Chirps from Center Ice

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

AHL Power Rankings: Week 28

Year Two of another season of the Chirps from Center Ice AHL Power Rankings is in the can. This has been my most popular segment that is run here on the blog, viewed hundreds of times when it is published. Thank you for reading, sharing and commenting. When I put these together on a Sunday night, I often wonder if there is anyone in Milwaukee, Chicago or Portland that would care if I don’t give full effort on a capsule. To know that I have readers in other cities that visit and share the rankings and even pass off words of, “how can you underrate us?” (I am looking at you, Utica) is a real treat because the intent with these wasn’t to just put the Penguins at the top every week, it was to grow a readership base and let other people in other cites know that there is a blogger in Wilkes-Barre that doesn’t just “cover” his local team but also keeps tabs on the other 29 teams in this great League.

In keeping with last years theme, winners of the Eastern Conference and Western Conference are 1-2 in the season finale of the Rankings and the divisional winners fill out spots three through six. All the other playoff teams fill out the top 16 and then the best of the rest fill out the rest of the rankings.

I have a boatload of other stuff to write this week, so I won’t keep you any longer. Click through the jump to see where your favorite team ended up in the final offering of the 2014-15 Chirps from Center Ice AHL Power Rankings and rest assured that we will be back and better than ever again in 2015-16.

14tex_500

Manchester nearly went wire to wire this season as the league’s best team. Calder Cup runs though New Hampshire. The Monarchs are going to be looking to atone for last years first round shocking exit.
Rank: 1
Last Week: 1st
Change: n/a
Last Week:
POR 2 @ MCH 3
WOR 2 @ MCH 4
MCH 1 @ PRO 5
Playoffs?

vs. 8-POR

14tex_500

Comets wrapped up the top seed in the Western Conference. Continue to underestimate the Utica Comets at your peril. Utica will be a hard out.
Rank: 2
Last Week: 2nd
Change: n/a
Last Week:
UTI 5 @ BNG 6 (OT)
UTI 3 @ RCH 2
UTI 3 @ ADK 2
Playoffs?

vs. 8-CHI

14tex_500

Griffs with a late season surge past other contending teams and were in the mix for the Midwest Division in the final weeks. Draws the surging Toronto Marlies in Round 1 in a series that has upset written all over it.
Rank: 3
Last Week: 4th
Change: Up 1
Last Week:
GR 6 @ LE 4
CHA 1 @ GR 2
CHA 7 @ GR 3
Playoffs?

vs. 7-TOR

14tex_500

Late season surge by the San Antonio Rampage that won them the West Division crown but then went a bit dry at the end and will be the 3 seed against a very well known foe in Oklahoma City.
Rank: 4
Last Week: 3rd
Change: Down 1
Last Week:
TEX 3 @ SA 2
TEX 3 @ SA 2
SA 3 @ TEX 4 (OT)
Playoffs?

vs. 6-OKC

14tex_500

Bears wanted to get back into playoffs, win the division and get 100 points. Check, check and check. Hershey is back and they are looking to give teams trouble.
Rank: 5
Last Week: 9th
Change: Up 4
Last Week:
HER 1 @ LV 4
BNG 2 @ HER 3
LV 1 @ HER 5
Playoffs?

vs. 7-WOR

14tex_500

Wolf pack were the benefactors of a Crunch team that last 9 of its last 10 and won the Northeast Division. Get a Providence team that is quietly dangerous.
Rank: 6
Last Week: 5th
Change: Down 1
Last Week:
BRI 2 @ HFD 3
HFD 2 @ ALB 4
HFD 2 @ BRI 1
Playoffs?

vs. 6-PRO

14tex_500

13th straight trip to the playoffs for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins, the AHL’s top defensive team for the fourth time in five seasons. Defense wins championships, but it hasn’t yet for the Penguins who are still looking for that crown jewel.
Rank: 7
Last Week: 7th
Change: n/a
Last Week:
ALB 4 @ WBS 0
NOR 4 @ WBS 5
WBS 5 @ LV 1
Playoffs?

vs. 5-SYR

14tex_500

Rockford gave it a good run but concede the Midwest Division to the Grand Rapids Griffins. They draw a Texas Stars team that won it all last year.
Rank: 8
Last Week: 6th
Change: Down 2
Last Week:
CHA 1 @ RFD 5
CHI 3 @ RFD 4
TOR 3 @ RFD 1
Playoffs?

vs. 5-TEX

14tex_500

Marlies are the team that you don’t want to play. Surged out of nowhere about a month ago to take the 7 seed against a good Grand Rapids side. We could have a series for the ages on our hands here.
Rank: 9
Last Week: 19th
Change: Up 10
Last Week:
TOR 5 @ IA 2
TOR 3 @ MIL 2
TOR 3 @ RFD 1
TOR 5 @ CHI 2
Playoffs?

vs. 2-GR

14tex_500

Stars made a surge late and will be the 5 seed against a really good Rockford side. That series should be a fun one to watch.
Rank: 10
Last Week: 8th
Change: Down 2
Last Week:
TEX 3 @ SA 2
TEX 3 @ SA 2
SA 3 @ TEX 4 (OT)
Playoffs?

vs. 4 RFD

14tex_500

Providence just wants to let you know that they are there. They are in again and hoping that they don’t cross paths with the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins, who beat them in seven games twice in the past two seasons.
Rank: 11
Last Week: 10th
Change: Down 1
Last Week:
WOR 5 @ PRO 2
PRO 2 @ POR 3
MCH 1 @ PRO 5
Playoffs?

vs. 3-HFD

14tex_500

The Sharks got in on the final week and won’t be a pushover to their first round opponent in Hershey.
Rank: 12
Last Week: 11th
Change: Down 1
Last Week:
WOR 5 @ PRO 2
WOR 2 @ MCH 4
POR 5 @ WOR 4
Playoffs?

vs. 2-HER

14tex_500

Down two goals in the third period Sunday in Worcester and needing to get at least a point, Portland ties the game and eventually wins the game and gets in as the final team in the Calder Cup Playoffs. Tenacity? Who knows.
Rank: 13
Last Week: 18th
Change: Up 5
Last Week:
POR 2 @ MCH 3
PRO 2 @ POR 3
POR 5 @ WOR 4
Playoffs?

vs. 1-MCH

14tex_500

Oklahoma City was one of the best teams in the AHL for the better part of the season but went dry in the final weeks and were surpassed by eventual division winner San Antonio and Texas.
Rank: 14
Last Week: 17th
Change: Up 3
Last Week:
HAM 5 @ OKC 3
IA 0 @ OKC 3
IA 2 @ OKC 4
Playoffs?

vs. 3-SA

14tex_500

Wolves look to play upset over a Comets team that has been the best in the AHL all season long.
Rank: 15
Last Week: 12th
Change: Down 3
Last Week:
CHI 3 @ RFD 4
MIL 3 @ CHI 4 (SO)
TOR 5 @ CHI 2
Playoffs?

vs. 1-UTI

14tex_500

Crunch have been in free fall mode for the past three weeks, losers of 9 of the last 10. Penguins come calling in the first round.
Rank: 16
Last Week: 14th
Change: Down 2
Last Week:
SYR 2 @ ALB 6
ADK 5 @ SYR 4 (OT)
BRI 4 @ SYR 2
Playoffs?

vs. 4-WBS

14tex_500

Devils gave it a hell of a run in the final weeks, but they went stone cold in late February – March and it cost them on the final day. Probably the best non-playoff team at this point.
Rank: 17
Last Week: 15th
Change: Down 2
Last Week:
SYR 2 @ ALB 6
ALB 4 @ WBS 0
HFD 2 @ ALB 4
Playoffs?:

No.

14tex_500

Missed out on playoffs on the final day when Portland overcame a two goal third period deficit to Worcester. Disappointing season for the Falcons who led the Northeast Division for a while and were tops in these Rankings for a few weeks. Will have a new partner in Arizona in the Fall.
Rank: 18
Last Week: 13th
Change: Down 5
Last Week:
SPR 3 @ STJ 4 (SO)
SPR 4 @ STJ 3 (OT)
Playoffs?

No.

14tex_500

Monsters announced this week that they are pairing up with in-state Columbus for 2015-16. As for this seasons version, it never really was a serious threat.
Rank: 19
Last Week: 16th
Change: Down 3
Last Week:
GR 6 @ LE 4
HAM 3 @ LE 6
LE 4 @ HAM 3 (SO)
Playoffs?

No.

14tex_500

Bulldogs close out a 19 year run in the AHL and will be an Ontario Hockey League club bearing the same name next season. Canadiens prospects head to St. John’s next season.
Rank: 20
Last Week: 25th
Change: Up 5
Last Week:
HAM 5 @ OKC 3
HAM 3 @ LE 6
LE 4 @ HAM 3 (SO)
Playoffs?

No.

14tex_500

Hot and cold on the Southern Tier for season after season. This season was frigid.
Rank: 21
Last Week: 22nd
Change: Up 1
Last Week:
UTI 5 @ BNG 6 (OT)
BNG 2 @ HER 3
RCH 0 @ BNG 5
Playoffs?

No.

14tex_500

Calder Cup Finals runners up to out of the playoffs this year. They get to do it again next year with Montreal prospects next season.
Rank: 22
Last Week: 24th
Change: Up 2
Last Week:
SPR 3 @ STJ 4 (SO)
SPR 4 @ STJ 3 (OT)
Playoffs?

No.

14tex_500

The Norfolk Admirals will win the ECHL’s Kelly Cup Championship once in the next five years. When this happens, remember where you heard it first.
Rank: 23
Last Week: 20th
Change: Down 3
Last Week:
LV 2 @ NOR 4
NOR 4 @ WBS 5
Playoffs?

No.

14tex_500

Seemed after that trade with San Antonio that the season went to hell for the Flames, who will reincarnate as the Stockton Heat next year in the AHL and the city of Glens Falls will have the ECHL Thunder.
Rank: 24
Last Week: 26th
Change: Up 2
Last Week:
ADK 5 @ SYR 4 (OT)
UTI 3 @ ADK 2
RCH 5 @ ADK 3
Playoffs?

No.

14tex_500

Checkers struggled all season. May likely be heading back East and possibly back to the pit of vipers known as the East Division in 2015-16.
Rank: 25
Last Week: 23rd
Change: Down 2
Last Week:
CHA 1 @ RFD 5
CHA 1 @ GR 2
CHA 7 @ GR 3
Playoffs?

No.

14tex_500

Missed playoffs for the first time in 13 seasons. Something wasn’t quite right with this team. I think it had something to do with the fact that they were a mediocre team that played in the super competitive Midwest Division. Monsters finished dead last in the Midwest.
Rank: 26
Last Week: 21st
Change: Down 5
Last Week:
TOR 3 @ MIL 2
MIL 3 @ CHI 4 (SO)
Playoffs?

No.

14tex_500

Phantoms started out great but fizzed to a point to where they were out of it by February. Still were a hit at the turnstiles and will be looking to build for bigger and better things in 2015-16.
Rank: 27
Last Week: 28th
Change: Up 1
Last Week:
HER 1 @ LV 4
LV 2 @ NOR 4
LV 1 @ HER 5
WBS 5 @ LV 1
Playoffs?

No.

14tex_500

Off season additions left hope in the minds of many to start the year but that hope never turned into results for the Sound Tigers.
Rank: 28
Last Week: 27th
Change: Down 1
Last Week:
BRI 2 @ HFD 3
BRI 4 @ SYR 2
HFD 2 @ BRI 1
Playoffs?

No.

14tex_500

The Politburo is pleased that they no longer have to write anything about the Rochester Americans.
Rank: 29
Last Week: 30th
Change: Up 1
Last Week:
UTI 3 @ RCH 2
RCH 0 @ BNG 5
RCH 5 @ ADK 3
Playoffs?

No.

14tex_500

Season never got off the ground for the AHL’s worst team this season. Every advance was met with regression to the nth-degree. Regroup for next season.
Rank: 30
Last Week: 29th
Change: Down 1
Last Week:
TOR 5 @ IA 2
IA 0 @ OKC 3
IA 2 @ OKC 4
Playoffs?

No.

Thanks for reading. If you have a horse left in this race for the Calder Cup, good luck. If not, see you next season!

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