Chirps from Center Ice

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

East Divison Preview

Regular AHL

We have reached the conclusion of the Fifth Annual Chirps from Center Ice AHL Previews in all too familiar territory, the East Division. If you missed any of the other division previews in this fine League, please use the scroll down menu at the top of the blog.



The only change in the division is the Syracuse Crunch out and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in. Since the Penguins reside in this division, they obviously play all the teams listed multiple times. Home games are featured in bold.

Here we go…


NHL Affiliation: Ottawa Senators

Record: 44-24-3-5 (96 pts., 1st place East Division)

Playoffs: 3 seed — Lost in four games to the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals

Head Coach: Luke Richardson

Arena: Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena

ECHL Affiliation: Evansville IceMen

Offseason Moves: Carter Camper, Aaron Johnson

The case for: Division Champs bolster an already solid lineup with excellent additions in Camper and Johnson.

The case against: This Binghamton team streaked like no tomorrow last season, good for bad, bad for good. That recipe may spell disaster this season.

Media Coverage: Matt Weinstein and Matt Verderame for the Press & Sun-Bulletin

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

Twitter: @BSens_Hockey

Facebook: /binghamtonsenators

Instagram: bsens_hockey

Broadcaster: Grady Whittenburg

vs. WBS: 10/26, @ 11/8, @ 12/20, @ 12/26, 1/2, 2/11, 3/21, @ 3/27


NHL Affiliation: Washington Capitals

Record: 39-27-5-5 (88 pts., 4th place East Division)

Playoffs: Did not qualify.

Head Coach: Troy Mann

Arena: Giant Center

ECHL Affiliation: South Carolina Stingrays

Offseason Moves: Tim Spencer, Philippe Cornet, Jon Landry, Mike Moore, Chris Conner, Tim Kennedy

The case for: New leadership under a familiar name in Troy Mann have Bears fans hopes for a return to glory sooner rather than later.

The case against: A lot of teams caught and passed the 11 time Champs. Can they recover?

Media Coverage: Tim Leone for PennLive

Fan Blog: Sweetest Hockey on Earth

Twitter: @TheHersheyBears

Facebook: /TheHersheyBears

Instagram: thehersheybears

Broadcaster: Scott Stuccio

vs. WBS: @ 10/25, 11/7, @ 11/16, @ 11/26, 12/6, @ 12/7, 12/14, 12/31, @ 1/3, @ 2/7, 3/11, 3/14


NHL Affiliation: Philadelphia Phantoms

Record: 30-38-2-6 (68 pts., 4th place Northeast Division, playing as the Adirondack Phantoms)

Playoffs: Did not qualify.

Head Coach: Terry Murray

Arena: PPL Center

ECHL Affiliation: Reading Royals

Offseason Moves: Connor Knapp, Darroll Powe, Austin Fyten, Brett Hextall, Andrew Gordon, Blair Jones, Zack Stortini

The case for: The Phantoms may boast the most star studded lineup in the East Division, with names like Powe and Gordon. The new kid on the block may be able to contend in what’s called the toughest division in the AHL.

The case against: Goaltending. Probably the weakest in the division, if not the Conference. Inexperience in goal could doom this team early and often.

Media Coverage: Gary Blockus for The Morning Call

Fan Blog: The Horn and Bell

Twitter: @LVPhantoms

Facebook: /LehighValleyPhantoms

Instagram: lehighvalleyphantoms

Broadcaster: Bob Rotruck

vs. WBS: 10/11, @ 10/29, 11/14, 12/5, @ 12/13, 1/31, 2/14, @ 3/22, @ 3/28, 4/4, @ 4/8, @ 4/19


NHL Affiliation: Anaheim Ducks

Record: 40-26-3-7 (90 pts., 3rd place East Division)

Playoffs: 8 seed — Lost in six games to the St. John’s IceCaps in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Head Coach: Jarrod Skalde

Arena: Scope Arena

ECHL Affiliation: Utah Grizzlies

Offseason Moves: Jason LaBarbera, Steve MacIntyre, Nathan McIver, Brad Winchester

The case for: Might be the toughest team in the division, if not the conference.

The case against: What exactly did Norfolk do this offseason other than adding an aging goaltender in LaBarbera and Steve MacIntyre, who may only dress for less than half of their games?

Media Coverage: Virginian Pilot

Fan Blog: Admirals Aftermath / Beneath the Scope

Twitter: @NorfolkAdmirals / Ads Game Updates

Facebook: /NorfolkAdmirals

Instagram: norfolkadmirals

Broadcaster: Pete Michaud

vs. WBS: @ 10/31, @ 11/1, 12/28, 1/6, 1/9, @ 1/23, @ 1/24, 4/18


NHL Affiliation: Pittsburgh Penguins

Record: 42-26-3-5 (92 pts., 2nd place East Division)

Playoffs: 6 seed — Lost in six games to the St. John’s IceCaps in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Head Coach: John Hynes

Arena: Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza

ECHL Affiliation: Wheeling Nailers

Offseason Moves: Taylor Chorney

The case for: The core that made it to the Eastern Conference Finals returns. While not as an impressive offseason as in prior years, I see no reason why this team cannot compete for a division title.

The case against: Youth and inexperience. A lot of second year guys and rookies may be relied upon to carry the offensive load this season.

Media Coverage: Jonathan Bombulie for The Citizens’ Voice and Tom Venesky for The Times Leader

Fan Blog: I do not know of another that does it better than I.

Twitter: @WBSPenguins / WBS Game Day

Facebook: /WilkesBarreScrantonPenguins

Instagram: wbspenguins

Broadcaster: Mike O’Brien

Thanks for reading my previews. I hope you enjoyed read thing them as much as I enjoyed creating them. If you have a team going tonight in the AHL’s Opening Night, Good Luck and Happy New Year. The Penguins open their 16th Season tomorrow at 7:05 against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at home. The Gameday Setup for this returns to the blog Saturday at 3 p.m.!

One response to “East Divison Preview

  1. kramskorner October 10, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    For the Phantoms, I worry more about the defense more than the goaltending at this juncture. Rob Zepp is a European veteran who should hold up well. Anthony Stolarz is inexperienced, yes, but talented. It should be enough to get by for our new franchise.

    However, there are some young guys on defense who may be a bit offense-minded, and may leave the netkeeper hung out to dry a fair few times. We’ll see. In that case the goalies might look weak, but the problem might be elsewhere. Getting the puck out of the zone efficiently was a problem during the preseason, as well. Then add similar difficulties, and now an injury, in Philadelphia (<>), and we may lose some veteran presence on the blue line, as well.

    Good previews, though–and thanks for the shout-out for blog.