The Ottawa Senators have faced a series of unfortunate events in the past month, that they wish they wouldn’t have to deal with when the puck finally dropped after a lengthy lock-out. Those events as we all know too well include injuries to core players such as Jason Spezza, Erik Karlsson and Milan Michalek, to name a few. To add to a list of already devastating injuries they also had to deal with a greatly depleted line-up in Binghamton. So technically speaking both the franchises in the Ottawa Senators system has had to deal with a lot in this young season.
Senators season opening lineup:
Silfverberg – Spezza – Michalek
Latendresse – Turris – Alfredsson
Greening – Smith – Neil
Regin – O’Brien – Condra
Karlsson – Methot
Phillips – Gonchar
Benoit – Wiercioch
Senators lineup today:
The obvious statement here is, they look nothing alike. Players in bold are players that weren’t even on their roster on opening day and that’s not even including Mika Zibanejad and Mark Borowiecki who both have played 10 and 6 games respectively.
HOW THIS HAS AFFECTED THEM
If you have noticed the Senators went from being a puck possession driving force to a dump and chase system. This was obviously affected by the loss of Spezza and Karlsson. Both those players were the driving force behind the puck possession system. They were both great at pushing the puck up the ice and often entering the opponents zone and creating scoring chances. Now with the aforementioned injured the Sens have become a dump and chase team which I strongly disagree with because as a team you are depending on your opponent making mistakes and trying to capitalize on them rather than creating chances yourself which is what Erik Karlsson was so great at doing. Not only has this affected them on even strength play but also with the man advantage. In case you didn’t notice the Sens are 0-24 in their last six games.
We as Sens fan have been pretty upset with all these injuries, imagine being Luke Richardson. Since Jan 13th the Binghamton Senators are 7-7-1, pretty much a miracle if you ask me. To show you why, the following are some of the players they have lost due to injury and being needed at the NHL level: Jakob Silfverberg, Andre Benoit, Mike Hoffman, Stephane Da Costa, Derek Grant, Patrick Wiercioch, Mark Stone, David Dziurzynski, Eric Gryba, Mika Zibanejad, Ben Bishop and Robin Lehner (To a certain extent) Just imagine losing players of this quality in your lineup and still going 7-7-1. That is great coaching from Luke Richardson right there, that is a lot to go through for a rookie head coach. The top 4 players on that list are still not in their line up, and Silfverberg and Benoit are still their top 2 in points despite missing 15 games!
So as you can see the loss of those players has greatly hit the depth of the Ottawa Senators and that’s not even checking in with Elmira their ECHL team. With all those players missing in their lineup the B-sens are still only 1 point away from first place after their great start to a season going 23-8-1-3 on January 13th to 30-15-1-4 today. That is proof that despite all the injuries and missing players from their lineup the Binghamton Senators are still having success to a certain degree and the Ottawa Senators can do the same. It will be an uphill battle until the season but that is proof they shouldn’t quit just yet!
Starting in the very near future I will be writing a weekly feature on the Binghamton Senators, so keep an eye out for that! Also for more B-sens news/info add me on twitter!