick for the 13th forward, and I think that honour goes to Butler, after a great rookie tourney, and solid play last night. Wick’s not ready in my opinion for the big league, but he and Corey Locke (and possibly Francis Lessard?) should the first call-ups in case on injury from Binghamton.

All that leaves us is with goaltending. Despite recent comments from Triple C and Bryan Murray, Robin Lehner’s staying in Binghamton, and likely starting over Mike Brodeur. Pascal Leclaire’s salary and play in Game 5 and 6 of the last playoffs should give him enough to make him the starter. I also like Pazzy’s attitude this camp; really approachable and definetely set for battle. Brian Elliott should be Numero Dos, with a good option in case of injury or bad play from Leclaire. What both of them need though is consistency, not like last seasons, where they both had more ups and downs than a rollercoaster.

Where does this leave us? Likely more cuts to be made tomorrow, and another away game, this time against the fragile Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Should be a blast…

Topics: B-Sens, Binghamton Senators, Bobby Butler, Craig Anderson, Eric Gryba, Filip Kuba, Jared Cowen, Jesse Winchester, London Rookie Tournament, Nick Foligno, Stephane Da Costa

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  • hockeyplayoffrun

    Shannon is going to have these types of injuries through his entire career I think. It’s too bad the guy is really fast and can make plays. It’s still a big man’s league. I like Gonchar for all the talk that he is not physical I saw him take a hit to make a pass and throw a hit last night. He will not overwhelm anyone on the blue line but at least he does not go out of his way to avoid physical play. Your right about Lehner he is going to start in Bingo. Should he continue to stand on his head I see him coming in and taking over mid season with either Leclair or Eliot being traded. Then again if both those guys do a good job and become consistant, what is the rush. A full year in Bongo could be just the thing he needs. It’s a long season and he might just need to adapt to that if anything else.

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