Exciting times for players and fans as the Binghamton Devils are in a playoff race thanks to the turnaround that began late in the 2nd Quarter and carried into the 3Q. The BDevils ended up 12-7 in the last 19 games and winners of eight of ten for an overall record of 29-24-4-0 to close the quarter this past Saturday.
There were a few trades that will ultimately help out Binghamton in the final 19 contests as defenseman David Quenneville was brought over involving the Andy Greene deal to the Islanders. Then, as part of the Sami Vatanen trade to Carolina, the Devils received defenseman Fredrik Claesson and forward Janne Kuokkanen. That was all followed by a goalie swap with Vancouver as in Louis Domingue for Zane McIntyre.
Here are the results from the 3rd Quarter by The Panel. Thanks for checking in!
There are eight members within the group and in no particular order are the following; @enker1700, @RogieVachon30, @crazybazookajoe, @EmilyRose474, @ChrisWasselDFS, @DuncanMRF, @swislosky, and @Ski931. We will be adding two additional members for the 4th Quarter @trace_1114 and @kreegan99, as we look forward to their contributions. Player evaluations and grading were based on the following five factors; Adaptability, Consistency, Productivity, On Ice Vision, & Overall Potential by each member, per quarter of the BDevils’ 2019-’20 campaign.
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%
Q3 | Jan 17 - Feb 29
#2 Michael Paliotta - 78, 70, Inc.
#6 Colton White - 85, 73, 70
Colton spent most of February on recall and only played 10 games this quarter. The games he was here, he contributed offensively, with 4 points in 10 games. His -5 is a bit underwhelming, but he has contributed in other ways. Most importantly is his 3 years of experience keeping less experienced players on the bench as well as his puck moving ability. Having a strong puck moving defenseman makes it less likely to get stuck deep in your own end and Colton fits this bill. It will be imperative for him to be here for us to continue our push for the post-season. @enker1700
#7 Matt Tennyson - Inc., 93
Matt has been a brilliant addition since being re-assigned shortly before Christmas. He is the important veteran presence needed to anchor this fairly young up and coming defensive core. Brought in by NJ as a depth signing, the parent club’s under-forming and unsuccessful season lead the team to unload some high priced vets and call up younger prospects to get a look. This allowed Tennyson to be re-assigned to help develop the younger players in Binghamton and it has payed immediate dividends in both the development phase and towards the team’s recent success and ascent up the standings. @enker1700
#8 Josh Jacobs - 88, 90, 90
Josh had a very strong quarter and was a fixture on the blue line. He played so well that he got a call up to New Jersey and is still up as we speak. His offensive numbers weren’t great, but he is one of the most steady defensive player we have (had) down here. I would not mind seeing him stay up and get a solid look with NJ as long as Freddy Claesson gets sent down in his place. We will need one of the two down here to solidly the back end if we want to continue our push to the post-season. @enker1700
#15 Kyle Cumiskey - 81, 85, 92
Kyle was arguably our best defenseman this quarter. A +5 and 7 points in 18 games as well as the ever important veteran presence (I like veteran defenseman, can you tell?). He has been a fixture on the top pairing with Matt Tennyson this quarter and they have been great together. He is another quality puck moving defenseman with very good offensive tendencies. I would like to see him get more time on the top PP unit as it has struggled in recent weeks, and maybe a more experienced offensive minded player could improve the situation. He is another key guy in helping push toward a playoff birth. @enker1700
#18 *David Quenneville - Inc.
#38 *Jeremy Groleau - Inc., 81, 82
Jeremy started to get some more solid ice time this quarter, with some defensive shifts in the lineup between Newark and Binghamton. The youngster is displaying some confidence and poise to build off of, come next season. It’s clear the veteran presence on the blueline is serving him well, as I mentioned last quarter. I mean the kid was even gutsy enough to talk smack straight in the face of veteran tough guy Richard Clune, this past Saturday. @crazybazookajoe
#43 Dakota Mermis - 87, 94, 87
I playfully refer to Mermis as the “de facto vice-captain”. By observation, he talks the talk to his teammates that would suggest so. Finally getting some deserved time to close out the season in NJ, Dakota will hopefully return from his stint with all the energy to carry and lead the Binghamton defense through playoffs. An end-season call up was just the natural progression. A solid +8 since Jan 17th, as well. @crazybazookajoe
#44 Julian Melchiori - 90, 89, 84
Julian is a friendly guy and a leader by nature. This quarter, however, I don’t have much to say other than he played how he’s supposed to and usually does. If he got any points since January, it was at least 1 point per game, and ended Q3 (as of 2/29) with a +1 since January 17th. He’s had his slip-up moments but so has the whole team. It’s abundantly clear that he is one of the driving forces behind the team’s surge of morale. @crazybazookajoe
#9 Michael McLeod - 78, 85, 75
Unfortunately, the production dropped off a bit in this quarter with just five points in 17 games. One has to wonder as to the reason why. McLeod was again called up towards the tail end of the quarter after the NHL Trade Deadline. It was a bit tough to grade the center too harshly as other aspects of his game are improving. However, at this point, the forward should be scoring more in Binghamton than he is. This is no doubt a disappointment. Hopefully, McLeod turns things around in the final quarter. @ChrisWasselDFS
#10 Ben Street - 92, 88, 89
Captain returned mid-quarter after an earned, albeit unexpected recall. In 11GP registered 1G 6A and a. +3. Continues to center the top line with Seney and new acquisition Nick Merkley. Plays on both special teams, and although numbers are top secret, is solid in the dot. He leads by example, and is the type of vet you want your younger guys around when learning how to be a pro both on and off the ice. @RogieVachon30
#11 Brett Seney - 93, 89, 94
Most likely the MVP of the team as you cannot miss one shift with his involvement in the play on both ends. Likes to draw penalties and is the center of attention in most scrums. Excellent puck awareness and hasn’t disappointed with his consistent game. @Ski931
#12 Nick Merkley - 88, 93
Updated stats 47g 11g, 24a for 35 points and with NJ 1g, 1a for 2p. Since 1/17 5g, 9a for 14p since the trade back in December. He’s been one of the bright spots on the team as his nickname is called the Merk-Missle because of his deadly shot. Keep him on the first line with Seney and Street because that line is very deadly. @swislosky
#13 Brandon Baddock - 73, 82, 83
Becoming a seasoned veteran and his fallen into his new role quite well. Tough agitator that showed some hockey skills while producing for the offense in spurts. I hope to retain him as a valuable asset for the Devils, including a possible playoff run in the 4Q. @Ski931
#14 Joey Anderson - 85, 91, 91
We’ve probably seen the last of him in the 607 unless we make the playoffs. Continued his strong play in Q3 albeit short, 4G in 7 GP. WIll finish the AHL campaign with 15G 19A in 44GP. Played in every situation, and should bring that versatility to Newark in the future. Can see him consistently scoring 10-15 at the NHL level, with potential for more if he’s given the ice time & special teams time he earned at the AHL level. @RogieVachon30
#16 *Nate Schnarr - 84, 78
Very good faceoff player, as he makes his way through his rookie season with his second team. Off and on during the line-up as another player the coaching staff is willing to protect in his rookie campaign. I don’t have the reasons why but that looks to be the case. To be fair, he did miss a few games with some injuries in the 3Q. @Ski931
#17 Egor Sharangovich- 68, 68, 75
Sharangovich is another player whose role has continually shifted throughout the season, especially as Binghamton’s roster has morphed. Sharangovich really took on the challenge of producing during the third quarter, and doubled his point totals from the previous two quarters combined. Part of that is playing higher in the lineup in the absence of Anderson, Street, and others, but he has also been someone who has contributed goals and plays at key points in games. While he still needs to develop his physical play, he has risen to the challenge in recent weeks. Look for Sharangovich to take more of a key role on the AHL team next season as players such as Boqvist and Anderson move to take permanent roles in the NHL - I am more confident that he will be successful in the top-6 after this last quarter. @DuncanMRF
#20 *Fabian Zetterlund - 77, 84, 80
Just quite haven’t seen enough ice time as the plan is to not go too crazy for the rookie, as the coaching staff has managed to hold back his TOI (although Dave brings up an interesting perspective for this down below in his Coach’s review). Still, I would like to seem more shots taken in the 4Q as he has a wicked snipe that needs to be unleashed more often than not. @Ski931
#22 Chris Conner - 90, 88, 89
Since 1/17 Chris’s scoring is getting better with 3g and 4a for 7p including a goal and 2 assist in Saturday’s game vs Toronto. Being a healthy scratch for a week did not help his offense, but his checking is still good and he hustles in every game and still has a nose for the puck. Keep him on the line with Kuokkanen and Maltsev as his veteran presence will help them play even better. @swislosky
#23 *Mikhail Maltsev - 73, 75, 82
Mikhail Maltsev has continued his steady development throughout the third quarter of the season. While earlier in the year he showed flashes of his offensive talent, his play has become more consistent, even as key offensive players have jumped to the NHL squad. He has played throughout the top-9, and is using his speed and physicality with more consistency and effectiveness. His point production still doesn’t quite match his potential, but I have been greatly encouraged by his play during a huge push by the club, and at a time when the roster is continually changed. He has shown all of the tools required to be a future NHL’er, now all I want is for the production to follow. @DuncanMRF
#26 Ryan Schmelzer - 78, 82, 84
Lately has been one of the more reliable players on the ice when it comes to crunch time. Decent in the dot and consistent, has also shown flashes of offensive skill. Hope he returns next season as he will again be relied upon during this recent playoff push into the 4Q. @Ski931
#27 Marian Studenic - 67, 65, 71
Stats 31g, 8g, 7a for 15 points 1/17-2/29. Since 1/17 Marion has 6g, 3a for 9p as he’s starting to heat up. He’s playing better hockey and checking a lot better while his energy is paying off for this team during the hot streak. I’m so happy he’s back to the old Studenic. @swislosky
#28 Brandon Gignac - 72, 78, 70
His ice time has been reduced to a fill-in giving some regulars a breather, although it’s a good thing to have when it comes to depth. Not sure about his future with the team, but comes prepared every time his name is called. It appears he has lost some confidence as a result of him being a healthy scratch. @Ski931
#42 Nathan Bastian - 83, 83, 84
The odd thing is that Bastian quietly develops into a nice middle-six forward for Binghamton. Also, he can easily play in the top-six and not look out of place. His consistency throughout the season has been welcome. Bastian tallied ten points in 18 games for the second quarter in a row. He is up to 12 goals on the season and is on pace for 18. The nice thing is Bastian could end up with 40-45 points which would be well above his 24 point career-high. Again, the forward continues to work which is something McLeod could learn from. @ChrisWasselDFS
#59 Janne Kuokkanen - Inc.
#90 Jesper Boqvist - 92
Smooth skater and excellent puck handler with good vision. His confidence has blossomed right before our eyes, whether it’s on the forecheck or producing offensively. Respect for the quality type of play he brings to the table as an elite prospect. An important cog in the line-up heading to the 4Q, hopefully. @Ski931
Emily’s Goalie Clinic
#31 *Gilles Senn - 88, 90, 90
Senn continues to impress throughout the 3rd quarter. A few shaky games at the end of the quarter but almost to be expected as he’s taken on a heavier workload and been the starter in back to back games as a result. In the recent Bites article, I mentioned how much time Senn has had to share in the crease. Given the recent rearranging of goaltenders in Binghamton, I believe we will truly be able to see a glimpse of how well Senn can truly play. So far, he seems to be the real deal. The prospect of a Blackwood / Senn tandem for New Jersey is a very real possibility just a few years down the road. @EmilyRose474
#35 Cory Schneider- 92, 92, 88
Schneider’s willingness to play in Binghamton and continued focus on playing his game clearly paid off. With a late quarter call up to permanently rejoin the big club, Schneider never let his assignment to Binghamton affect his attitude. He had a few shaky games, especially at the beginning of his tenure in the AHL, but overall, the goalie played well. Hopefully his time in Binghamton helped to develop Senn further in order to give a win-win scenario for all parties involved. I wish Cory all the best, as he truly was a class act in his time here. @EmilyRose474
#70 Zane McIntyre - Inc.
Coach’s Corner with Dave
Head Coach Mark Dennehy & Staff - 69, 80, 90
Before anyone asks, I am not being held hostage, and did in fact give the coaches their highest grade of this regime’s two years. It’s definitely earned, going 12-7-0 in Q3 to put the team in the playoff equation for the first time. I have no doubt the coach has the team’s ear, & the players have bought in.
There have been few changes in the Top 6 forwards or their lines. The system has been to rotate the bottom 6 (players like Zetterlund, Schnarr, Gignac and until recently Studenic) would be in one game, & healthy scratches the next. The result has been energy game after game. Special teams continue to uptick, the PP at 17.3% (+1:4%), & the PK at 81.2% (+3.8%).
Remember Q1 when the team lost a half dozen two goal leads? Ancient history. This team just keeps coming, and if not overcoming deficits, is winning games in the third. These improvements come from coaching. One thing I’d like to see down the stretch is more of Gilles Senn. His play is worthy of being the #1, yet the “system” has been alternating goaltenders regardless of who they are or who the opponent is. In my opinion, Senn deserves at least 2/3 of the starts down the stretch if his play continues to be strong.
The schedule is no friend in Q4, it’s going to take another 12-7 (at least) quarter to qualify. But the coaches have the train on the rails, and I’m excited to see where it ends up. @RogieVachon30
* = Rookie status
Inc. = Incomplete