Chirps from Center Ice

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

AHL Power Rankings: Week 20

There are about eight weeks left in the regular season. There are teams on the up and up and teams plummeting downward. There are teams that have been contenders all season long and teams that haven’t been relevant since the start of the season.

As you pick though this weeks offering of the Week 20 Chirps from Center Ice AHL Power Rankings, you will see what I mean. Teams like the Grand Rapids Griffins trending up and in a three way tie for first in the Midwest Division and teams like the Bridgeport Sound Tigers that started out with so much promise, but are dead last in the Eastern Conference.

No team among the leaders last week went without a regulation loss in the top five this week, so I figured instead of throwing the top eight into a blender to keep one and two the same and then adjust accordingly from three on back. Pop through the jump if you didn’t link in direct to see where your favorite team ended up this week…

14tex_500

Lost Friday in Binghamton, then the Bears were involved in a line brawl and there was a goalie fight Saturday. Close win against Providence. Still lead the Penguins by five points.
Rank: 1
Last Week: 1st
Change: n/a
Last Week:
HER 3 @ BNG 5
BRI 3 @ HER 4
PRO 4 @ HER 5 (OT)
This Week:
@ BNG 2/27
vs. ALB 2/28
vs. LV 3/1

14tex_500

Loss Saturday to Adirondack cost the Barons first overall in the AHL. Welcome in second place in the West Division San Antonio for a pair this week.
Rank: 2
Last Week: 2nd
Change: n/a
Last Week:
ADK 3 @ OKC 4 (OT)
ADK 3 @ OKC 1
This Week:
vs. TEX 2/24
vs. SA 2/27
vs. SA 2/28

14tex_500

Max points this week earn Syracuse the top spot overall in the AHL. A few more winnable games this week for the League’s best.
Rank: 3
Last Week: 12th
Change: Up 9
Last Week:
ALB 1 @ SYR 3
BNG 3 @ SYR 5
SYR 4 @ RCH 3
This Week:
@ RCH 2/25
vs. ALB 2/27
vs. UTI 2/28

14tex_500

Wilkes-Barre is 10-1-1-1 in their last thirteen, hottest team in the league, right? Wrong! Still can’t catch Hershey for the division lead. Deficit remains five.
Rank: 4
Last Week: 7th
Change: Up 3
Last Week:
PRO 0 @ WBS 2
WBS 4 @ HFD 1
This Week:
@ HFD 2/28
@ BRI 3/1

14tex_500

Don’t count Texas out yet. They get one this week with West leading Oklahoma City then host Rockford for a pair.
Rank: 5
Last Week: 6th
Change: Up 1
Last Week:
TEX 2 @ UTI 5
TEX 5 @ RCH 2
TEX 3 @ TOR 1
This Week:
@ OKC 2/24
vs. RFD 2/27
vs. RFD 2/28

14tex_500

The only question the Politburo has is whether or not the theme of “Jaws” is playing in the streets of Manchester. The rest of the Eastern Conference should be afraid.
Rank: 6
Last Week: 9th
Change: Up 3
Last Week:
NOR 2 @ WOR 5
NOR 3 @ WOR 4
WOR 3 @ MCH 0
This Week:
vs. STJ 2/27
vs. STJ 2/28
@ MCH 3/1

14tex_500

Well, well, well. What do we have here? The Grand Rapids Griffins, left for dead months ago, are in a three way tie with the leaders of the Midwest Division.
Rank: 7
Last Week: 11th
Change: Up 4
Last Week:
MIL 3 @ GR 4 (OT)
HAM 2 @ GR 3 (OT)
HAM 0 @ GR 2
This Week:
@ IA 2/24
@ MIL 2/27
@ CHI 2/28

14tex_500

Hamilton surges past the Flames for second in the North and are within nine of the division leader Utica.
Rank: 8
Last Week: 13th
Change: Up 5
Last Week:
UTI 5 @ HAM 7
RCH 1 @ HAM 4
HAM 2 @ GR 3 (OT)
HAM 0 @ GR 2
This Week:
@ UTI 2/24
vs. CHA 2/27
vs. CHA 2/28
@ UTI 3/1

14tex_500

I hear a dog barking. Big, ugly loss to Hamilton last week, but the Comets rebounded nicely. Two more this week with Hamilton. Could get interesting for Utica.
Rank: 9
Last Week: 10th
Change: Up 1
Last Week:
UTI 5 @ HAM 7
TEX 2 @ UTI 5
TOR 2 @ UTI 5
ALB 2 @ UTI 1
This Week:
vs. HAM 2/24
vs. ADK 2/27
@ SYR 2/28
vs. HAM 3/1

14tex_500

The once insurmountable lead in the Atlantic that the Monarchs had was eaten into this week by Worcester, who beat Manchester 3-0 on Sunday.
Rank: 10
Last Week: 3rd
Change: Down 7
Last Week:
MCH 1 @ PRO 2
STJ 4 @ MCH 3 (OT)
STJ 2 @ MCH 3 (OT)
WOR 3 @ MCH 0
This Week:
vs. HFD 2/27
@ POR 2/28
vs. WOR 3/1

14tex_500

Wolf Pack looked gassed against the Penguins on Sunday afternoon. Still a point ahead of the Penguins for fourth in the Conference and five off of AHL leading and Northeast Division leading Syracuse.
Rank: 11
Last Week: 5th
Change: Down 6
Last Week:
HFD 2 @ POR 3
HFD 3 @ SPR 2 (OT)
HFD 5 @ LV 4 (OT)
WBS 4 @ HFD 1
This Week:
@ MCH 2/27
vs. WBS 2/28

14tex_500

That loss to Iowa cost the Admirals the Midwest Division lead. Now they are tied with two other teams. One of them Grand Rapids, who they play this week.
Rank: 12
Last Week: 4th
Change: Down 8
Last Week:
LE 3 @ MIL 2
MIL 3 @ GR 4 (OT)
IA 4 @ MIL 2
This Week:
vs. GR 2/27
@ CHI 3/1

14tex_500

IceHogs have competition for the Midwest Division in the form of Grand Rapids. Travel to a surging Texas team this week.
Rank: 13
Last Week: 8th
Change: Down 5
Last Week:
SA 4 @ RFD 0
RFD 2 @ LE 3
RFD 3 @ LE 2
This Week:
@ TEX 2/27
@ TEX 2/28

14tex_500

It’s amazing to see teams that tear up competition on a nightly basis come to Northeastern and Southcentral Pennsylvania and get humbled. Providence is no different this weekend. Shutout by the Penguins and beat in overtime by the mighty Bears.
Rank: 14
Last Week: 15th
Change: Up 1
Last Week:
MCH 1 @ PRO 2
PRO 5 @ LV 1
PRO 0 @ WBS 2
PRO 4 @ HER 5 (OT)
This Week:
@ NOR 2/27
@ NOR 2/28

14tex_500

Flames lose second to the Bulldogs in the North but take three of points away from a very good Oklahoma City team this week.
Rank: 15
Last Week: 18th
Change: Up 3
Last Week:
ADK 3 @ OKC 4 (OT)
ADK 3 @ OKC 1
This Week:
@ UTI 2/27
vs. TOR 2/28

14tex_500

Not a bad week for Binghamton. Beat Hershey in regulation Friday in comeback fashion and did the same Wednesday in Allentown.
Rank: 16
Last Week: 20th
Change: Up 4
Last Week:
BNG 4 @ TOR 5
BNG 4 @ LV 3 (OT)
HER 3 @ BNG 5
BNG 3 @ SYR 5
This Week:
vs. HER 2/27
@ LV 2/28
@ ALB 3/1

14tex_500

5 of 6 points this week for a Rampage team that has two this week in Oklahoma City. Will the West have a new leader soon?
Rank: 17
Last Week: 25th
Change: Up 8
Last Week:
SA 4 @ RFD 0
SA 2 @ CHI 3 (OT)
SA 5 @ CHI 2
This Week:
@ OKC 2/27
@ OKC 2/28

14tex_500

Bad losses this week for the Phantoms, who are suddenly cold again. Is this the final blow to Lehigh Valley’s playoff chances?
Rank: 18
Last Week: 14th
Change: Down 4
Last Week:
BNG 4 @ LV 3 (OT)
PRO 5 @ LV 1
HFD 5 @ LV 4 (OT)
This Week:
vs. BNG 2/28
@ HER 3/1

14tex_500

Wolves were looking like a sure playoff contender a few weeks ago, but now will be battling to the end of the season for the right to play in late April and beyond.
Rank: 19
Last Week: 17th
Change: Down 2
Last Week:
SA 2 @ CHI 3 (OT)
SA 5 @ CHI 2
This Week:
vs. GR 2/28
vs. MIL 3/1

14tex_500

Pirates on the outside looking in on the final week of February. Gotta win the games in hand that they have over teams in the top eight.
Rank: 20
Last Week: 21st
Change: Up 1
Last Week:
HFD 2 @ POR 3
POR 3 @ SPR 2
STJ 5 @ POR 2
This Week:
vs. STJ 2/25
vs. MCH 2/28
vs. SPR 3/1

14tex_500

It may be a two horse race between St. John’s and Portland for what team gets in playoffs and what team goes home early. IceCaps win Sunday against the Pirates should bolster their chances.
Rank: 21
Last Week: 23rd
Change: Up 2
Last Week:
STJ 4 @ MCH 3 (OT)
STJ 2 @ MCH 3 (OT)
STJ 5 @ POR 2
This Week:
@ POR 2/25
@ WOR 2/27
@ WOR 2/28

14tex_500

If Lake Erie could kick it into gear they could make the divisional race really interesting. Just 9 points off the three leaders in the Midwest. Politburo doesn’t see it happening though.
Rank: 22
Last Week: 26th
Change: Up 4
Last Week:
LE 3 @ MIL 2
RFD 2 @ LE 3
RFD 3 @ LE 2
This Week:
vs. RCH 2/24
vs. IA 2/27
vs. IA 2/28

14tex_500

Toronto is seven points out of a playoff spot with about eight weeks remaining. Can they make it?
Rank: 23
Last Week: 27th
Change: Up 4
Last Week:
BNG 4 @ TOR 5
TOR 2 @ UTI 5
TEX 3 @ TOR 1
CHA 3 @ TOR 6
This Week:
vs. CHA 2/25
@ RCH 2/27
@ ADK 2/28

14tex_500

Skidding Springfield salvage the week with a win against Albany. If there is one team that could miss playoffs that sit in the top eight currently, it may be the Falcons.
Rank: 24
Last Week: 22nd
Change: Down 2
Last Week:
HFD 3 @ SPR 2 (OT)
POR 3 @ SPR 2
ALB 2 @ SPR 4
This Week:
vs. BRI 2/27
vs. BRI 2/28
@ PRO 3/1

14tex_500

Nice win against a good Utica team sandwiched in between losses to divisional teams the Devils are pursuing.
Rank: 25
Last Week: 24th
Change: Down 1
Last Week:
ALB 1 @ SYR 3
ALB 2 @ UTI 1
ALB 2 @ SPR 4
This Week:
@ SYR 2/27
@ HER 2/28
vs. BNG 3/1

14tex_500

Admirals salvage the week with a win over equally struggling Bridgeport.
Rank: 26
Last Week: 19th
Change: Down 7
Last Week:
NOR 3 @ CHA 4 (SO)
NOR 2 @ WOR 5
NOR 3 @ WOR 4
NOR 3 @ BRI 2
This Week:
vs. PRO 2/27
vs. PRO 2/28

14tex_500

Checkers beat the Admirals and Wild but get pummeled in Toronto against the Marlies. Rematch this Wednesday between the two.
Rank: 27
Last Week: 28th
Change: Up 1
Last Week:
NOR 3 @ CHA 4 (SO)
IA 1 @ CHA 4
IA 2 @ CHA 4
CHA 3 @ TOR 6
This Week:
@ TOR 2/25
@ HAM 2/27
@ HAM 2/28

14tex_500

Free fall continues for a Bridgeport team which is now dead last in the Conference. Things were so bright surrounding this team a few months ago.
Rank: 28
Last Week: 29th
Change: Up 1
Last Week:
BRI 3 @ HER 4
NOR 3 @ BRI 2
This Week:
@ SPR 2/27
@ SPR 2/28
vs. WBS 3/1

14tex_500

Politburo can’t figure this out. Swept by Charlotte, who won’t make the playoffs, then beat Milwaukee who may win a division and have home ice in playoffs.
Rank: 29
Last Week: 30th
Change: Up 1
Last Week:
IA 1 @ CHA 4
IA 2 @ CHA 4
IA 4 @ MIL 2
This Week:
vs. GR 2/24
@ LE 2/27
@ LE 2/28

14tex_500

You can write off the playoff chances for three teams in the Western Conference. Charlotte, Iowa and this Rochester team.
Rank: 30
Last Week: 16th
Change: Down 14
Last Week:
RCH 1 @ HAM 4
TEX 5 @ RCH 2
SYR 4 @ RCH 3
This Week:
@ LE 2/24
vs. SYR 2/25
vs. TOR 2/27

Agree or disagree, the comments are open for your thoughts.

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