Homegrown Jerry D’Amigo and the Toronto Marlies are in town to take on the Binghamton Senators in their only meeting of the season in Binghamton tonight at the Arena. Southern Tier fans will once again be embracing the Johnson City native who appeared on HBO’s 24/7 and scored his first NHL goal during filming earlier this season. On the flip side, that doesn’t necessarily mean they want Jerry’s team to win. While Binghamton has struggled with a depleted line-up in losing five of their last seven, they ultimately got the job done in earning a playoff berth much to their credit with the guys they had. However, players have arrived for help from Ottawa as the club has three regular season games left to figure out who is who and get reunited with the missing pieces and win this East title over W/B-Scranton.
(42-24-2-5) 91 pts
Second in East Division
(43-24-2-4) 92 pts
First in North Division
Toronto has a formidable club lead by AHL All-Star defenseman T.J. Brennan who leads all AHL defensemen in goals (24) and points (69) as well his club in goals. Brennan also is the league leader in power play points with 42. Goaltenders Drew MacIntyre (27-15-3, 2.49) has been the main go to guy between the pipes with Garret Sparks (11-6-1, 2.63) having a steady season in mop up duty. Marlies are in first in the North Division where they have sat the majority of the season and third in the Western Conference, as they have already clinched a berth for the post season last week.
Player reinforcements are here, as Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Mark Stone and Cody Ceci have arrived from Ottawa. Stephane Da Costa and Captain Mark Borowiecki will be ready come playoffs as no reason to rush them back from their injuries. Veteran starter Nathan Lawson re-injured his groin last Friday and is out. Meanwhile, Jim O’Brien is still out with a lower body injury.
Two players signed are netminder Chris Driedger, a Winnipeg, Manitoba native that will complete the three-man rotation behind Andrew Hammond with Scott Greenham serving as back-up. The other is forward Vincent Dunn, signed to an ATO and previously played for the QMJHL Gatineau Olympiques, and Ludwig Karlsson has been brought up from the Elmira Jackals. All three additions might get some ice time in the last three games, but don’t see how they will in the playoffs as team is luxury rich in depth. Although, should be interesting how Ryan Dzingel and Garrett Thompson fit in the equation as both have performed well in their roles fresh from the college ranks. No matter what though, Binghamton fans can now breathe a sigh in relief with Ottawa’s efforts in player movement’s in the last 24 hours.
Which leaves me to one more player of concern and that is Mike Hoffman. As I was wishful in thinking to some of my few followers, Ottawa would send Mike down seeing he was included on the clear day roster but risk going through waivers and being unclaimed. It ended up a moot point anyways as I discovered the Organization Heads are smarter than the average fan like myself.
Luke Richardson will be seeking his first Division title and home ice advantage in the first round and maybe more after this week, as his team holds their own fate with the game in hand over the Penguins being dealt tonight. With a possible win over Toronto, the Senators will regain first in the East with two games remaining as the big one looms over the horizon on Friday with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, then finish the season Saturday against Norfolk.
Toronto: Forwards D’Amigo (20g 11a 49gms) and Spencer Abbott (17g 52a 64gms), Defenseman Brennan (24g 45a 73gms).
Binghamton: Forwards Pageau (17g 24a 44gms) and Stone (15g 23a 35gms), Defenseman Ceci (2g 15a 24gms).
Binghamton fell 4-2 in Toronto late in February. This is the final game of the season between both clubs which I hope gets extended to at least four games next season. Two games don’t do anything for a budding rival even though the Sens have plenty of those to go around currently.
B-Sens Tweet of the Day
— Chris Driedger (@ChrisDriedger) April 14, 2014
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Cover graphic courtesy of Matt Trayling.