Top line initiating Senators’ playoff push

Photo: Jason Scourse

by Matthew Tidcombe | AHL On The Beat

The Belleville Senators have thrown themselves right back in the North Division playoff race on the back of their current 10-game point streak.

Sure, the team has had solid goaltending and has been sound defensively, conceding just 24 goals over that time, but up front the Sens have been led by Drake Batherson, Logan Brown and Nick Paul.

Batherson currently boasts a franchise best 10-game point streak while Brown’s was at eight games before being held pointless Wednesday. In the five games Paul has played since his reassignment from Ottawa, the Sens have gone 5-0-0 and their first line has combined for a whopping 31 points over that span.

“I think Drake and I were playing pretty good hockey and then we got put together and it seemed like it started clicking,” Brown said. “As soon as Nick came down that’s a huge addition for our team and especially our line as he opens up so much space. It’s three big guys who can all move the puck and score goals so it’s been a lot of fun.”

Batherson has completely re-written the Sens’ franchise record book in his rookie season that has also included a 17-game stint with Ottawa, an AHL All-Star Challenge MVP win and two CCM/AHL Player of the Week awards. He is currently the AHL’s rookie scoring leader with 46 points (16 goals) in just 38 games.

Photo: Jason Scourse


“We all bring different stuff to the table and I think we can all make plays and score goals,” Batherson said. “We’ve been using each other well and it’s been going great.

“Hopefully we can create more chemistry as the season goes on and continue that playoff push.”

Since re-joining Belleville on Feb. 4 after clearing waivers, Paul has made a dramatic effect to the Sens offense. The team has scored 25 goals in those five games while Batherson and Brown have each reaped the benefits of his return: Batherson has 13 points while Brown has 10 over that stretch.

“I don’t know what it is but it’s been working,” Paul said. “Brownie and Batherson have been on fire but the team’s been on fire too. We’ve been on a little groove here, got some swagger and want to keep it going. It’s just been clicking.

“I think we need to be a little better defensively; better sticks, better back-check and that will result in more offense for us. We know what we have to do and keep playing the same way.”