Chirps from Center Ice

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

AHL Power Rankings: Week 27

Come on in, the water is warm!

If your team punched their ticket to the Calder Cup Playoffs, congrats! If your team is close, buckle up, this is your last week to make a run. If you are eliminated, better luck next year.

This season, the Calder Cup goes through Manchester, New Hampshire. The Monarchs won the regular season championship Sunday and will have home ice in the Calder Cup Playoffs until further notice.

But there is another team in Cedar Park that got in this week that will look to keep what they have earned last season, the Texas Stars.

Some great things to watch out for this week. The Western Conference Championship hasn’t been decided yet. The Midwest Division is still a great race to watch. The East Division race is getting interesting.

All 30 teams ranked from top to bottom. All you have to do is click through the jump….

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The road to the Calder Cup goes through ManchVegas. The Monarchs were dismissed in the first round last season, that probably doesn’t happen this season, at least.
Rank: 1
Last Week: 2nd
Change: Up 1
Last Week:
POR 2 @ MCH 3 (SO)
MCH 5 @ BRI 3
MCH 4 @ BRI 0
This Week:
vs. POR 4/17
vs. WOR 4/18
@ PRO 4/19

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Interesting final week atop the Western Conference standings. Utica cannot finish worse than third, lead the West by a point over San Antonio and a two over Grand Rapids. Don’t get tripped up by non-playoff teams this week, and first is theirs.
Rank: 2
Last Week: 1st
Change: Down 1
Last Week:
HAM 1 @ UTI 3
ADK 3 @ UTI 2
UTI 2 @ BNG 3 (SO)
SYR 1 @ UTI 2
This Week:
@ BNG 4/15
@ RCH 4/17
@ ADK 4/18

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We certainly didn’t have San Antonio as West Division Champions. Can a division winner be considered an underdog coming into playoffs?
Rank: 3
Last Week: 3rd
Change: n/a
Last Week:
SA 4 @ OKC 1
GR 0 @ SA 2
GR 2 @ SA 1 (OT)
This Week:
vs. TEX 4/14
vs. TEX 4/17
@ TEX 4/18

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Something tells me that this will not be the last time the Griffins and Rampage meet up before the end of the season.
Rank: 4
Last Week: 4th
Change: n/a
Last Week:
MIL 2 @ GR 6
GR 0 @ SA 2
GR 2 @ SA 1 (OT)
This Week:
@ LE 4/16
vs. CHA 4/17
vs. CHA 4/18

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Wolf Pack overtake the Crunch for the Northeast Division lead. The way that the Crunch are playing and looking at the schedule for the Wolf Pack this week, this is your likely three seed.
Rank: 5
Last Week: 8th
Change: Up 3
Last Week:
SPR 0 @ HFD 5
ALB 1 @ HFD 2
HFD 4 @ PRO 1
This Week:
vs. BRI 4/17
@ ALB 4/18
@ BRI 4/19

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Last year, Rockford hit a wall and didn’t make playoffs. This year, a point behind first place Grand Rapids for the division and winners of 5 of the last 6.
Rank: 6
Last Week: 5th
Change: Down 1
Last Week:
MIL 3 @ RFD 5
RFD 5 @ IA 3
RFD 2 @ CHA 0
RFD 3 @ CHA 4
This Week:
vs. CHA 4/15
vs. CHI 4/17
vs. TOR 4/18

14tex_500

Sewed up the thirteenth trip to the Calder Cup Playoffs this week. Played an OK game against a slumping Portland team with their two best defensemen called up to Pittsburgh. Still some work to do. First, solidify home ice in the playoffs next week. Second, hope for help and catch and pass Hershey for the East Division Championship.
Rank: 7
Last Week: 10th
Change: Up 3
Last Week:
WBS 3 @ LV 0
WBS 5 @ POR 2
WBS 3 @ POR 1
This Week:
vs. ALB 4/17
vs. NOR 4/18
@ LV 4/19

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Hey that’s great that all of you guys are clinching playoff spots. So have the Texas Stars and they are the defending champions until you come and take it from them.
Rank: 8
Last Week: 7th
Change: Down 1
Last Week:
TEX 6 @ IA 4
HAM 4 @ TEX 3
HAM 0 @ TEX 5
This Week:
@ SA 4/14
@ SA 4/17
vs. SA 4/18

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Alright, last week we wrote off as the Bears putting it on cruise control last week in a shootout loss to Worcester and a shutout by Norfolk. This week, they had to battle back against St. John’s Friday and got smoked Saturday. And the Penguins are three back. Maybe it’s something, maybe it’s nothing.
Rank: 9
Last Week: 6th
Change: Down 3
Last Week:
HER 3 @ STJ 2
HER 1 @ STJ 5
This Week:
@ LV 4/14
vs. BNG 4/17
vs. LV 4/18

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Well, we know who we are favoring if the P-Bruins and Sharks meet up in the Calder Cup Playoffs.
Rank: 10
Last Week: 11th
Change: Up 1
Last Week:
WOR 1 @ PRO 5
PRO 3 @ WOR 0
HFD 4 @ PRO 1
This Week:
vs. WOR 4/17
@ POR 4/18
vs. MCH 4/19

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Oof. Two points out of a possible eight for the Sharks, who are a point away from sealing up a spot in the playoffs. Tough schedule this week. Sunday’s game against Portland may be for the last spot.
Rank: 11
Last Week: 9th
Change: Down 2
Last Week:
WOR 1 @ BRI 4
WOR 1 @ POR 0 (OT)
WOR 1 @ PRO 5
PRO 3 @ WOR 0
ALB 3 @ WOR 2
This Week:
@ PRO 4/17
@ MCH 4/18
vs. POR 4/19

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Chicago made it seven in the West with the win Sunday against the Iowa Wild. Now about four teams for that last playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Rank: 12
Last Week: 13th
Change: Up 1
Last Week:
LE 3 @ CHI 7
CHI 4 @ MIL 1
OKC 5 @ CHI 0
IA 0 @ CHI 1
This Week:
@ RFD 4/17
vs. MIL 4/18
vs. TOR 4/19

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Falcons may make it. Got lots of help from the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins. We call that “coopetition.”
Rank: 13
Last Week: 14th
Change: Up 1
Last Week:
SPR 0 @ HFD 5
SPR 3 @ SYR 1
This Week:
@ STJ 4/17
@ STJ 4/18

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The free fall continues. The Syracuse Crunch are no longer the Northeast Division leaders, conceding to the Hartford Wolf Pack Sunday.
Rank: 14
Last Week: 12th
Change: Down 2
Last Week:
BRI 3 @ SYR 4 (OT)
SPR 3 @ SYR 1
SYR 1 @ UTI 2
This Week:
@ ALB 4/15
vs. ADK 4/17
vs. BRI 4/18

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Devils beat the Sharks Sunday to keep their slim playoff hopes alive, but lost to Binghamton and white hot Hartford prior to.
Rank: 15
Last Week: 15th
Change: n/a
Last Week:
ALB 3 @ BNG 6
ALB 1 @ HFD 2
ALB 3 @ WOR 2
This Week:
vs. SYR 4/15
@ WBS 4/17
vs. HFD 4/18

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Could have used those four points against Chicago and Rochester. Lake Erie’s goose is probably cooked.
Rank: 16
Last Week: 17th
Change: Up 1
Last Week:
LE 3 @ CHI 7
RCH 5 @ LE 1
LE 5 @ ADK 2
LE 4 @ ADK 1
This Week:
vs. GR 4/16
vs. HAM 4/17
@ HAM 4/18

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Barons get in the playoffs this week, despite still going in reverse. Cupcakes this week before the fight for Calder.
Rank: 17
Last Week: 20th
Change: Up 3
Last Week:
SA 4 @ OKC 1
OKC 0 @ IA 4
OKC 5 @ CHI 0
This Week:
vs. HAM 4/14
vs. IA 4/17
vs. IA 4/18

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There are holes in the boat! There are holes in the boat! It’s a seven game losing streak for the Pirates who are sinking (literally) fast. Ties with Springfield for points for the eighth spot in the Calder Cup Playoffs.
Rank: 18
Last Week: 16th
Change: Down 2
Last Week:
WOR 1 @ POR 0 (OT)
POR 2 @ MCH 3 (SO)
WBS 5 @ POR 2
WBS 3 @ POR 1
This Week:
@ MCH 4/17
vs. PRO 4/18
@ WOR 4/19

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Toronto is in essence playing a play-in game this week with the Milwaukee Admirals. Will need to do so on the road, along with the other three games this week.
Rank: 19
Last Week: 23rd
Change: Up 4
Last Week:
ADK 4 @ TOR 7
TOR 3 @ RCH 1
RCH 1 @ TOR 5
This Week:
@ IA 4/14
@ MIL 4/17
@ RFD 4/18
@ CHI 4/19

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Final home game this week for the Norfolk Admirals, who made pro hockey history with a 28 game win streak a few years ago and a Calder Cup. Something that no one can ever take away from them.
Rank: 20
Last Week: 25th
Change: Up 5
Last Week:
NOR 7 @ BNG 4
NOR 1 @ LV 2 (SO)
NOR 3 @ LV 2 (OT)
This Week:
vs. LV 4/17
@ WBS 4/18

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Death. Taxes. Wilkes-Barre and Milwaukee qualifying for the Calder Cup Playoffs year after year after year. Although that may not happen this season with Milwaukee on the outside looking in with two games to play. One of those games is against Toronto, who holds the eight spot. Safe to say that the playoffs start this week for the Milwaukee Admirals.
Rank: 21
Last Week: 18th
Change: Up 3
Last Week:
MIL 3 @ RFD 5
MIL 2 @ GR 6
CHI 4 @ MIL 1
This Week:
vs. TOR 4/17
@ CHI 4/18

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All the B-Sens can do is play upset at this point. They did to Albany Friday and to Utica Saturday. The Devils are fighting for their playoff lives and the Comets were gunning for the Macgregor Kilpatrick trophy.
Rank: 22
Last Week: 29th
Change: Up 7
Last Week:
NOR 7 @ BNG 4
ALB 3 @ BNG 6
UTI 2 @ BNG 3 (SO)
This Week:
vs. UTI 415
@ HER 4/17
vs. RCH 4/18

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Checkers closed out their stay at the Time Warner Cable Arena with a split against the IceHogs. They will play in the Bojangles Coliseum next fall.
Rank: 23
Last Week: 22nd
Change: Down 1
Last Week:
RFD 2 @ CHA 0
RFD 3 @ CHA 4
This Week:
@ RFD 4/15
@ GR 4/17
@ GR 4/18

14tex_500

Split with, but should have swept the Hershey Bears. Can upset the Springfield Falcons playoff hopes this week.
Rank: 24
Last Week: 27th
Change: Up 3
Last Week:
HER 3 @ STJ 2
HER 1 @ STJ 5
This Week:
vs. SPR 4/17
vs. SPR 4/18

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Hamilton is three points out of the last spot with three games to play. Will they make it? I don’t think so.
Rank: 25
Last Week: 24th
Change: Down 1
Last Week:
HAM 1 @ UTI 3
HAM 4 @ TEX 3
HAM 0 @ TEX 5
This Week:
@ OKC 4/14
@ LE 4/17
vs. LE 4/18

14tex_500

You can probably put out the Flames after getting swept by Lake Erie this weekend. Unfortunate, because this team was a good team at one time.
Rank: 26
Last Week: 19th
Change: Down 7
Last Week:
ADK 4 @ TOR 7
ADK 3 @ UTI 2
LE 5 @ ADK 2
LE 4 @ ADK 1
This Week:
@ SYR 4/17
vs. UTI 4/18
vs. RCH 4/19

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Sound Tigers help Manchester clinch the Macgregor Kilpatrick trophy by getting swept twice by the Monarchs this weekend at home.
Rank: 27
Last Week: 21st
Change: Down 6
Last Week:
WOR 1 @ BRI 4
BRI 3 @ SYR 4 (OT)
MCH 5 @ BRI 3
MCH 4 @ BRI 0
This Week:
@ HFD 4/17
@ SYR 4/18
vs. HFD 4/19

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Phantoms will miss playoffs in their first season in their new digs. Season was a success at the turnstiles though and the Phantoms will be back and most likely a force in 2015-16.
Rank: 28
Last Week: 28th
Change: n/a
Last Week:
WBS 3 @ LV 0
NOR 1 @ LV 2 (SO)
NOR 3 @ LV 2 (OT)
This Week:
vs. HER 4/14
@ NOR 4/17
@ HER 4/18
vs. WBS 4/19

14tex_500

Iowa collects another shutout this week against Oklahoma City. Everything else is just typical Wild hockey.
Rank: 29
Last Week: 26th
Change: Down 3
Last Week:
TEX 6 @ IA 4
RFD 5 @ IA 3
OKC 0 @ IA 4
IA 0 @ CHI 1
This Week:
vs. TOR 4/14
@ OKC 4/17
@ OKC 4/18

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The Politboro has just one more week to write something about Rochester before the season is over.
Rank: 30
Last Week: 30th
Change: n/a
Last Week:
RCH 5 @ LE 1
TOR 3 @ RCH 1
RCH 1 @ TOR 5
This Week:
vs. UTI 4/17
@ BNG 4/18
@ ADK 4/19

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