Chirps from Center Ice

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

AHL Power Rankings: Week 9

You wanted them, I gave them to you.

I put a poll up at the end of the Week 8 Chirps from Center Ice AHL Power Rankings on whether you all wanted me to include team records in the capsules. I had been approached a few times by people clamoring for the records to be added. Well, overwhelmingly, you all thought it was a good idea so team records have been added to Week 9 and will be a regular staple.

For this week, call them the Comeback Kids.

The Grand Rapids Griffins were the laughingstock of the AHL a few weeks ago. Eight wins later, they are at the top of this weeks Power Rankings.

There are battles heating up in all four divisions. The Pacific has the Reign leading it with the Rampage and Stars closing in. In the Central, it’s a seesaw battle of the IceHogs, Admirals and Monsters with the Griffins closing fast. In the North, the Marlies lead the division but the Devils are the hottest they have ever been, on a franchise best six game win streak and in the Atlantic, the Penguins have gone cold and the Sound Tigers and Bears are jockeying for who will be the one to dethrone the Penguins.

To see where they all stack up, click through the jump if you didn’t link in direct…

14tex_500

Eight game win streak for the suddenly alive Grand Rapids Griffins team, a team which was and should still be a Calder Cup favorite.
Rank: 1
Last Week: 5th
Change: Up 4 
Record:
10-8-0-1
Last Week:
CHI 1 @ GR 3
LE 1 @ GR 4
This Week:
vs. MIL 12/9
@ RFD 12/12
@ IA 12/13

14tex_500

The Devils have won six games in a row for the first time in franchise history and are nipping on the heels of the North leading Toronto Marlies. They can defend and score. That’s a winning method.
Rank: 2
Last Week: 3rd
Change: Up 1 
Record:
15-4-3-0
Last Week:
STJ 1 @ ALB 2 (OT)
RCH 1 @ ALB 2
SYR 0 @ ALB 4
This Week:
vs. SYR 12/11
@ WBS 12/12

14tex_500

Marlies fans will be sad to see goaltender Jonathan Bernier get called up at the end of his conditioning stint but still, Toronto is a very strong team.
Rank: 3
Last Week: 7th
Change: Up 4
Record:
18-5-1-0
Last Week:
TOR 4 @ RCH 0
MTB 1 @ TOR 3
MTB 0 @ TOR 9
This Week:
@ UTI 12/11
@ SYR 12/12
vs. UTI 12/13

14tex_500

IceHogs use a perfect week and get to the top of the Central Division for this week.
Rank: 4
Last Week: 8th
Change: Up 4
Record:
15-5-1-2
Last Week:
RFD 6 @ TEX 5 (OT)
RFD 4 @ SA 2
RFD 5 @ SA 2
This Week:
@ TEX 12/8
vs. IA 12/11
vs. GR 12/12

14tex_500

Nice cross country business trip for the Reign who still lead the Pacific Division.
Rank: 5
Last Week: 9th
Change: Up 4
Record:
13-4-2-0
Last Week:
ONT 3 @ CHA 1
ONT 5 @ CHA 1
This Week:
vs. BAK 12/12
vs. SJ 12/13

14tex_500

Lost to the Moose in a mid-week matchup and that was the kick in the pants that Milwaukee needed to stay near the top of the Central Division.
Rank: 6
Last Week: 2nd
Change: Down 4
Record:
15-6-1-0
Last Week:
MTB 3 @ MIL 2
MIL 3 @ CHI 2 (SO)
TEX 2 @ MIL 5
This Week:
@ GR 12/9
@ MTB 12/12
@ MTB 12/13

14tex_500

All of a sudden Hershey is on the rise, just a few points back of the Penguins, who they crushed Sunday. More seemingly winnable games on the docket for the Bears this week also.
Rank: 7
Last Week: 11th
Change: Up 4
Record:
12-6-0-5
Last Week:
HER 3 @ HFD 4 (SO)
LV 1 @ HER 2
WBS 1 @ HER 4
This Week:
@ LV 12/9
vs. BNG 12/12
@ BRI 12/13

14tex_500

Monsters split with the Wild this week heading into the weekend as the Central Division leaders and then got knocked off by the Grand Rapids Griffins who should be the leaders very soon.
Rank: 8
Last Week: 4th
Change: Down 4
Record:
13-6-1-2
Last Week:
IA 4 @ LE 2
IA 1 @ LE 3
LE 1 @ GR 4
This Week:
vs. CHI 12/11
vs. CHI 12/12

14tex_500

We think that Utica is making a turn for the good here. The Comets have taken points out of 6 of their last 7 contests.
Rank: 9
Last Week: 19th
Change: Up 10
Record:
10-9-2-1
Last Week:
LV 3 @ UTI 1
STJ 2 @ UTI 1 (OT)
UTI 4 @ SYR 2
This Week:
@ RCH 12/9
vs. TOR 12/11
@ TOR 12/13

14tex_500

Nice week for the Phantoms, despite the late setback in Hershey. Lehigh Valley is a team that is playing better than its record would indicate of late.
Rank: 10
Last Week: 15th
Change: Up 5
Record:
11-12-1-0
Last Week:
LV 3 @ UTI 1
LV 3 @ WBS 1
LV 1 @ HER 2
This Week:
vs. HER 12/9
vs. WBS 12/11
vs. SPR 12/12

14tex_500

IceCaps thought they could waltz into the Southern Tier Saturday night and waltz out with two points. There are no easy games in the American Hockey League.
Rank: 11
Last Week: 6th
Change: Down 5
Record:
12-6-4-2
Last Week:
STJ 1 @ ALB 2 (OT)
STJ 2 @ UTI 1 (OT)
STJ 1 @ BNG 4
This Week:
vs. RCH 12/11
vs. RCH 12/12

14tex_500

Failure to execute with a team that is at or near full health. Three goals in three games against divisional rivals is unacceptable.
Rank: 12
Last Week: 1st
Change: Down 11
Record:
16-5-0-0
Last Week:
LV 3 @ WBS 1
HFD 3 @ WBS 1
WBS 1 @ HER 4
This Week:
vs. SYR 12/9
@ LV 12/11
vs. ALB 12/12

14tex_500

San Antonio will want this weekend back, mark my words.
Rank: 13
Last Week: 10th
Change: Down 3
Record:
11-5-6-0
Last Week:
RFD 4 @ SA 2
RFD 5 @ SA 2
This Week:
vs. CHA 12/9
vs. STK 12/10
vs. TEX 12/13

14tex_500

Wild win Saturday against the Condors. The Barracuda don’t like when you underrate them, it seems.
Rank: 14
Last Week: 17th
Change: Up 3
Record:
9-8-0-3
Last Week:
STK 3 @ SJ 5
BAK 6 @ SJ 7 (OT)
This Week:
vs. SD 12/12
@ ONT 12/13

14tex_500

Wolves may be a team that tears apart bad teams (Manitoba) loses to great teams (Grand Rapids) and hang in with good teams (Milwaukee)
Rank: 15
Last Week: 16th
Change: Up 1
Record:
10-7-1-2
Last Week:
MTB 2 @ CHI 8
CHI 1 @ GR 3
MIL 3 @ CHI 2 (SO)
This Week:
@ IA 12/8
@ LE 12/11
@ LE 12/12

14tex_500

Three of four points for the Pirates this week which appeared out of thin air. Portland scores two in the final minute Saturday to beat the Sound Tigers.
Rank: 16
Last Week: 22nd
Change: Up 6
Record:
9-10-1-0
Last Week:
POR 2 @ PRO 3 (OT)
POR 2 @ BRI 1
This Week:
vs. SPR 12/9
vs. BRI 12/11
vs. PRO 12/12

14tex_500

Wild one Saturday with San Jose. Beat what was a rising Gulls team Friday. Not a bad week, overall.
Rank: 17
Last Week: 23rd
Change: Up 6
Record:
9-9-1-1
Last Week:
SD 4 @ BAK 6
BAK 6 @ SJ 7 (OT)
This Week:
vs. SD 12/11
@ ONT 12/12

14tex_500

Ranking by percentage points is silly. The P-Bruins win all three games this week with the help of the recovered Alexander Khokhlachev, yet still sit in last place in the Atlantic.
Rank: 18
Last Week: 27th
Change: Up 9
Record:
8-10-4-1
Last Week:
POR 2 @ PRO 3 (OT)
SPR 1 @ PRO 3
SPR 1 @ PRO 6
This Week:
vs. HFD 12/11
@ POR 12/12
vs. HFD 12/13

14tex_500

Sound Tigers salvage a losing weekend with a big win against in state rival Hartford. The Sound Tigers are still in the mix as the weeks wear on in the season.
Rank: 19
Last Week: 14th
Change: Down 5
Record:
15-9-1-0
Last Week:
BRI 0 @ SPR 4
POR 2 @ BRI 1
HFD 2 @ BRI 4
This Week:
@ POR 12/11
@ HFD 12/12
vs. HER 12/13

14tex_500

Two games this week for the Stars spread out over a couple days but the well rested Stars didn’t have any answers for a Milwaukee team that played in Rosemont the night before.
Rank: 20
Last Week: 13th
Change: Down 7
Record:
12-9-1-1
Last Week:
RFD 6 @ TEX 5 (OT)
TEX 2 @ MIL 5
This Week:
vs. RFD 12/8
vs. CHA 12/11
vs. STK 12/12
@ SA 12/13

14tex_500

The Checkers were trending upwards, then the defending Calder Cup Champions come calling for a weekend and Charlotte scores just two goals. A Texas trip is next.
Rank: 21
Last Week: 12th
Change: Down 9
Record:
11-11-0-0
Last Week:
ONT 3 @ CHA 1
ONT 5 @ CHA 1
This Week:
@ SA 12/9
@ TEX 12/11

14tex_500

Still lots of work to do for a team that is barely over .500 but still relevant in the North Division.
Rank: 22
Last Week: 21st
Change: Down 1
Record:
10-8-2-1
Last Week:
BNG 1 @ SYR 5
UTI 4 @ SYR 2
SYR 0 @ ALB 4
This Week:
@ WBS 12/9
@ ALB 12/11
vs. TOR 12/12

14tex_500

Texas road trip looms for the Pacific Division’s last place team.
Rank: 23
Last Week: 26th
Change: Up 3
Record:
7-8-0-2
Last Week:
STK 3 @ SJ 5
SD 2 @ STK 4
This Week:
@ SA 12/10
@ TEX 12/12

14tex_500

Hartford wins two games but is yet a single percentage point better than the Providence Bruins for the race for last place in the Atlantic.
Rank: 24
Last Week: 25th
Change: Up 1
Record:
10-12-2-0
Last Week:
HER 3 @ HFD 4 (SO)
HFD 3 @ WBS 1
HFD 2 @ BRI 4
This Week:
@ PRO 12/11
vs. BRI 12/12
@ PRO 12/13

14tex_500

San Diego is still an elevator team. Up one week, down the next. Two losses this week to the Condors and Heat this week.
Rank: 25
Last Week: 18th
Change: Down 7
Record:
11-9-0-1
Last Week:
SD 4 @ BAK 6
SD 2 @ STK 4
This Week:
@ BAK 12/11
@ SJ 12/12

14tex_500

It’s going to be a long cold Winter in Western New York.
Rank: 26
Last Week: 20th
Change: Down 6
Record:
10-11-1-0
Last Week:
TOR 4 @ RCH 0
RCH 1 @ ALB 2
This Week:
vs. UTI 12/9
@ STJ 12/11
@ STJ 12/12

14tex_500

Split a pair with what was the Central Division leading Lake Erie Monsters. Road doesn’t get any easier, but 4 of 6 should be what the Wild aim for this week.
Rank: 27
Last Week: 30th
Change: Up 3
Record:
4-17-1-3
Last Week:
IA 4 @ LE 2
IA 1 @ LE 3
This Week:
vs. CHI 12/8
@ RFD 12/11
vs. GR 12/13

14tex_500

B-Sens snap a five game losing streak against an IceCaps team which was probably looking past the Senators Saturday night.
Rank: 28
Last Week: 29th
Change: Up 1
Record:
6-13-2-0
Last Week:
BNG 1 @ SYR 5
STJ 1 @ BNG 4
This Week:
@ SPR 12/11
@ HER 12/12

14tex_500

Two goals to show in just three games for the Falcons this weekend. Injuries and personnel losses are taking their toll.
Rank: 29
Last Week: 24th
Change: Down 5
Record:
10-11-1-0
Last Week:
BRI 0 @ SPR 4
SPR 1 @ PRO 3
SPR 1 @ PRO 6
This Week:
@ POR 12/9
vs. BNG 12/11
@ LV 12/12

14tex_500

I don’t care if Jonathan Bernier was down on an NHL conditioning assignment or not, you cannot lose by nine goals to an opponent. You simply cannot. The Moose have problems that have problems, and that isn’t good.
Rank: 30
Last Week: 28th
Change: Down 2
Record:
5-14-1-1
Last Week:
MTB 3 @ MIL 2
MTB 2 @ CHI 8
MTB 1 @ TOR 3
MTB 0 @ TOR 9
This Week:
vs. MIL 12/12
vs. MIL 12/13

If you spot any errors with my math or the team records, pleas eve sure to let me know in the comments or on Twitter. And, of course, if you disagree with where your favorite team is ranked, hit the comment section also.

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