Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Binghamton Senators coach Luke Richardson accomplished a lot in his first year as a head coach, but winning a playoff series isn't something he was able to check off. For the second year in a row, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are the team standing in his way of a first round series win.
For Richardson, he said his experiences as a player in the playoffs prepared him for being behind the bench.
"It's very similar to the experiences I've had playing. There's a lot of excitement, and boom it can quickly be over. So we want to be on the good side of that this year," said Richardson. "I mean little plays mean so much in the playoffs because everyone is playing so tight and with so much intensity. You've got to limit your mistakes and take advantage of the other teams, and I think that was the only difference between Wilkes-Barre and us last year."
After eight meetings this season, the B-Sens know the Penguins relatively well. They also had the upper hand in the regular season series by winning five of those meetings.
In order to be successful, Binghamton believes it'll need to take advantage of their speed and skating abilities.
"I think our speed and if we have the puck with that speed, it's going to give us control of a majority of the game," Richardson said. "I think if we don't skate and we turn pucks over carelessly, they're going to have the speed, they're going to have the puck. They're a veteran team that has some good scoring skill, both 5-on-5 and on the power play much like us, they're going to have the advantage.
The B-Sens do have the advantage of home ice for the first round. Binghamton opens up the series with games one and two at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena.
Especially after losing the first two home games during last years series sweep, the B-Sens are focused on getting out to a fast start in the opening game on Friday night.
"It's important, but I think we need to keep focused on the old scenario of just one game at a time, one shift at a time. We know we have to have a good start against this team, we've got to score some goals and we really want to get that first win and take advantage of home ice," said Richardson. "You can have a winning record against a team all year, and you see it many times, it's erased in the playoffs by the other team. It doesn't matter. The only thing it does is give you confidence going in and you have to carry that confidence in the right way and really put it to use."