- But I can see the reasoning. Gamer is near done. 350 words. Not bad for a guy that didn’t listen and watched here and there. 8 hours ago
- Laughable that Utica didn’t award Peter Mannino a star tonight. They went DeFazio (game tying goal) O’Reilly (shootout GWG) & Eriksson 32/33 8 hours ago
- Heading home. Blog’ll be up before midnight. 8 hours ago
- Albany and Providence with 69 pts. in 6 and 7. Pens’ll have 68 in 8th. Hershey, barring an implosion, will have 9th with 67 pts. 8 hours ago
- Albany yaks up a big lead again but manages to win in shootout. Worcester beats Providence in one too. St. John’s wins in regulation v BRI 8 hours ago
- However, a pack of rabid dogs make up the non-division leaders. Pens may settle 7-8-9 tonight, depending on other finals. 8 hours ago
- Pens’ll pick up the point, with Norfolk losing 3-1 at home to the Bears, WBS will get to w/in 2 of the East lead. 8 hours ago
A fan blog about the AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins
Category Archives: The AHL
March 5, 2014Posted by on
With all the hype surrounding trade deadline day for the NHL, let’s cut to the chase and examine how it affects the AHL’s East Division.
Let’s get right to it…
Pittsburgh / Wilkes Barre
Marcel Goc from Florida and Lee Stempniak from Calgary for draft picks. So, the Wilkes-Barre roster and prospect pipeline stays intact. Chuck Kobasew, who cleared waivers yesterday, to Wilkes-Barre. Chris Conner can NOT be sent to Wilkes-Barre because he was not on waivers yesterday. So, ideally from a Wilkes-Barre perspective, it’s Conner for Kobasew. I’ll reserve judgement on whether this is good or bad after I see what Kobasew and do in the AHL.
Jonathan tweeted that Simon Despres and Brian Gibbons were on the Wilkes-Barre roster at 3 p.m. and thus eligible to return to the Penguins at some point.
Washington / Hershey
Bears end up netting Chris Brown from Phoenix / Portland in an NHL deal for Marty Erat and John Mitchell. Brown has put up solid numbers in Portland for the past two seasons. He’s 14-21-35 so far this year. Brown was also sent from Phoenix with Rostislav Klesla, but Klesla’s stay in Chocolatetown lasted less than 24 hours as he was sent to Buffalo with G Michal Neuvirth in the trade for G Jaroslav Halak.
Connor Carrick and Dmitry Orlov were eligible to be sent to Hershey, but were not and will remain with Washington for the duration.
Ottawa / Binghamton
Initial returns are that the winners of the NHL Trade deadline in the East Division are the Binghamton Senators, who get a depth defenseman in Patrick Mullen from the Utica Comets and Alex Grant (yes, THAT Alex Grant) from Norfolk / Anaheim for Andre Petersson. Grant makes a dangerous Binghamton power play even more dangerous. Ottawa also papered down Cody Ceci and Mike Hoffman, making that duo eligible for the AHL if the need arises.
In another minor move, Ottawa loaned Joe Corvo to the AHL’s Chicago Wolves. But Corvo, a Chicago area native, is hurt and isn’t expected to play the rest of the season. He also is making $900K this season.
Tampa Bay / Syracuse
Dana Tyrell and Matt Taormina to Columbus for Jonathan Marchessault and Dalton Smith. Syracuse looks like the big winner in this trade. Marchessault was Springfield’s leading scorer (14-27-41) Richard Panik was recalled earlier today, meaning his AHL days are done at least for this year and Vlad Namestnikov was sent to Syracuse. If there is one downside, the moves today leave the Crunch a bit thin on the blue line.
Anaheim / Norfolk
Jonathan’s take on today’s proceedings is here.
In my view, Wilkes-Barre has the most work to do in the divsion, with seemingly everyone else bolstering up their rosters. The Kobasew add is nice and should help, but you just never know with how a player who has spent most of his time in the NHL will take a demotion back to the AHL. You go from airplanes and caviar to bus rides and 3 a.m. McDonald’s stops.
Time, always tells.
February 23, 2014Posted by on
Another day, another afternoon left scoreboard watching in the AHL’s Eastern Conference. There were five teams playing all close to the Penguins in the standings of the Eastern Confernence Sunday afternoon. The Penguins were in the 8th and final spot of playoffs coming into Sunday morning…
…Sunday evening, the Penguins are back on the outside looking in but a point.
Here’s the scores and some blurbs on the games….
It was a perfect six point weekend for the Albany Devils who downed the Utica Comets, seeking their own perfect weekend themselves by a score of 2-1.
Sound Tigers do a favor for the teams in the Eastern Conference chase with a 2-1 win at home. But, Bridgeport draws within eight points of the ninth place Penguins.
Ol’ buddy Brad Thiessen stops 28 of 30 and the Norfolk Admirals are back in the playoff hunt with a 3-2 win in Springfield. The win for the Ads stops a two game slide.
St. John’s explode for five goals in the third period and win in Portland 6-5 for their fourth win in a row.
Well, the Crunch certainly wish they saw more of the Bears on the schedule. They defeat Hershey in the home of the Capitals 5-2 in a “home” game for the Crunch in the AHL Showcase.
So here is what the Conference looks like: 1) MCH (80) 2) SPR (71) 3) BNG (70) 4) STJ (68) 5) ALB (66) 6) PRO (65) 7) HER (64) 8) NOR (64) 9) WBS (63)
The Penguins have games in hand on St. John’s and Providence now and Norfolk and Hershey have a game in hand on the Penguins.
The Pens have a big week this week. A game Tuesday against Hershey, then on the road again with Syracuse Friday and in Atlantic City with Albany Saturday.
Week 21 AHL Power Rankings will be up Monday at 4 p.m.
February 21, 2014Posted by on
The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins entered last weekend a point out of first place in the East Division.
Fast forward a week, and those same Penguins who have lost five straight games, are now on the outside looking in when it comes to playoffs.
There were three teams relevant to the Penguins in action Friday night. Here are the recaps of all of the affairs…
The reason the Penguins are currently out of the playoffs? The Albany Devils, two points out of the 8th spot in ninth at the start of the night, were in Glens Falls tonight and beat a Phantoms team decimated by League suspensions 4-1. Mike Sislo netted two goals for the Devils.
St. John’s, one of the two teams tied with the Penguins in points (62, Providence being the other) coming into Friday, leapfrog their way into fifth place in the conference with a 5-1 win in Worcester tonight. The two teams rematch tomorrow.
The B Machine continues to roll. The East Division leading Binghamton Senators were in Montreal tonight at the Bell Centre taking on the Hamilton Bulldogs and won 4-1. G Andrew Hammond has won four straight, for a .953 SV% and a 1.50 GAA. Oh, Binghamton has the most goals scored (199) in the East Division.
So the Eastern Conference Standings look like this three weeks into February:
1) MCH (76) 2) SPR (71) 3) BNG (70) 4) HER (64) 5) STJ (64) 6) PRO (63) 7) NOR (62) 8) ALB (62) 9) WBS (62)
Games in hand situation look like this: Pens have 53. Albany and Binghamton have a game in hand, Hershey and Norfolk have two.
In case you were wondering, Hershey, Norfolk and Providence were all off tonight as well. All 30 clubs are dancing Saturday. Norfolk is in Albany, Hershey hosts Syracuse, St. John’s rematches with Worcester and Binghamton hosts Utica.
The Penguins play the Providence Bruins Saturday night at home. It probably goes without saying that tomorrow is the biggest game of the season for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins.
Gameday for this affair will hit the blog at 3 p.m.
February 13, 2014Posted by on
Snowed in today? I was. If you weren’t consider yourself lucky.
Anyway, here’s a look at a couple of things to know as the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins head into a very important weekend against two divisional foes.
Four players sent to Wheeling. Denver Manderson and Carter Rowney were reassigned to Wheeling. The Penguins also released Zack Torquato and Barry Goers from their PTOs and they will return back to Wheeling also. Means to me that Jayson Megna and Brian Gibbons are good to go for the weekend. Gibbons, provided that he returns from St. John’s with all of this snow causing many travel delays pretty much everywhere in the Northeast.
The Penguins also announced a huge slate of events for the February 22 game against the Providence Bruins. Camouflage pucks, Brian Gibbons All-Star poster, Olympic themed jerseys and the Hall of Fame Inductions of Kevin Blaum, Dennis Bonvie and Alain Nasreddine.
In the immediate, however, the Penguins travel up to Binghamton Friday, Hershey Saturday then home against the Bears Sunday. The Penguins can be a first place team this weekend or they can be a team toiling with teams 6th on back in the Conference. Provided that Gibbons and Megna play this weekend and Spencer Machacek returns from his lower body injury, the Penguins should be fine. Although who knows, with the Penguins 29th in the AHL in power play in a 30 team League.
Regardless, a very important weekend for several teams in the East Division awaits.
Gameday for the Binghamton matchup with hit the blog Friday at 3. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am off to shovel more snow.
February 12, 2014Posted by on
I have to say, I was a little worried when I first heard that the AHL would switch up the format for the All-Star Classic festivities this year. Gone was the “East vs. West” format and in was the concept of a group of AHL All-Stars vs. an actual hockey club. That hockey club was Färjestad BK of the Swedish Hockey League.
Known as “The Green Machine,” Färjestad has 18 Swedish League Championships playing in the highest hockey league in Sweden. It’s a team that has a history of winning versus a team put together from across a 30-team minor league hockey circuit known as the American Hockey League.
Well, on this night, the American Hockey League reigned supreme.
Anchored by three point performances by Rockford’s Brandon Pirri and Binghamton’s Mike Hoffman, the AHL All-Stars crushed Färjestad BK by a score of 7-2.
Chicago’s Jake Allen vs. Frederik Pettersson-Wentzel
Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins All-Star Brian Gibbons skated on a line with Bridgeport’s Ryan Strome and Syracuse’s Brett Connolly.
First Period: Couple of early chances for Färjestad. Allen was tested early by Tomas Hyka but squeezes the pads and makes the save. Next shift, ex-Penguin and current Abbotsford Heat Ben Street hit the post. It was really a nice pace to start by both teams without any actual hitting.
Then, the avalanche started on “The Rock”
Albany’s Joe Whitney centers to Binghamton’s Mike Hoffman to the left of Pettersson-Wentzel and Hoffman tapped it into a wide open net for a 1-0 AHL lead.
Later, Ryan Strome scores to put the AHL up 2-0 when Brian Gibbons forechecked Färjestad’s exit out of their own zone twice, setting up Stome’s goal.
Playing captain and St. John’s IceCap Jason Jaffray sets up Ben Street from behind the net to push the AHL lead to 3-0.
Texas’ Travis Morin, who leads the AHL in scoring, scored to put the AHL All-Stars up 4-0 with a ridiculous deflection from a Cody Goloubef shot from the point. Morin had Linus Fröberg draped on him, reached behind him, and deflected the goal in.
Each player from each of the four lines scored in the period.
Second Period: Färjestad settled down and became more accustomed to the narrower ice.
But Mike Hoffman accelerates past the Färjestad D and passes to Albany’s Joe Whitney but Pettersson-Wentzel made the pad save.
At right about halfway, Rockford’s Brandon Pirri welcomes backup Färjestad goaltender Pekka Tuokkola to the game with a goal :34 after both teams switched goaltenders.
Legit hooking penalty called on Mike Hoffman late and Färjestad had the game’s only power play. But it was the AHL that had the better of the chances shorthanded. Jason Jaffray blocked a shot and led a charge up ice and passed to Ben Street but Tuokkola made the save on Street’s backhand.
Third Period: A Magnus Nygren shot from the point through bodies finally put Färjestad on the board beating relief goaltender Dustin Tokarski. Nygren and Tokarski have a connection, with Nygren skating with Tokarski’s Hamilton Bulldogs earlier this year.
Later, Hoffman and Pirri lead a charge up ice and Pirri finishes off the Hoffman feed to re-gain the five goal lead for the AHL.
Färjestad responds with a Ludwig Byström shot from the point and Rickard Wallin with a Travis Morin-esque deflection and it was 6-2 AHL All-Stars.
Brian Gibbons continued to dog Färjestad on the forecheck, forced another turnover and fed Ryan Strome who scored to re-establish the AHL’s five goal lead.
Unfair that Färjestad travels more than 8,000 kilometers over to St. John’s to play a game against a team of all-stars? The AHL beats a currently mid-pack Swedish team with no NHL prospects? I don’t want to hear it. It took the AHL guts to break the format and put something like this together against a team from overseas. It’s the first time ever that something like this has happened. Bravo for the AHL to stepping up to the challenge against a good Swedish elite team.
Player of the Game for the AHL was Mike Hoffman (1-2-3, +2) and Christian Berglund for Färjestad (-1, 5 shots) Rockford’s Brandon Pirri was named MVP with two goals, an assist and +3.
Pirri is an interesting story. The SportsNet broadcast pretty much wrote off his future with the Chicago Blackhawks. It will be interesting to see if Pirri gets moved at the trade deadline and where he goes. I would not be surprised if he ends up in the AHL’s East Division. Pirri led the AHL last year in points.
One interesting note before I wrap this up, it’ll probably stand to be some kind of AHL All-Star Classic record for Jake Allen. Customarily the goaltenders in these events get lit up like Christmas trees. Allen didn’t allow a single goal. There was one shutout in 1956.
Back to the AHL regular season grind Friday for the Penguins as they travel to Binghamton to face off against Mike Hoffman and the rest of the Senators. Gameday for that will be here on the blog Friday at 3 p.m.
February 11, 2014Posted by on
So it’s the first All-Star Classic that I have not been to since Binghamton, but I was able to watch on TV.
If by chance you were planning on watching on tape delay, come back and read this after.
The last competition of the night was the “Breakaway Relay” which is basically a shootout. One skater on one goalie.
St. John’s Captain and AHL All-Stars Captain Jason Jaffray was the final shooter for his team needing a goal to tie it. He did. It was 17-17 after regulation.
The shootout required, a shootout!
Jaffray scored in Round Three of Sudden Death, and the AHL All-Stars defeated Färjestad BK tonight by a score of 18-17.
Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins All-Star Brian Gibbons was featured in two events, fastest skater and in Breakaway Relay. Gibbons recorded the second quickest time for the AHL All-Stars with a time of 14.350 seconds. Binghamton’s Mike Hoffman won the Event with a time of 13.990. Hoffman slid at the line which caused a clock malfunction.
I’m always a fan of hardest shot. Well, Magnus Nygren from Färjestad BK recorded a shot of 104.6 mph, an AHL All-Star Skills Competition record. Best for the AHL was Rochester’s Brayden McNabb with a shot of 102.6 mph.
A couple takeaways. I’m glad Colton Sceviour plays in the Western Conference for the Texas Stars. Sceviour had some absolute snipes in the Rapid Fire Event…..Färjestad has a kid on their team. No really. A kid. He is 16 years old and his name is Oliver Kylington. He was very impressive for someone who would be a sophomore in high school playing with men, some twice his age or more…..Goal of the Night belongs to Charles Bertrand from Färjestad in the Breakaway Relay; a between the legs, back out and backhander top shelf goal on Chicago’s Jake Allen.
Here’s the SendToNews highlight package. Some other highlights and such. Bertrand’s sickening goal comes circa 1:06 of the package.
Färjestad BK (@farjestad_bk) February 12, 2014
Let’s see if I am doing this right:
@farjestad_bk Ta med den på.—
Jason Iacona (@nafsnep) February 12, 2014
Translated, if Google Translate did it right is, “Bring it On!”
Probably not, but, it’s the sprit of the Competition I suppose.
I’ll have an update tomorrow night after the All-Star Classic.
Let’s Go AHL!!!
February 9, 2014Posted by on
In case you missed it: I set the table for today’s game against Hershey in Hershey.
So the NHL is on hiatus for the next two weeks because of the Winter Olympics in Russia. It’ll be good to go back to blogging up the highest level of hockey in North America for this time frame.
Wait. What’s that? The AHL is on hiatus for their own All-Star Break too? Just a week? Okay. Well, I guess I’ll make the most of what I have while I can.
Anyway, there are a slew of moves during the NHL break that are affecting East Division clubs in the AHL. We saw it firsthand yesterday with the reassignments of Jayson Megna, Brian Gibbons and Harry Zolnierczyk from Pittsburgh to Wilkes-Barre. Gibbons will head to St. John’s this week to represent the Penguins in the AHL All Star Classic.
As for the rest of the East Division, here’s who is on their way back down for the Olympic break, who each AHL East Division team plays and a reasonable expectation based off of who they do.
Pittsburgh / Wilkes Barre
This trio needs no introduction. For Wilkes-Barre, the additions could not come at a better time divisionally because the next five games are against Hershey (today) Binghamton (Friday) Hershey (Saturday and Sunday) and Binghamton (next Wednesday) — Win all of them, and the Penguins are likely division leaders and in solid shape for playoffs heading into the month of March. Lose, forget about the division lead and scrape and muck with teams from 6 through 13.
Washington / Hershey
Casey Wellman, Julien Brouillette and Patrick Wey — seemingly should be in the lineup this afternoon for the Bears. Bears get Wilkes-Barre (today) Albany (Friday) Wilkes-Barre (Saturday and Sunday) and Syracuse (next Saturday) for their next five. Bears can make a push for the division lead but have to jump over three other teams to get there. A daunting task, but nothing that the Bears can’t accomplish. A more reasonable expectation is for Hershey to solidify themselves in the Top 8 for playoffs.
Ottawa / Binghamton
The East Division leaders got MORE offensive help earlier in the week with the return of second leading scorer Stephane Da Costa as well as Mark Stone. Binghamton gets Wilkes-Barre (Friday) Worcester (Saturday) Wilkes-Barre (next Wednesday) Hamilton (next Friday) and Utica (next Saturday) for their next five. The division leader is hoping for a Hershey win today to keep the Penguins at bay and then have to deal with the Penguins for two of their next three games with tough Worcester and Hamilton teams in there and the always surprising Utica Comets. For Binghamton, maintaining the lead in the division is crucial. If they fall back to Hershey or Norfolk, there may be no returning to the top.
Tampa Bay / Syracuse
Defenseman J.P. Cote cleared waivers yesterday afternoon and played last night for Syracuse against Springfield, a 6-5 overtime loss for the Crunch. Kristers Gudlevskis and Vlad Namestnikov were sent back Sunday morning, but Gudlevskis is representing Latvia in the Olympics and won’t play for the Crunch. This will leave the Crunch in a bind in goal, something they have been used to in recent weeks. For Syracuse, it has to be about winning. The Crunch get Norfolk Friday and Saturday, Utica next Friday and Hershey next Saturday and Sunday. The Crunch may have to go 5-0 to even remain in the discussion for the 8 seed.
Anaheim / Norfolk
Anaheim hasn’t yet announced who they are sending back but it is likely that leading scorer Emerson Etem will be back and will no doubt continue to help the Ads in staying in lockstep with Wilkes-Barre in trying to chase down leader Binghamton. The Admirals get Syracuse Friday and Saturday, the makeup game with Charlotte next Tuesday and then Albany and Springfield next Saturday and Sunday. Ideally, for Norfolk, separation from Hershey and Wilkes-Barre is the goal and then Binghamton will handle themselves with playing Wilkes-Barre twice. They can just win and let the Pens, Bears and B-Sens knock the snot out of each other trying to stay away from the ever dangerous Admirals.
Time, always tells.