The B-Sens needs to win, and now is the perfect time to do it.
Binghamton Senators look to exploit the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and make a run of their own at their slim one point lead in the East Division. With the NHL on a 17 day hiatus, the Senators hope to benefit from two key players returning to the line up, as forwards Mark Stone and Stephane Da Costa were sent down just before the Olympic deadline and look to spark the Sens back into the win column.
With the addition of Derek Grant coming off the injured reserve list, Binghamton will have a full healthy line up for the first time in a short while as the organization as a whole has been fortunate enough to dodge the injury bug so far this season. Codi Ceci could have used some ice as well during the break as outlined in Jared Crozier’s article, but Ottawa is known for when their mind is made up on a certain player, there’s no turning back as in sending the rookie defenseman back to Bingo. (Brian Elliott comes to mind in 2008-’09, but that’s a whole different article).
However, a few issues that need to be addressed first; the defense needs to tighten up and move some bodies out front and close the scoring lanes as that has been bothersome lately. Also, Nathan Lawson has been battling a few injuries along with the flu with back-up Andrew Hammond being forced to play and not getting the support in front of his crease turning off the fan’s hopes from the rookie netminder. Although, the 26-year-old Hammond needs to play better, period.
Along with Da Costa and Stone, maybe it’ll be Mike Hoffman‘s return or Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Shane Prince is on fire lately along with Cole Schneider. With Ottawa fighting for a playoff spot, you’ll never know who’s next to try to bolster their line up for the big club’s final playoff push.
A peak at the upcoming schedule during the stretch shows Binghamton has a total of six games with four at home, Hamilton @ Ottawa (8th), W/B-Scranton (14th), Worcester (15th) and Utica (22nd) along with two on the road, W/B-Scranton (19th), Hamilton @ Montreal (21st). That’s 12 points on the table for the taking and with a full line-up competing for ice time that’s a win-win situation when you look at it overall from a fan’s perceptive.