The Binghamton Devils ran out the 2nd Quarter with not only a franchise high eight wins in a row that surpassed their previous record of four, but gave them a .500 record that allowed them to escape the cellar of the North Division percentage points ahead of the Cleveland Monsters.
Here are the latest not only concerning the team, but with player evaluations over the course of the last 19 games.
There are eight members of ‘The Panel’ including myself, and in no particular order they are the following; @enker1700, @RogieVachon30, @crazybazookajoe, @EmilyRose474, @ChrisWasselDFS, @DuncanMRF, @swislosky and @Ski931.
Player evaluations and grading were based on the following five factors; Adaptability, Potential, Consistency, Production, & Vision by each member in their current and past evaluations for each quarter during the season.
A+....96% - 100%
A......93% - 95.99%
A-.....90% - 92.99%
B+....87% - 89.99%
B......83% - 86.99%
B-.....80% - 82.99%
C+....77% - 79.99%
C......73% - 76.99%
C-.....70% - 72.99%
D+....67% - 69.99%
D......65.99% - 66.99%
2nd Quarter Timestamps;
Nov 23, 2019 - Jan 15, 2020
We begin with the defense as they allowed an average of 29.44 shots per game putting them in 16th place while giving up 3.24 goals on average for a ranking at 25th. The PK is 18th at 81.5% out of 31 teams.
#2 Michael Paliotta - 78, 70
Paliotta has been hurt for the tail end of this quarter, but while he was in there he was fine, not spectacular. He netted a -2 and an assist in back to back games, but nothing more. Once he returns he’ll provide a nice veteran option to spell Tennyson, Melchiori or Mermis if any of them need a game off here and there, but he’s not a primary option moving forward. @enker1700
#6 Colton White - 85, 73
Colton had a cup of coffee in the NHL before returning to Binghamton in early December. Since returning he has found a home on the 2nd pairing opposite Matt Tennyson. He has netted a -4 and has 3 assists this quarter. Colton has continued to run the point on the top PP unit, but unless it improves, it might be time to try Cumiskey there instead. He will be an intricate part of our push to playoffs as he offers a good enough balance of offense and defense. I still feel his ceiling could be a 3rd pairing/extra NHL defenseman. @enker1700
#7 Matt Tennyson - Inc.
#8 Josh Jacobs - 88, 90
Josh has continued his accent up the depth chart as he has found a home paired with Mermis as the top pairing in Binghamton. He has netted a +3 and 7 points in 19 games this quarter. Hopefully he’s rewarded will a look in NJ, but he’ll be needed if we want to continue this push toward a playoff birth. @enker1700
#15 Kyle Cumiskey - 81, 85
Cumiskey is yet another veteran asset that we’re happy to have down here. With Morrow now gone and Tennyson back in Binghamton, Cumiskey has both served as an anchor on the gradually-improving powerplay. His offensive prowess is a nice contrast to the other defensemen who play as such. But one of the biggest benefits Cumiskey brings to the young team is that Stanley Cup ring. The younger players highly respect him and given the massive overhaul in morale as of late, it’s very likely he’s part of the reason along with Mermis, Schneider, Domingue, Melchiori, etc.. The hometown crowd (me included) has only seen him in five hometown games since his return from injury back around the holidays. So while he’s playing a silent yet important role, I want to and can’t wait to see more of this guy. Signing him was a wicked smart move. @crazybazookajoe
#38 *Jeremy Groleau - Inc., 81
Jeremy Groleau is one of several of this year’s victims to the minor league numbers game. At a mere 16 appearances with Binghamton and five with Adirondack, he’s not getting too terribly much exposure. That’s fine, however. As the youngest player on the team, the undrafted rookie needs some grooming time. With four outstanding veteran blueliners on the team and two comfortable regulars in Colton White and Josh Jacobs, Jeremy has all the resources at his disposal. Give him time. If Colton White could do it, he can too. @crazybazookajoe
#43 Dakota Mermis - 87, 94
Now that Mermis has firmly made an impression in Binghamton since last quarter, I have nothing but high praise for him. Not only is he one of the best veteran defensemen I’ve seen in a very long time, but he also plays such a versatile game that it’s often like there’s a second goalie out there. With a solid 35 SOG since November 23rd, he’s also pouring on the offense which is reflecting in his points which are highest among Binghamton’s blueline. His former captaincy in Tucson has also helped the assimilation of recently-traded Nate Schnarr and Nick Merkley into the locker room as they’ve gelled without a hitch. Dakota is a friendly guy to fans as well as his teammates and I would go so far as to call him second-in-command. @crazybazookajoe
#44 Julian Melchiori - 90, 89
Yet another perfect example of the importance of not just veteran defensemen, but veterans in general. The Panel knows I’m often very harshly critical of assistant coach Sergei Brylin, as I’ve felt his past defensive corps have been brutal to watch. Julian is not only bringing his experience to the blue, but he’s exemplifying how just playing a simple tough game with confidence is all the team really needed. Often paired with Mermis, he currently stands tied with Josh Jacobs for second in points amongst the corps. If there’s one thing that I have to call him out for, it’s his ghastly +/- which sits at a team-low of -15. Julian is a consistent force on the defense and his wisdom and charisma are one of the many factors gluing the team tightly together lately. But he’s either got to keep his head up or just be smarter at the right time and place. Either way, grade A from me.. @crazybazookajoe
BDevils’ PP in 19th at 16.9%, while the offense scored at an average of 2.84 per game and in 19th position overall. Shots placed the club in the 12th slot at an average of 30.74 per outing out of 31 clubs in the league.
#9 Michael McLeod - 78, 85
McLeod has been called up a couple of times now to New Jersey. He only played a dozen games this quarter but the center performed much better with eight points. His shot rate inched up slightly but his overall quality of play rose. In his callups with New Jersey, the coaching staff remarked that the center looked like a different player. If McLeod can maintain that level, a longer tenure in NJ may be in his future. @ChrisWasselDFS
#10 Ben Street - 92, 88
Remained consistent through Q2, earning a call-up. Unfortunately, suffered an injury with the big club, and his status is currently unknown. Like Tennyson, fully expect him to be sent back down when deemed healthy. Although numbers not available, he continues to be our best faceoff man. Earned invite to All-Star game, but injury will prevent him from participating. @RogieVachon30
#11 Brett Seney - 93, 89
I think this is where he ultimately belongs playing in the AHL for Bingo. It’s not a talent thing, rather his game of running amuck and being a pest fits this level of craziness. Although granted, he is very good with puck control and ability to read plays within a blink. By far my favorite player withn this current bunch. @Ski931
#12 Nick Merkley - 88
Since his trade from the Coyotes on 12/30 he has 3g, 3a for 6 points including 2g, 1a game against the Syracuse crunch on Jan 12th. Merkley has great vision of the ice and his puck handling is also worthy. I see great things for Nick, keep him on the top line with Joey and Brett. @swislosky
#13 Brandon Baddock - 73, 82
Has stepped up in the last quarter while establishing himself as a leader on the ice as well as off. One of the guys you look up to in protecting prospects with his feisty activities during whistle breaks. Much needed in the last quarter during the win streak that evolved. @Ski931
#14 Joey Anderson - 85, 91
For my money, the best player during Q2. Although its a guarded secret at the AHL level, I’d say he has the most TOI of the forward group. Plays on the first unit of both special teams. Since moving off the top line, his production has increased with new line mates Mikhail Maltsev & Chris Connor. Not the greatest skater, but he makes up for it by usually being in the right place or being where the puck is going first. Good on the wall. I’d compare him to a young Mark Stone, who played here as a rookie and needed to work on his skating. Selected to replace Street in the All-Star game. Got some of that puck luck I referred to in Q1, and I still believe he will be in Newark in the future. @RogieVachon30
#16 Nate Schnarr - 84
Rookie acquired through a trade could wind up being a real gem after all said and done. The lanky forward shows promise and has dominated faceoffs while centering Zetterlund on the fourth line. @Ski931
#17 Egor Sharangovich - 68, 68
Sharangovich has moved throughout the top-9 as Binghamton’s roster has evolved throughout the season. His offensive production has stalled a bit in the last quarter, and he still lacks a consistent physical element to his play. His role as a middle-6 player in Binghamton requires that he provides one (offense) or the other (two-way play, physicality), and his current play shows that he isn’t able to do either consistently. Given that there are players, such as Studenic, who are waiting to be given a shot, Sharangovich needs to pick up his play to secure his position. McLeod’s recent call-up will present him with an opportunity to prove himself. I still think he has the tools to become a consistent top-6 player in the AHL, and perhaps even a depth player in the NHL, but he currently has a long way to go to fulfill that promise. @DuncanMRF
#20 Fabian Zetterlund - 77, 84
Crafty yet precise as he possesses one of best wristers since Mike Hoffman of the BSens days back a few years ago. Just needs ice time and Coach MD has gifted that request in the last quarter. One to keep an eye on for sure in the rest of the season. @Ski931
#22 Chris Conner - 90, 88
Chris offense has tapperd off a bit in 18 games since 11/23. He has 0g and 4a for 4 points however still skates hard and his forchecking is still great. He’s been snake bitten for goals but I still I have faith he will score more as Connor and Maltsev line is deadly. @swislosky
#23 *Mikhail Maltsev - 73, 75
Maltsev has had more consistent playing time in the second quarter of the season and has shown flashes of skill and strength. Besides perfecting the Forsberg move in the shootout, he has become more consistently physical in his play. I’ve been encouraged by his shot production and finishing skill, but his role on a developing Binghamton team would be better served by making simpler passes in the offensive zone, rather than forcing plays. That’s a typical flaw of a young player, and I am growing increasingly confident that he will be able to put it together. The raw skill that we can see in the shootout, as well as select plays in-close, shows a player that has the potential to become a finisher. @DuncanMRF
#24 *Ludvig Larsson - 69, Inc.
#26 Ryan Schmelzer - 78, 82
Has come a long ways for a bottom line feeder as he fills in the role quite nicely. Shows flashes of offense and gives the club a different look as the 2nd Quarter played out. Sat out a recent string of games as Coach MD continued to juggle the line-up. @Ski931
#27 Marian Studenic - 67, 65
Marion hasn’t played much just 10 games since 11/23 he was injured for some time when he does play he’s not playing good he’s in a big slump I don’t know if he will break out of it I hope so I hope this quarter coming up he plays more. @swislosky
#28 Brandon Gignac - 72, 78
Recently saw some ice time after being sidelined with an injury. Filled in okay while others have been scheduled for maintenance time. I don’t have too many expectations in the near future as his career will continue in the A. @Ski931
#42 Nathan Bastian - 83, 83
Bastian kept up his consistency in quarter number two with ten points in 18 games. The forward has not been called up yet this season but he may get the call if he keeps playing like this. His ability to grind things out with improving hands is quite encouraging. While he still has to improve his footwork and defensive awareness at times, Nathan Bastian has an ability to irritate opponents and get results on the ice. @ChrisWasselDFS
Emily’s Goalie Clinic
At the end of the 1st quarter, I stated my worry with the future of Binghamton’s goaltending situation. I couldn’t be happier to have been proven wrong. While the start of the quarter was a little rocky, it seems that the pieces have fallen into place. Even with some shuffling and moves between NJ and Binghamton.
#1 Evan Cormier - 83, 85
Cormier split this quarter between Adirondack and Binghamton. While his numbers are definitely still better in the ECHL, I do think improvements have been made. In his most recent, and most notable, game, the netminder stopped 40 shots and looked solid. While his movement isn’t as refined as other goalies, he’s still able to get into position to make big saves. The one thing I want to see him working on is the number of rebounds he gives up. While the initial stop is the most important one for him to make, we can’t afford for him to keep giving up so many rebounds. At the very least, pushing rebounds to the corners instead of towards the face off circles and out to the slot would make me feel infinitely better. Hopefully he’s able to continue improving to a point where fans can have more confidence in him.
#31 *Gilles Senn - 88, 90
Senn continues to impress in net. It’s hard to believe that it’s only his first year on North American ice. His ability to see the puck ahead of the play helps him get into position prior to the puck coming his way frequently. Additionally, he doesn’t let goals scored against him get him down. He seems to readjust his game and is able to bounce back relatively quickly. The biggest piece that Senn needs to work on is not dropping down to his knees every time someone brings the puck in towards him. Teams have caught on to this and have been able to beat him high more than once. Senn has the ability to be something special for the big club. I look forward to seeing him get more games in down here to develop and fine tune his game even further.
#35 Cory Schneider- 92, 92
Wow. Seriously, wow. Schneider seriously impressed here in Binghamton. Taking a few games to adjust, he quickly began to show off his skill and leadership. The team rallied around him as he displayed the ability to make big saves and move quickly. Posting an impressive 4-0-0 stat line with a 1.8 GAA in his final four starts with a Binghamton, he proved to be in good form. Never wavering in his confidence or seeming to act above the others based on his history, he genuinely seemed to be a good guy. Makes us even happier for his success coming off that long path back from injury. I hope that his time here and work with the younger guys continues to benefit the team here in Binghamton past his departure.
#77 Louis Domingue - 94, 90
While Domingue spent much of this quarter in the NHL, he did play a few games here in Binghamton. The composure with which he plays continues to impress. I’m thankful for the time he spent here because I know the work he put into games and practices with younger goalies benefitted this team. While his numbers may not be as strong in NJ, Domingue brought clear value to this Binghamton team. The team plays confidently and stronger in front of him.
Coach’s Corner with Dave
Coaching Staff @RogieVachon30
Mark Dennehy, Sergei Brylin & Ryan Parent - 69, 80
You know things have been rough on the farm when it takes an eight game winning streak to get out of the cellar. Still, the fan base is giddy over the recent success, and its nice to accentuate the positives this quarter. Better personnel (The culling of Morrow, & acquisition of Merkley and Schnarr), individual improvement/players becoming more comfortable (Maltsev, Senn), and just an obvious galvanizing of the team itself (More sticking up for each other in scrums, grabbing the game puck for a previous winless goaltender last night) are reasons for the sudden turnaround. The coaches have the team’s ear. Special teams ticked up a bit this quarter, the PP is up to 19th at 16.9% (2 spots, +1%), & the PK is 17th at 81.5% (up 9 spots, +4.5%). Merkley has energized the PP, which has gone 8 for 41 during the win streak. He attacks the net from the right wall, and his shoot first mentality has created openings for others. BDevs are 8-2 since they joined the team. PK doing a better job not letting shots through, and stronger goaltending this quarter the main factors.
The third quarter will be crucial. They’ve worked hard to climb out of the basement, and must continue to move up another spot or two to remain in the playoff conversation. The schedule has the split of 10 home/9 away, with 11 divisional games in Q3. This is key because that means in Q4, the split will be 8H/11A, and only 8 divisional games. Hard to gain when divisional foes are playing each other. This quarter has six sets of back to backs (not uncommon), but I would like to see Dennehy play the hot hand in goal. Through a year and a half, playing a goalie back to back is taboo. Three of these sets have no travel involved, so I really don’t think you’re taxing someone in their twenties to play back to back games if they are playing well. I almost choked on my dinner last night when I found out our winless #3 goaltender was getting the call last night in the midst of a winning streak, but everything Coach MD touches lately turns to gold.
Will also be interesting to see what the parent club does at the deadline (Feb. 24). The look of both clubs will most certainly will be different.
* = Rookie status
Inc. = Incomplete
Thanks for taking the time to check it out with all things related to Binghamton Devils hockey!