Friday, January 23, 2009

Only one constant in Bingo this year: Success

About a week ago, Bingo beat writer and blogger Michael Sharp documented the adversity through which the Binghamton Senators have, somehow, successfully navigated to get off to their best start in franchise history: Then 21-12-6 (48 points), now 23-13-6 (52 points). He offered a list of some of the things the team has overcome (directly quoting Sharp):
  • "Brad Isbister, sold to B-Sens fans as a potential top-six forward here, opts to head to Switzerland, rather than report in training camp.
  • "Second-year center Alexander Nikulin, last season's third-leading scorer, and another top-six guy entering the season, threatens to return home to Russia if he is not traded. Eventually, he gets his wish, getting shipped to the Phoenix organization the same day he walks out on the B-Sens.
  • "Second-year center Cody Bass, while playing on recall with Ottawa, is lost for the season with a shoulder injury.
  • "Rookie forward Kaspars Daugavins chooses to return to juniors in late December. He had just three points in 23 games, but he'd been playing on a line with Josh Hennessy and Ryan Shannon just before his decision.
  • "This first half has featured 14 call-ups to Ottawa, most recently goaltender Brian Elliott, an all-star and arguably the team's first-half MVP. It doesn't appear he's returning any time soon.
  • "Eight players have missed at least eight straight games with an injury down here. That doesn't include Shannon, who missed time with a concussion while on recall with Ottawa.
  • "Brendan Bell and Brian Lee, two top-four defensemen for Binghamton, appear to be sticking in Ottawa. Bell has been there since Nov. 16. Lee has already logged 18 games with the big club.
  • "The schedule was ridiculous in November, with two stretches of seven games in 10 days. One stretch included a lengthy trip to Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island. And both came amidst a period of heavy injuries and call-ups."
Although it's not confirmed, it sure looks like Elliott will be in Ottawa for the rest of the season, and one of Bell or Lee will more than likely stick around, as well. Binghamton coach Cory Clouston has taken his fair share of criticism, but he's got to be commended for keeping this team rolling. And Sens GM Bryan Murray and Assistant GM Tim Murray both have to be commended for, at least to date, re-stocking the Senators minor-league pro depth.
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