When Ben Bishop arrived in Binghamton, the thought was the Senators may have an AHL goaltending controversy on their hands.
But when you look at the start Robin Lehner has had this season, it’s clear that Bishop is going to have play well to earn his ice time under Luke Richardson. Through five starts, Lehner has posted a 3-1-0 record, along with a 1.32 GAA and an impressive .954 save percentage.
While his fight on Saturday night stole all the headlines, the fact is Lehner has been lights out early this season. He has been the BSens MVP through the first handful of games and looks like a guy eager to silence the doubters that popped up last season.
The organization's plan was to have Lehner play and dominate for a full season at the AHL level but if he continues to play as well as he has, he’s going to make it more and more difficult to keep him in the minor leagues.
This is where again, the NHL lockout actually benefits the Senators in terms of player development. If the league ends up missing an entire season, Lehner has a chance to mature and develop his game in the AHL without fans and perhaps Lehner himself feeling as though he’s being held back from an NHL job he may in fact be ready for.
Head Coach Luke Richardson indicated yesterday that Ben Bishop has a throat infection that has kept him off the ice. He could return as early as this weekend.
- How bout the start Sens prospect Mikael Wikstrand is having in Sweden? Drafted 196th overall, the Swedish defenceman is really making a name for himself in the second tier of the Swedish Elite League. Wikstrand has racked up seven goals and 10 points in just 14 games with Mora and was just named to Sweden’s roster for the under-20 World Championships.
- Still little in the way of progress on the labour front and now only a couple days from the deadline to get in a full 82 game season. Late last night, the NHLPA requested a meeting with the league only to have that request declined on the grounds that the Union was unwilling to discuss the league’s most recent proposal. Real constructive, fellas. What a joke.
- The CBA uncertainty really hits home for Senators fans when it comes to the future of Captain Daniel Alfredsson. Preparing to play his last season in the NHL, Alfredsson is clearly frustrated with the ongoing lockout and yesterday, openly questioned whether or not he would return to the NHL for an abbreviated season. I think I speak for a large number of Sens fans when I say if this stupid lockout deprives us of Alfie’s last season, I’ll have a real hard time forgiving the National Hockey League.