Chirps from Center Ice

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

AHL Power Rankings: Week 8

So here we are in Week 8 of the Chirps from Center Ice AHL Power Rankings, with a new number one.

It’s a bird! It’s a pla—, no literally, it’s a bird. The Springfield Falcons have won nine straight and are at the top of the Power Rankings this week.

There’s a team that I call the AHL’s yo-yo team. There’s a two horse race brewing in the Midwest Division. It’s a real battle in the West Division. There’s a team in the East Division I dub the best in the East Division that isn’t the Penguins or Bears.

Click through the jump if you didn’t link in from someplace else to see what I am talking about and to see where your favorite team ended up.

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There isn’t another team in the League hotter than the Springfield Falcons. Nine game win streak for Springfield, which could easily bulge to eleven this week, given the opponents standing in the way.
Rank: 1
Last Week: 4th
Change: Up 3
Last Week:
SPR 3 @ LV 2
SPR 3 @ WOR 2 (OT)
MCH 1 @ WOR 4
This Week:
vs. NOR 12/5
@ HFD 12/6

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Rampage work extra time this week to manufacture three points. Comets and Wolves come calling this week. Should be a stiff challenge.
Rank: 2
Last Week: 2nd
Change: n/a
Last Week:
OKC 4 @ SA 3 (OT)
IA 4 @ SA 5 (SO)
This Week:
vs. UTI 12/5
vs. CHI 12/7

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I said last week that the Saturday game against San Antonio was setting up to be a doozy and for all intents and purposes it was. The Barons remain second in the West Division after another perfect week. Comets come in Tuesday, then the Barons hit the road against some good competition.
Rank: 3
Last Week: 9th
Change: Up 6
Last Week:
OKC 3 @ TEX 2 (OT)
OKC 2 @ TEX 1 (OT)
OKC 4 @ SA 3 (OT)
This Week:
vs. UTI 12/2
@ GR 12/5
@ MIL 12/6

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Rockford’s division lead eaten into by rival Chicago this week. There are three other teams in the Midwest Division and the IceHogs play all three this week.
Rank: 4
Last Week: 3rd
Change: Down 1
Last Week:
IA 1 @ RFD 6
CHI 4 @ RFD 3 (OT)
RFD 1 @ CHI 2
This Week:
@ MIL 12/4
vs. GR 12/6
vs. LE 12/7

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Not a terrible month for Manchester. They built up a nice lead in the Atlantic and were slowed by the soaring Falcons Saturday. A couple of winnable games on the matrix this week, too.
Rank: 5
Last Week: 5th
Change: n/a
Last Week:
BRI 2 @ MCH 3 (OT)
MCH 1 @ SPR 4
This Week:
@ POR 12/5
vs. NOR 12/6
vs. NOR 12/7

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Comets rebound nicely from last weeks adversity. Now to the road for Utica, out west, against some really good teams.
Rank: 6
Last Week: 7th
Change: Up 1
Last Week:
SYR 4 @ UTI 5
ADK 1 @ UTI 2
UTI 1 @ ALB 2
This Week:
@ OKC 12/2
@ TEX 12/3
@ SA 12/5

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Wolves took max points from big rival Rockford this week, whom they trail by three points in the Midwest.
Rank: 7
Last Week: 13th
Change: Up 6
Last Week:
CHI 1 @ MIL 4
CHI 4 @ RFD 3 (OT)
RFD 1 @ CHI 2
This Week:
@ LE 12/3
@ LE 12/5
@ SA 12/7

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It may be safe to say that Grand Rapids has turned it around, but the Wolves and IceHogs are so far out in front that the Griffs may be playing catch up until February.
Rank: 8
Last Week: 14th
Change: Up 6
Last Week:
GR 3 @ RCH 1
GR 3 @ RCH 4 (OT)
GR 6 @ ADK 1
This Week:
@ TOR 12/2
vs. OKC 12/5
@ RFD 12/6
@ MIL 12/7

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The hottest team in the East Division may be Binghamton, with points in their last five games, where Binghamton has scored a combined 24 goals.
Rank: 9
Last Week: 22nd
Change: Up 13
Last Week:
STJ 4 @ BNG 3 (SO)
BNG 6 @ SYR 3
RCH 3 @ BNG 4
This Week:
@ RCH 12/5
vs. ADK 12/6
@ HFD 12/7

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Penguins get three points out of two goals in two games this week and still lead the East Division. Kings of hockeys version of small ball or something else?
Rank: 10
Last Week: 10th
Change: n/a
Last Week:
WBS 1 @ HER 2 (SO)
STJ 0 @ WBS 1
This Week:
vs. LV 12/5
vs. HER 12/6
@ HER 12/7

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Nine game win streak stopped by division rival Utica this week, never recovered and were blown out by Grand Rapids the next night.
Rank: 11
Last Week: 1st
Change: Down 10
Last Week:
TOR 2 @ ADK 3
ADK 1 @ UTI 2
GR 6 @ ADK 1
This Week:
vs. HAM 12/2
vs. TEX 12/5
@ BNG 12/6
@ ALB 12/7

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Take the shootout loss to Hartford out of the picture, because the Devils never win those, Albany has points in four straight after that 7-0 drubbing at the hands of the Binghamton Senators.
Rank: 12
Last Week: 23rd
Change: Up 11
Last Week:
HFD 4 @ ALB 3 (SO)
LV 2 @ ALB 4
UTI 1 @ ALB 2
This Week:
@ PRO 12/5
vs. POR 12/6
vs. ADK 12/7

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Crunch slowed down this week with revenge on the minds of Utica and running into the goal machine of the Binghamton Senators. Nice character win against the Bears on the road Saturday.
Rank: 13
Last Week: 6th
Change: Down 7
Last Week:
SYR 4 @ UTI 5
BNG 6 @ SYR 3
SYR 4 @ HER 1
This Week:
vs. HFD 12/5
vs. RCH 12/6

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Bears also using small ball to win or at least get points from hockey games. Five goals in five games gets six points for Hershey, who trail the Penguins by two points in the East Division.
Rank: 14
Last Week: 17th
Change: Up 3
Last Week:
WBS 1 @ HER 2 (SO)
SYR 4 @ HER 1
STJ 0 @ HER 1
This Week:
vs. BRI 12/5
@ WBS 12/6
vs. WBS 12/7

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Big week for the Bulldogs, who are teetering on whether or not they want to make a push for contenders in the North Division. Should know more by 8 p.m. Sunday night.
Rank: 15
Last Week: 11th
Change: Down 4
Last Week:
HAM 2 @ LE 4
LE 3 @ HAM 4 (OT)
This Week:
@ ADK 12/2
vs. TOR 12/5
@ TOR 12/6
vs. TEX 12/7

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Meeting with the Sharks postponed by snow, so the Pirates played just one game against the struggling Bruins and needed overtime to win. Makeup date with Worcester was wedged in this Tuesday.
Rank: 16
Last Week: 15th
Change: Down 1
Last Week:
WOR @ POR – PPD
PRO 2 @ POR 3 (OT)
This Week:
vs. WOR 12/2
vs. MCH 12/5
@ ALB 12/6
@ PRO 12/7

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Lehigh Valley is one good week away from being back in the discussion in the East Division. Is this the week?
Rank: 17
Last Week: 20th
Change: Up 3
Last Week:
SPR 3 @ LV 2
LV 2 @ ALB 4
NOR 3 @ LV 4
This Week:
@ WBS 12/5
vs. BRI 12/6
@ BRI 12/7

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Boy, those three points left behind in Charlotte may come back and haunt ol’ Roscoe and the boys later on.
Rank: 18
Last Week: 8th
Change: Down 10
Last Week:
CHI 1 @ MIL 4
MIL 4 @ CHA 5
MIL 2 @ CHA 3 (SO)
This Week:
vs. RFD 12/4
vs. OKC 12/6
vs. GR 12/7

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Back to back 1-0 shutout losses have to sting. But you lost, giving up just one goal. Yeah, even the optimists at the Politboro think that still stings.
Rank: 19
Last Week: 12th
Change: Down 7
Last Week:
STJ 4 @ BNG 3 (SO)
STJ 0 @ WBS 1
STJ 0 @ HER 1
This Week:
vs. WOR 12/5
vs. WOR 12/6

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Not a terrible week for Norfolk. They got help from parent Anaheim and beat up the Checkers, shut out the Wolf Pack and were narrowly edged by Lehigh Valley. Is it enough to right the proverbial ship? This week holds the answer.
Rank: 20
Last Week: 29th
Change: Up 9
Last Week:
CHA 1 @ NOR 4
NOR 2 @ HFD 0
NOR 3 @ LV 4
This Week:
@ CHA 12/2
@ SPR 12/5
@ MCH 12/6
@ MCH 12/7

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The AHL’s yo-yo team had another up and down week. Sadly, I don’t think that in this division Jekyll and Hyde’s are welcome.
Rank: 21
Last Week: 19th
Change: Down 2
Last Week:
GR 3 @ RCH 1
GR 3 @ RCH 4 (OT)
RCH 3 @ BNG 4
This Week:
vs. BNG 12/5
@ SYR 12/6
@ TOR 12/7

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Sharks didn’t take the trip to Portland because of the snow last week, so they go there this Tuesday before setting sail for The Rock.
Rank: 22
Last Week: 25th
Change: Up 3
Last Week:
WOR @ POR – PPD
SPR 3 @ WOR 2 (OT)
PRO 2 @ WOR 5
This Week:
@ POR 12/2
@ STJ 12/6
@ STJ 12/7

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Checkers sweep a wild home series against Milwaukee, where there was a goalie fight. Light schedule this week with a makeup game against Norfolk then Iowa comes in.
Rank: 23
Last Week: 28th
Change: Up 5
Last Week:
CHA 1 @ NOR 4
MIL 4 @ CHA 5
MIL 2 @ CHA 3 (SO)
This Week:
vs. NOR 12/2
vs. IA 12/6

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Lake Erie has plummeted to the bottom of the Midwest Division. Things aren’t getting any easier this week, taking on the division leaders.
Rank: 24
Last Week: 26th
Change: Up 2
Last Week:
HAM 2 @ LE 4
LE 3 @ HAM 4 (OT)
LE 4 @ TOR 1
This Week:
vs. CHI 12/3
vs. CHI 12/5
@ RFD 12/7

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There was a time not too long ago that the Wolf Pack and Sound Tigers were the two best teams in the Northeast. Now, and especially after Hartford’s cold November, where they’ve only won 3 of 9.
Rank: 25
Last Week: 18th
Change: Down 7
Last Week:
HFD 4 @ ALB 3 (SO)
NOR 2 @ HFD 0
HFD 3 @ BRI 1
This Week:
@ SYR 12/5
vs. SPR 12/6
vs. BNG 12/7

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Six game losing streak is over, thanks to Sunday’s shutout win over equally struggling Providence.
Rank: 26
Last Week: 16th
Change: Down 10
Last Week:
BRI 2 @ MCH 3 (OT)
HFD 3 @ BRI 1
PRO 0 @ BRI 3
This Week:
@ HER 12/5
@ LV 12/6
vs. LV 12/7

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Things would have gone completely off the rails in Cedar Park if the Stars lost to the Wild at home Saturday. It almost happened.
Rank: 27
Last Week: 24th
Change: Down 3
Last Week:
OKC 3 @ TEX 2 (OT)
OKC 2 @ TEX 1 (OT)
IA 3 @ TEX 4
This Week:
vs. UTI 12/3
@ ADK 12/5
@ HAM 12/7

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Wild get one point last week and have one game this week.
Rank: 28
Last Week: 21st
Change: Down 7
Last Week:
IA 1 @ RFD 6
IA 3 @ TEX 4
IA 4 @ SA 5 (SO)
This Week:
@ CHA 12/6

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It’s a five game losing streak for the P-Bruins who are dealing with call-ups to Boston.
Rank: 29
Last Week: 27th
Change: Down 2
Last Week:
PRO 2 @ POR 3 (OT)
PRO 2 @ WOR 5
PRO 0 @ BRI 3
This Week:
vs. ALB 12/5
vs. POR 12/7

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Eight game losing streak for the Marlies, who are losing more and more touch with fourth place Rochester in the division.
Rank: 30
Last Week: 30th
Change: n/a
Last Week:
TOR 2 @ ADK 3
LE 1 @ TOR 4
This Week:
vs. GR 12/2
@ HAM 12/5
vs. HAM 12/6
vs. RCH 12/7

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