As sports fans know good chemistry creates winning, (or is it winning creates chemistry?) and hockey fans around these parts know their team is a pretty tight group of guys. The season has been moving along and the team has been pretty successful so far with the Binghamton Senators out front in first place in the East and third in the Conference as they gear up for the post season unless there’s a colossal meltdown, which would defeat the point I’m trying to make here.
Last year Luke Richardson was in his first season and in the middle of a lockout, which he lost a big part of his club once the NHL was back mid-way through it, and that was hard to re-group in time for the playoffs in getting swept in the first round. This year is different as Richardson has established winning right from the get go as he has the full team throughout the season.
This team reminds me of the club that went all the way in 2011 winning the Calder Cup as that also was a very special group of players that looked after one another on and off the ice. That team barely made the playoffs as seventh seeded in the Eastern Conference but the chemistry they had had been undeniable. Fans have seen over the years some players that didn’t want to be here, sulked about it, and had horrible attitudes which can be detrimental to a locker room. I don’t see it with this bunch and have heard great things about players wanting to play, enjoying the community and getting involved with what little the City has to offer to some of them. I’m proud of this team and where it’s at and hopefully, with a little luck, we can win it all again.
Breaking Down the Olympic Break
Coach Richardson stated after a recent Sens win; “That’s a great sign of a team that wants to be in first place, they want to be the best, and they want to stay there.” That is exactly what the club has done during the NHL’s Olympic Break winning four out of six games with a full line-up. My initial article stated now was the time for Binghamton to make a run for it in the East Division and that is what would happen as the Senators now find themselves six points out front of Hershey and Norfolk where before the break they were only one point up on Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Recently called up Mike Hoffman would go on a tear scoring seven goals and adding five assists. Mark Stone looked real good adding three goals and five assists as well as. Other standouts would be Cole Schneider (1g 4a 4g), Andre Petersson (2g 7a 6g), Jean-Gabriel Pageau (2g 4a 6g) and Chris Wideman (2g 3a). I also thought Fredrik Claesson was very good in his end taking on the body and killing penalties.
Andrew Hammond was in net for all six filling in for flu ridden Nathan Lawson and his sudden emergence as a stopper was brilliant at times as I will soon be doing a follow-up feature on how he has progressed along this season.
Now with the Olympics over and Binghamton has lost their leading scorer and top dog, the team will have to find a way to fill Hoffman’s shoes (skates?) and rely on that team chemistry notion while continuing to keep pace in their division leading up to hopefully the playoffs and another long run.
Cover and insert photo’s courtesy of Alicia Strauch.