So this game is rather important wouldn’t you agree? I know I do.
First place in the East Division is up for grabs and it begins here, tonight in Binghamton, as the Senators take on the Norfolk Admirals to what amounts to our home team trying to reclaim what was once theirs since last Christmas Eve, first place and the ever so important edge resulting in home series advantage for the upcoming post season play. The Ads have come out of no where in winning five of their last seven to overtake the slumping Sens but a win tonight puts them with at least a tie for the lead depending on the W/B-Scranton-Hamilton outcome. Andrew Hammond will get the start with Nathan Lawson being called up to Ottawa for Craig Anderson.
(33-20-1-4) 71 pts
Second in East Division
(32-19-1-7) 72 pts
Tied for First in East Division
Healthy: Forwards Darren Kramer and Defensemen Danny New and Ben Blood.
Senators so desperately needing a win to help stop the hemorrhaging and right now is the time for our players to step up and play a full 60 minutes of hockey. Luke Richardson got back to basics with his practice’s this week focusing on simple passing drills and working to get the puck out of their own zone. This team cannot afford another winless weekend and it starts tonight with them hopefully earning two points.
Mark Borowiecki returns in action as the Captain is finally healthy enough and ready to go and lead the club for the final stretch run with 17 games remaining. He will be paired with Alex Grant on the first unit as those two will be playing together for the first time since the trade.
Speaking of trades, I will be the first to admit. It’ll be odd to see Andre Petersson in a different uniform for the first time in three years tonight. Hopefully, he will be held in check and unable to unleash his potent wrist shot in lighting up the lamp against his former team. Petey did, however have one in the Admirals 3-1 victory over Hershey in last Sunday’s game for his 18th of the season and his first for Norfolk, and is currently the top point producer for the Admirals.
Senators home record is 17-7-1-4 while the Admirals are 15-9-1-3 on the road. Binghamton remains the leading team in average goals scored per game with 3.67 while Norfolk is second in the AHL with the least number of goals allowed averaging 2.47 per game. Rookie netminder John Gibson (18-13-4 2.28) gets some credit for that stat as he has made steady work in between the pipes while posting a league high 5 shutouts for the season.
Players To Watch For
Norfolk: Forwards Emerson Etem (14g 25a 36gms) and Rickard Rakell (14g 23a 43gms), Defenseman Jesse Blacker (6g 15a 38gms).
Binghamton: Forward Cole Schneider (16g 24a 52gms) and Buddy Robinson (10g 11a 51gms), Defenseman Chris Wideman (7g 32a 56gms).
Sens up 2-1 with last game played on New Year’s Eve with a 3-2 victory. Five games remain between the two clubs with three in Binghamton starting with tonight’s contest.
Current Playoff Picture
- Percentage of Binghamton reaching the playoffs: 94.7%
- Overall position (out of 100%) : 10th in the league
- Won or loss after last game +/-: -2.6 (L to Syracuse).
Sens Tweet of the Day
— Corey Cowick (@ccows) March 10, 2014
Cover photo courtesy of Alicia Strauch.