Chirps from Center Ice

A fan blog about the AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins

Category Archives: The AHL

Tuesday Tidbits 11/24

Coupla things to touch on this Tuesday night.

First, the Penguins announced their nine game TV schedule. All Saturday dates, beginning December 5 when the Penguins host the Hartford Wolf Pack. Here is the whole list, air time on WQMY-TV at 7 p.m.

  • Hartford on December 5.
  • Albany on December 12.
  • Lehigh Valley on January 30.
  • Portland on February 13.
  • Bridgeport on March 12.
  • Hershey on March 19.
  • Providence on March 26.
  • Bridgeport on April 2.
  • Providence on April 16.

The Penguins will bring back, “Chillin’ with the Penguins” as well, airing at 6:30 before each game.

On the injury front, Matia Marcantuoni is closer to return than Tom Kuhnhackl. Seth said that Marcantuoni participated fully in today’s practice.

Not out there yet, but the Penguins are recalling defenseman Clark Seymour from Wheeling according to the nightly ECHL transactions roundup. Seymour is second on the Nailers in points for defensemen with 4-5-9 and a +6 in 16 games played.

Finally, Sean Shapiro from Wrong Side of the Red Line had me on his blog to talk AHL All-Stars. I don’t know if you have heard, but they have changed the format this year in the AHL. You can read about that here then read Sean and my projections.

Pens head up I-81 for a date with the Binghamton Senators. Gameday for that will hit the blog Wednesday at 3.

Let’s Go Pens!

AHL Power Rankings: Week 7

It’s Thanksgiving Week, and are you thankful for your AHL team? For some, there is a lot to be thankful. Wilkes-Barre, Milwaukee, San Antonio, Ontario, Toronto and Chicago are among teams that can be thankful this week.

But then there are other teams like Iowa, Providence, Utica and Rochester that don’t have anything to be thankful for. They have a lot of work to do.

If you didn’t link in direct, hit the jump to find out who the new number one is.

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AHL Power Rankings: Week 6

What a weekend it was. You had comebacks a plenty and blowouts galore. Lots of teams are in great position heading into a week before Thanksgiving while other teams have a lot of work to do.

It’s the Penguins and Rampage world though, and the rest of the AHL is just living in it.

Not much change to the Top 5 this week. Lots of teams elevatored up and down this week behind these teams.

Hit the jump if you didn’t link in direct to see where your favorite team ended up this week.

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Conor Sheary Named AHL Player of the Week

It’s always a welcome surprise when you don’t expect something, especially if that something is good news.

Well today, the AHL announced that Conor Sheary was named Player of the Week for the period ending November 15.

Sheary had a goal and seven assists this past weekend to put him just one off the team lead in points held by Scott Wilson.

Sheary had four assists in yesterday’s big 7-6 overtime win over the Hartford Wolf Pack Sunday. Interestingly enough, Sheary wasn’t named a star in that game.

The Week 6 AHL Power Rankings hit the blog at 4 today.

It’s Those Guys Again…

It’s really hard to imagine that it’s nearly mid-November and the Hershey Bears and the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins have yet to play a hockey game against each other yet this season, but that will all change Friday.

Hershey is third in the Atlantic Division with a 6-3-0-3 record through 12 games good for 15 points and a .625 points percentage.

It is easy to keep tabs on these guys. So here’s what I know.

They rotate two goalies, Justin Peters and Dan Ellis. Both have played six games each. Peters is in the top ten in goaltending leaders in the AHL with a 3-1-2 record with a 1.96 GAA and a .932 SV% and I am guessing that the Penguins see him Friday against Matt Murray.

They are middle of the pack in goals scored (2.92) and goals allowed (2.75) meaning that they can score them and give them up at will.

Whoever leads after two periods tomorrow is probably going to win the game. The Bears are 3-0-0-1 leading after two while the Pens are 6-0. Tied after two is almost dead even too with the Bears showing a 2-0-0-1 record and the Penguins with a 2-0 record.

Bears are 4-3 away from Giant Center and the Penguins have yet to lose at home.

The Penguins have the top power play in the AHL connecting at 27.5% of the time while the Bears are in the bottom third of the AHL with a 14% success rate. On the kill, Wilkes-Barre is in the top ten with a 87.8% kill rate while the Bears are middle of the pack at 83.7%.

No big surprise here, Chris Bourque is their leading scorer with a point a game (4-8-12 through 12 games) and Carter Camper is second on the team with 10 points (2-8-10)

Hershey will be without Liam O’Brien and Jakub Vrana. Vrana is out long term with a wrist injury while O’Brien is out midterm with a knee ailment.

Their last five games were as follows:

  • A 4-2 win over St. John’s at home on October 31. IceCaps cough up a 2-0 lead.
  • 5-4 shootout loss at home November 1 to Lehigh Valley. Phantoms cough up a 4-1 lead, Bears tie it late on a Zach Sill goal. It led to Whiteboard-Gate.
  • A pair of 4-2 wins over the Sound Tigers on November 4 in a kids day game in Bridgeport. Bears scored two goals in 1:06 late in the third and then…
  • November 6 in Allentown against the Phantoms in a game that the Phantoms were never in.
  • A 4-3 shootout loss to the St. John’s IceCaps on November 7. The IceCaps scored three consecutive goals after going down 3-0.

So what do we see Friday?

Honestly I don’t know. The Penguins have been the more consistent team. Remember Hartford a few weeks ago? They were the up an coming team in the division that got obliterated by Wilkes-Barre. Hershey is on that same ascent but the Penguins are a better team that St. John’s, Lehigh Valley and Bridgeport. Who knows. Remember the old saying, “buy the ticket, take the ride?” It applies here.

I think this is a big game for the Penguins, the best team in the AHL right now. Their biggest rival is coming in wanting to knock them down. I am not saying that the team that wins is going to win the division or that the team that loses is going to miss the playoffs, I am just saying that it’s a big game. The Bears feel the same way.

Gameday will be up on the blog Friday at 3.

AHL Power Rankings: Week 5

Five weeks into the AHL season and teams are starting to gain an identity. Some are great no matter what, some are good one week and poor the next and some are terrible no matter how you slice it.

The challenge in curating this weeks version of the Chirps from Center Ice AHL Power Rankings was that the top 10 teams were all pretty easy to sort, as were the bottom 10. 11-20? Much harder. These are the teams I think that, depending on where you are (closer to 10 or closer to 20) can be great one week or bad the next.

It’s a familiar team atop this weeks rankings and when I say familiar, if you are a regular reader to this blog, you will see why when you click through the jump if you didn’t link in direct…

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AHL Power Rankings: Week 4

Week 4 of the Chirps from Center Ice AHL Power Rankings have rolled in and teams are up and down on the elevator while others remain where they are.

There are surprise teams, great teams and teams that a month into the season, we still can’t get a handle on.

There is a team at the top that gave last week’s team at the top all they could handle and beat them, twice in their building.

There is a team at the bottom who we are waiting, and waiting, and waiting on to get good and haven’t yet. Maybe they just aren’t as good as we thought?

Anyway, I don’t want to spoil it all for you, so pop through the jump if you didn’t link in direct to see the order of teams.

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