Greening, Baby Sens look to rekindle offence

Binghamton Senators forward Colin Greening is mystified by his lack of offence in the AHL playoffs....

Binghamton Senators forward Colin Greening is mystified by his lack of offence in the AHL playoffs. (DON BRENNAN/QMI Agency)


, Last Updated: 2:12 AM ET

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. Since their season ended, the Senators have signed two players theyve ticketed to be in the NHL next October.

Zack Smith has responded well. Colin Greening? Not so much.

The strapping winger has just one goal and three assists in 20 playoff games for the Binghamton Senators. In Wednesdays 2-1 loss to the Aeros that leaves them in a 2-1 series hole, Greening was dropped to the fourth line.

And thats where hell begin Game 4 Friday, alongside Cody Bass and David Dziurzynski, as the B-Sens try to avoid being shoved to the brink.

Colin, he is what he is. Hes an honest player and I think he has played the way Colin plays, Binghamton coach Kurt Kleinendorst said after Thursdays practice.

I just feel like right now, offensively, theres not much hes been contributing. I dont know if its because the year has been long. He has played a lot of games; hes been up and down more than any player Ive got. He takes such good care of himself ... but I see some value to him on that line. Colin will do anything you ask him to do. Theyre going to go and play physical, theyre going to play honest, theyve got to stay out of the penalty box, theyve got to create energy for us .. theyve got to be a real hard line to play against.

Its true that Greening should know every food and bathroom stop along Interstate 81 by heart. And also that hes long due for a break.

Used to a 36-game schedule at Cornell University, the first-year pro will suit up for his 104th of the 2010-11 season Friday. Greening isnt making excuses but all the travelling and the unfamiliar workload would seem to be a good one.

My dad is here and we were kind of reminiscing (Wednesday) night, what Ive gone through ... it was the end of August when Ive started playing, said the 25-year-old Newfoundlander, who signed a three-year, one-way extension with the Senators in May. Its kind of weird. I havent played into June before. So its a new feeling for me.

Its not like Greening was expected to be a sniper when the Senators drafted him in the seventh round in the 2004 draft. But he did raise his bar with 15 goals and 25 assists as a rookie with Binghamton along with the six goals and seven assists he had over 24 games for Ottawa.

To be honest, I dont really know, he said as to why neither the points nor the scoring chances have come the way hed like them to this spring. I put the onus on myself. Its something Ive struggled with in these playoffs. Ive been trying to contribute in other ways.

I think one of the things about me is I always try to play the right way. I think that if I do that the points will come. Sometimes I do, sometimes I dont. I think in the playoffs so far, Ive been trying to play the right way, but the points havent come with me.

Im trying to change that. Im trying to make my own destiny. Theres still lots of time left. Obviously, I hope my best hockey is ahead of me.

In trying to shake a snoozing offence that has scored just four goals in three games this series, Kleinendorst has also removed Smith from a line with Ryan Potulny and Ryan Keller that has been offensively dominant this spring. The new look B-Sens will have former QMJHL scoring champ Mike Hoffman taking Smiths spot on that unit, Corey Locke between Erik Condra and Bobby Butler, and Smith centring Jim OBrien and Kaspars Daugavins.

Its time, Kleinendorst said of the big shuffle. We had three, I dont think they were total stinkers, but I dont think we really played up to our potential, so it

just might be the right time to freshen things up a little bit.

Time for the B-Sens to get some bounces, too, if you ask goalie Robin Lehner.

The last two games weve hit five irons two post shots and three bars. (Wednesday) we had one post and two bars, said Lehner, who has given up five goals in the three games. I dont think we can be more unlucky.

I think we had one or two, maybe three open nets. The bounces have not gone our way. They have a good defence, but those five bar shots could easily have been five goals. I think people are forgetting that when they reflect on our games. Its one goal games right now, but it could easily not be. Of course they could have a couple (more), too. But right now, I think its close because of some bounces and stuff like that.

Maybe its not fair to Houston to say that. Theyve been playing really well. But to look at the facts, thats how our playoff has been. Weve been outshot in most of our games, but weve been scoring goals. It could have easily been 4-2 (Wednesday).