Zibanejad, O'Brien want to prove themselves in Binghamton

By Travis Eldridge

October 2, 2013 Updated Oct 3, 2013 at 12:20 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Senators center Mika Zibanejad tallied seven goals and 13 assists for Ottawa in 42 NHL games last season, but the former first-round pick was sent back to the Binghamton Senators to start the season.

Prior to the NHL Lockout ending last year, Zibanejad spent time with the B-Sens scoring 11 points for the team in 23 games.

After a tough training camp, Zibanejad said the team wants him to work his way back to a spot on Ottawa's roster. Mika said on Wednesday, he's ready for that challenge.

"The competitiveness, to be more engaged and more involved in the games and not wait for things to happen, make sure things happen myself," Zibanejad said. "That will be a good start for me and I know there will be guys from up there watching, watching closely. So it's a mental test for me, to see if I can battle through it. Am I going to lay down and die, or am I actually going to do something about it?"

He also added this could be a bit of a wake-up call for him, and he hopes to show the many watchful eyes in Ottawa, he deserves another shot soon.

O'Brien returns to the B-Sens looking to find his game again

A familiar name and face, Jim O'Brien, has made his return to Binghamton this week. After playing the entire season in Ottawa last year, he admits he was a little surprised to be back with the B-Sens.

It'll be part of his fifth season here in Binghamton, including playing in 74 games here during the B-Sens Calder Cup run in 2010-11.

Despite scoring five goals and adding one assist during last year's regular season, O'Brien didn't see time during Ottawa's playoff run.

Now, back in Binghamton, he said on Wednesday he's looking to have fun with hockey again.

"When I was here in Binghamton, I had a great time. I scored goals, played some good hockey and was able to play a good two-way game," O'Brien said. "it's fun to have the puck, score goals and make plays. So it's going to be fun to get back to that."

"It's just being consistent and with both of them it's just playing a little simple offense," said coach Luke Richardson on O'Brien and Zibanejad. "Coming down here, they both know it's a tough league and just because they've played in the NHL, doesn't mean things are going to come easy to them here."

The B-Sens open the season against Syracuse on Saturday at the Arena.

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