First off, I apologize in advance to Binghamton fans for bringing this up, but as most of us know, the last time Charlotte played a game in Binghamton was during the 2011 Calder Cup run with the Senators closing them out in overtime to complete the four game sweep of the Checkers that sent the BSens to the Finals against the Houston Aeros on their way to the Championship.
Turning the calendar ahead to 2017, what a difference it has been. The Sens are now the Devils, and the winning we experienced back in the Spring of 2011 isn’t currently a thing in the Southern Tier of NY. Not by a long shot.
Binghamton (8-13-3-0) was embarrassed at home Saturday night by a dreadful score of 7-1 to the Checkers (16-8-0-1) for their second loss in a row and eighth of their last ten games, as they fell to 3-8-3-0 at The Floyd.
Starting in goal was a surprise to say the least as Mackenzie Blackwood (4-8-3-1, 3.65 GAA, 0.873 SV%) got the nod after a terrible outing on the previous night against Syracuse. Perhaps the coaching staff wanted him to shake it off, for him to get it going, as he has struggled mightily this season. Maybe Ken Appleby was under the weather? Or by chance, it was his 21st birthday after all so there’s that possibility. Either way, it ended up being a bad call as Blackwood had another shaky performance between the pipes and was pulled after giving up five goals on 18 shots, equally his total numbers from Friday.
I did mention in Friday’s recap that this team needs to start rallying behind Appleby by giving him a string of starts, but I knew it wasn’t going to happen. Maybe now, this notion might have some meaning to it, as Blackwood is getting run into repeatedly and his teammates are doing absolutely nothing to prevent it, as evident of the Checkers fourth goal when rookie forward Julien Gauthier rammed Blackwood with the puck sliding into the net.
Then the fifth goal was just as bad, if not worse, as Blackwood was down on his knees as he customary has done for reasons beyond me, giving the shooter all kinds of net area to choose from as Valentin Zykov sent the puck top shelf, over his glove which was the dagger for himself and likewise, the game. In came Appleby, but the damage was done halfway through the second.
There was a lone Devils goal late in the second period tapped in by Bracken Kearns from a cross-ice feed by Tim Kennedy along the wall, but the celebration afterwards was non-existent as he simply skated off to the bench along with his line-mates.
This team needs some help. And they need some guidance. Pick a Captain, let him be a leader and follow his footsteps. If there is no one in this group of players that are able to do so, get someone here that can. I am sick of no one caring and just giving up without a fight. If you’re going to lose, at least put the effort into it.
Forwards; Quenneville-Rooney-Lappin, Pietila-Kearns-Speers, Baddock-Kennedy-Bastian, Morris-Mandat-Thomson. Defensemen; Olsen-Loov, White-Dyblenko, Kapla-MacDonald. In Goal; Mackenzie Blackwood. Back up; Ken Appleby. Scratches; Brian Strait (inj.), Austin Cangelosi (inj.), Josh Jacobs, Spencer Abbott, Brandon Gignac and Ryan Kujawinski. Pietila, Kearns and Lappin with the A’s.
Post Game Notes
- The line-up changes are out of control as it’s a different set-up night in, night out. Too many players that should be in the ECHL as there is no depth in Binghamton.
- Ex-BSens’ Captain Zack Stortini was a scratch. Too bad, he could’ve provided some entertainment for the hometown fans.
- Spencer Abbott was not suited but will he be the team’s savior?
- Blackwood needs to get back to basis and learn how to stop a puck with better concentration. I realize he’s just turned 21 and at times he’s getting zero help from the defense, but these last two games at home were bad.
- I got nothing else. Sorry if I’m too negative. I want a winning atmosphere, who doesn’t? Oh, and guess who’s around the corner? Those damn Senators.
The Devils and the Senators will have a home-and-home series coming up next week with a road trip to Belleville on Wednesday, followed by a tilt in Utica on Friday and the big one next Saturday at home against the BSens.