The Binghamton Devils sit in last place percentage points behind the Belleville Senators in the North Division with a 5-7-3 record with two games on hand but have shown signs of improvement. In the last three games, the club has gone 2-0-1 while registering five points out of a possible six in those three contests.
Binghamton boasts two players in the top 10 in scoring as Ben Street is currently third in the league (6g, 11a) while Brett Seney slides in the eighth spot (8g, 7a) with both players playing in all 15 games. Michael McLeod (3g, 4a) and Chris Conner (6g, 6a) have played well together along with Nathan Bastian (2g, 7a) on the wing.
The top line for the BDevils continues to produce as Seney - Street - Anderson have been together all season while the second line has been Conner - McLeod - Bastian. Forward Mikhail Maltsev has recently been cleared to play but Brandon Gignac has not and remains out of the line-up.
The goalie outlook looks to be set with the tandem of Gilles Senn and Louis Domingue in Binghamton while Evan Cormier was sent to the Adirondack Thunder. Gilles has a 3-2-1 record, 2.93 GAA, 0.895 SV% while Domingue is 1-1-1, 2.67 GAA, 0.904 SV% with the Devils.
On defense, Joe Morrow has been the most consistent player on the blueline while newly signed Kyle Cumiskey shows promise so far in his short stint on a PTO. Josh Jacobs and Michael Paliotta both returned to the ice after being out with injuries.
Colton White is having himself a quiet season but has improved the most as he has also not missed a game. Steady with the puck with the occasional turnaround in the offensive zone that shakes off any pressure gearing towards the net while handling his own in the D-zone.
Veteran Julian Melchiori has been a stand-out but is currently sidelined with a minor injury blocking a shot last week. Overall the consensus is the defense has been an upgrade from previous years with White leading the way.
The Panel Speaks
I turned towards the members of The Panel on some of their thoughts after the first 15 outings of the season and here are their responses;
Veey inconsistent. It's clear the leadership is coming from the players first and the coaches second. Speaking of, the 1st line of Seney-Anderson-Street is doing all the scoring. I see potential but the team rides its laurels too much. Work together and finish a game #AAtJBDevils— Crazy Joe (@crazybazookajoe) November 10, 2019
Bdevils the offense is there and are defense has gotten better are power play still needs alot of work we are 25th in the league are penalty kill started out on fire killing the first 13 and then it went down hill when phantoms score 3 straight power play goals #AAtJBDevils— derek swislosky (@swislosky) November 10, 2019
Only 15 games in, but I like what I see so far, & optimistic about the BDevs. Net has been solidified, defense improved, & plenty of depth up front. Need scoring balance (its been top heavy) & more consistent specisl teams. Coaches need to push the right buttons. #AAtJBDevils— Dave Rogan (@RogieVachon30) November 13, 2019
We will be hearing more from all the Panel members soon as the first quarter comes rapidly to an end with Quarter Grades Reports to follow.
Tracey’s Updates From Adirondack
Coming into November, the Adirondack Thunder have found themselves in the middle of the pack in a tight ECHL North Division.
As of the start of this week’s action, the team has a record of 6-4-0-2, and find themselves in a three-way tie for second place in the division with defending Kelly Cup champs Newfoundland and Brampton.
While the offense is still finding their way—the Thunder have averaged 2.75 goals per game so far—the defense has stepped up despite injuries and roster movement, ranking fourth in the ECHL with 2.67 goals allowed per game. Special teams have also been a strong suit, as the team penalty kill is currently ranked third in the league at 88.6 percent.
Goaltending Status: It’s Complicated
The crease in Glens Falls just got a little more crowded as a result of the Louis Domingue deal with Tampa Bay.
Prior to the start of the season, the plan in Adirondack was to have one goalie from New Jersey and one from Montreal, who does not have an ECHL affiliate, make up the tandem. So far, the pairing of Eamon McAdam (NJ) and Michael McNiven (Montreal) has been quite successful. Through Sunday’s games, McAdam is 2-3 in 6 appearances, with a 2.65 GAA and a .921 save percentage. He took a hard luck 1-0 loss in Reading on November 3rd, stopping 43 of 44 shots.
Meanwhile, McNiven was one of the more dominant goalies coming into the month of November. He posted back-to-back shutouts on Adirondack’s recent road trip in Brampton and Worcester, and took home ECHL Goaltender of the Week honors for the week ending November 3rd. For the season, McNiven is 3-1 in 4 appearances, with a 1.75 GAA and a .941 save percentage. He ranks second in the league in GAA, is tied for first in shutouts, and leads all goaltenders in save percentage.
Then Domingue arrived in Binghamton, and as a result, Evan Cormier was reassigned to the Thunder on Thursday. With a three-in-three weekend looming, it was expected that all three goaltenders would see ice time. Cormier got the start on Friday night on home ice against Worcester, with McNiven backing up, and dropped a 5-4 shootout to the Railers. The following night in Maine, McAdam got the start, with Cormier serving as the backup, and lost 5-1 to the Mariners. Cormier got the start—with McNiven backing up—on Sunday afternoon, and had 32 saves in a 6-2 win over Worcester.
As of now, the team will continue to carry three goalies.
With the Manchester Monarchs folding in mid-May, the Thunder lost one of their closest opponents by location. When the ECHL released the 2019-20 schedule in mid-June, one could say it was very lopsided when looking at opponents. Adirondack will only face 12 teams, with just 8 games against teams outside of their division. The Thunder will face Maine, a 5+ hour bus ride away from Glens Falls, a total of 18 times. They face Worcester, their closest opponent at just under a 3-hour drive, 14 times.
Last weekend’s three-in-three schedule was especially brutal for Adirondack. They played on Friday night against Worcester, then boarded the bus after the game to head to Portland for Saturday’s 6 PM start against Maine, then bus back to Glens Falls for a 3 PM Sunday game against the Railers. While the Thunder traveled back and forth to Maine, Worcester had Saturday off, and stayed over in Glens Falls to prepare for Sunday’s game.
Adirondack will have to do another overnight bus to Maine after Friday night’s home game against Reading, taking on the Mariners on Saturday.
Nikita Popugaev (AHL deal): In 9 games, Popugaev has no goals and six assists. He has not played since November 3rd in Reading and is currently on injured reserve.
Charlie Curti (camp invite): Curti has three goals and two assists in 9 games. With Jeremy Groleau and Colby Sissons coming down from Binghamton last week, the rookie has not dressed since November 3rd.
Kelly Summers (camp/PTO): Summers has two goals and two assists in 9 appearances.
Matt Salhany (camp invite): Salhany has two goals and three assists in 11 games.
James Henry (camp invite): Henry has two goals and three assists in 8 games.
Ara Nazarian (AHL deal): Nazarian has three goals and two assists in 11 games. He picked up his first two-goal game on Sunday afternoon against Worcester.
Colby Sissons (ELC): Sissons leads all Thunder defensemen in points, with 6 assists in 6 games.
Ryan Walker (camp invite): Walker has one goal and one assist in 6 games.
Jeremy Groleau (ELC): Groleau has no points in three games since coming down from Binghamton.
Michael Sdao (camp invite): Sdao has zero points in 6 games. He has been out of the lineup since October 25th and is currently on the reserve list.
This weekend the BDevils faceoff against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Friday that kicks off a stretch of six out of the next seven on home ice where Binghamton is 3-1-2. Meanwhile, Adirondack is home for the next five out of eight to conclude the month of November.
From Tracey and myself including a few members of the Panel thanks for reading!