The Checkers started their roadtrip off on the wrong foot tonight, losing to division rival Binghampton. Justin Pogge got the start, and stopped only 36shots, letting six goals in during his 60 minute shift. Pogge has usually been the stronger netminder on the road, but tonight wasn’t his night. One of the goals went in off of his skate early on in the game. The Senators played a sloppy game as well, taking not one but two “too many men” penalties which must be the result of the team being so short staffed and probably un-rehearsed in line changes within their current lineup.
Binghampton’s squad was depleted already, with six players currently on recall to Ottawa, and a couple more injured or ill, so one would have thought we’d have a better chance against a team that only had 18 players to dress in tonight’s matchup.
The Checkers have two more games this weekend, in two different cities. Adirondak’s squad has struggled all year, but Sunday they face the Hershey Bears, and points against that team are crucial right now, since both teams are battling for playoff positions within the same division.
It will be interesting to see who gets the starts in Adirondak and Hershey. Murphy has the better record against each of those teams (2-1 and 3-2 respectively, with the two losses against Hershey coming in relief of Pogge). According to Jason Shaya they have a six hour drive from Adirondak to Hershey, and won’t even arrive at their destination till about 4 am. My assumption would be that the team will decide to play a different goalie on Saturday and Sunday, but statistically, Murphy is the stronger choice against each squad.