Chirps from Center Ice

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

Northeast Division Preview

Regular AHL

Welcome back to Day Four of the Fifth Annual Chirps from Center Ice AHL Previews. Today, we are in the Northeast Division. If you missed the Western Conference Divisions earlier this week or the Atlantic Division from yesterday, the drop down menu at the top of the blog is your best friend. Check them out.

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The only change to this division is the Adirondack Phantoms relocating to the East Division as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and the Syracuse Crunch vacating their spot in the East Division and coming up and joining the Northeast Division. The Penguins play everybody in this division multiple times with the home games listed in bold.

Here we go…

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NHL Affiliation: New Jersey Devils

Record: 40-23-5-8 (93 pts., 2nd place Northeast Division)

Playoffs: 5 seed — Lost in four games to the St. John’s IceCaps in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

Head Coach: Rick Kowalsky

Arena: Times Union Center

ECHL Affiliation: None

Offseason Moves: Paul Thompson

The case for: This criminally underrated Devils team snuck up on a bunch of teams last season and had their best season since the River Rats days. They’ll probably replicate it again this year.

The case against: This criminally underrated Devils team won’t sneak up on anyone this season.

Media Coverage: Pete Dougherty for the Albany Times Union / Bill Cain for The Daily Gazette

Fan Blog: Thoughts Inside the Box

Twitter: @AlbanyDevils

Facebook: /AlbanyDevils

Instagram: albanydevils

Broadcaster: Josh Heller

vs. WBS: @ 10/21, @ 11/21, 12/19, 4/17

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NHL Affiliation: New York Islanders

Record: 28-40-2-6 (64 pts., 5th place Northeast Division)

Playoffs: Did not qualify.

Head Coach: Brent Thompson

Arena: Webster Bank Arena

ECHL Affiliation: Stockton Thunder

Offseason Moves: David Leggio, Harry Zolnierczyk

The case for: Bridgeport was in an offseason arms race with Hartford for who could add the most perennial AHL All-Stars. I think this club will contend and make playoffs this season.

The case against: As with any team, Calder Cups aren’t passed out in the Summer. The Sound Tigers will need to prove that they can sustain a winning environment for 76 games.

Media Coverage: Michael Fornabaio for the Connecticut Post

Fan Blog: None — or I haven’t found it yet.

Twitter: @TheSoundTigers

Facebook: /soundtigers

Instagram: thesoundtigers

Broadcaster: Phil Giubileo

vs. WBS: 12/12, 12/27, @ 2/8, @ 3/1

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NHL Affiliation: New York Rangers

Record: 37-32-1-6 (81 pts., 3rd place Northeast Division)

Playoffs: Did not qualify.

Head Coach: Ken Gernander

Arena: XL Center

ECHL Affiliation: Greenville Road Warriors

Offseason Moves: Ryan Potulny, Vinny Saponari, Chris Mueller, Nick Tarnasky, Chris Bourque

The case for: As with Bridgeport, the Wolf Pack added big name after big name this offseason. The streak of no playoff teams from the State of Connecticut is in jeopardy next Spring.

The case against: See Bridgeport’s.

Media Coverage: Paul Doyle for the Hartford Courant Mitchell Beck for Howlings.net

Fan Blog: None — or I haven’t found it yet.

Twitter: @WolfPackAHL

Facebook: /HartfordWolfPack

Instagram: hartford_wolfpack

Broadcaster: Bob Crawford

vs. WBS: @ 2/22, @ 2/28, 3/15, 4/1

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NHL Affiliation: Columbus Blue Jackets

Record: 47-23-1-5 (100 pts., 1st place Northeast Division)

Playoffs: 2 seed — Lost in five games to the Providence Bruins in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals

Head Coach: Jared Bednar

Arena: MassMutual Center

ECHL Affiliation: Kalamazoo Wings

Offseason Moves: Jerry D’Amigo, Brian Gibbons, Mike Hoeffel

The case for: Springfield improved itself in the offseason with the organizational acquistions of D’Amigo and Gibbons. Should either make it to Western Massachusetts this season, expect a solid Springfield team.

The case against: This division may be one of the more competitive divisions in the AHL. That can’t bode well for any club that goes on a run of losses. Springfield included.

Media Coverage: MassLive.com

Fan Blog: None — or I haven’t found it yet.

Twitter: @TheFalconsAHL

Facebook: /falconsahl

Instagram: thefalconsahl

Broadcaster: Andy Zilch

vs. WBS: 10/24, @ 1/30, 2/3, @ 3/8

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NHL Affiliation: Tampa Bay Lightning

Record: 31-32-4-9 (75 pts., 5th place East Division)

Playoffs: Did not qualify.

Head Coach: Rob Zettler

Arena: Onondaga County War Memorial Arena

ECHL Affiliation: Florida Everblades

Offseason Moves: Matt Corrente, Jerome Samson

The case for: Getting out of the East Division is one.

The case against: Going to this pit of vipers in the Northeast is another. Every team could be listed as a playoff contender. I can’t say the same for Syracuse. It may be another long season in Central New York.

Media Coverage: Lindsay Kramer for the Syracuse Post-Standard

Fan Blog: Chairman How’s Glorious Army

Twitter: @SyracuseCrunch

Facebook: /syracusecrunch

Instagram: officialsyracusecrunch

Broadcaster: Dan D’Uva

vs. WBS: 11/9, 11/15, @ 1/10, @ 3/20


We close out the Previews tomorrow with the East Division Friday at noon!

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