Chirps from Center Ice

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

AHL Power Rankings: Week 22

There is a new team at the top of the Week 22 Chirps from Center Ice AHL Power Rankings.

This team has been a snake in the grass for the whole season and is taking the opportunity of a few faltering teams to strike at the top spot.

It’s the Hershey Bears.

The Bears claimed the top spot in the Atlantic Division last weekend and maintained that position with a big 6-2 win against the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins, their only serious challenger for tops in the division this past Saturday. Sure, the Bears lost to the Pens Sunday on the road in Wilkes-Barre, but that was at the tail end of a three-in-three using backup goaltenders.

The Toronto Marlies dropped three straight contests this weekend (!!!) and tumble this week.

To see where everyone ended up and how things look as the calendar approaches mid-March, hit the jump if you didn’t link in direct.

14tex_500

Will the 5-4 setback to the Penguins come back and bite the Bears in the end when it is all said and done for the Atlantic Division lead?
Rank: 1
Last Week: 4th
Change: Up 3
Record:
34-16-3-7
Last Week:
HER 3 @ BNG 1
WBS 2 @ HER 6
HER 4 @ WBS 5
This Week:
@ STJ 3/12
@ STJ 3/13

14tex_500

Light week for the Reign who make short work of the Rampage Sunday.
Rank: 2
Last Week: 3rd
Change: Up 1
Record:
33-14-3-1
Last Week:
ONT 5 @ SA 1
This Week:
@ SA 3/9
vs. SD 3/12
@ SJ 3/13

14tex_500

Rockford again proving to be a force this year. Michael Leighton sets the AHL goaltending record for shutouts on Saturday, surpassing Johnny Bower. IceHogs threw a bucket of slop at a charging Lake Erie squad this weekend.
Rank: 3
Last Week: 5th
Change: Up 2
Record:
32-14-7-4
Last Week:
RFD 1 @ GR 2 (OT)
LE 0 @ RFD 5
LE 1 @ RFD 2
This Week:
vs. MIL 3/8
@ CHA 3/12
@ CHA 3/13

14tex_500

Won and kept pace with Rockford who the Admirals are still pursing for first place in the Central.
Rank: 4
Last Week: 7th
Change: Up 3
Record:
36-19-3-0
Last Week:
MIL 0 @ LE 2
MIL 4 @ LE 3 (SO)
CHI 0 @ MIL 1 (OT)
MIL 5 @ CHI 2
This Week:
@ RFD 3/8
vs. IA 3/11
@ CHI 3/12
@ IA 3/13

14tex_500

Much of the personnel that got the Marlies to where they are are gaining valuable NHL experience right now. Presently, that left the Marlies with a wholly unexpected three game losing streak against hungry North Division foes.
Rank: 5
Last Week: 1st
Change: Down 4
Record:
43-13-4-0
Last Week:
ALB 0 @ TOR 4
TOR 0 @ UTI 4
TOR 2 @ RCH 4
UTI 5 @ TOR 4
This Week:
@ POR 3/11
@ PRO 3/12
@ ALB 3/13

14tex_500

Comets beat the Toronto Marlies twice this weekend. If it wasn’t for the fact that a majority of the team was on NHL recall, the Comets would be number one this week.
Rank: 6
Last Week: 9th
Change: Up 3
Record:
30-19-5-3
Last Week:
TOR 0 @ UTI 4
SPR 1 @ UTI 2
UTI 5 @ TOR 4
This Week:
@ RCH 3/11
@ ALB 3/12
@ PRO 3/13

14tex_500

Got points on Ontario this week, closing in on the Reign for tops in the Pacific. Two this week with Stockton while Ontario have two with playoff contending teams.
Rank: 7
Last Week: 10th
Change: Up 3
Record:
34-20-5-3
Last Week:
IA 2 @ TEX 5
IA 4 @ TEX 3 (OT)
MTB 1 @ TEX 6
This Week:
@ STK 3/11
@ STK 3/12

14tex_500

Swept two from the closest team they are pursuing for playoff positioning in Portland. That helps. Two North Division foes at home this week await the P-Bruins.
Rank: 8
Last Week: 8th
Change: n/a
Record:
29-18-9-2
Last Week:
BRI 4 @ PRO 3 (OT)
PRO 3 @ POR 1
POR 3 @ PRO 4 (OT)
This Week:
vs. HFD 3/11
vs. TOR 3/12
vs. UTI 3/13

14tex_500

Albany unable to make up ground on an all of a sudden faltering Toronto team. Another whack at the Big Blue Machine this coming Sunday at the end of a three-in-three for the Devils.
Rank: 9
Last Week: 2nd
Change: Down 7
Record:
34-15-8-0
Last Week:
ALB 0 @ TOR 4
ALB 1 @ STJ 3
ALB 5 @ STJ 4 (OT)
This Week:
@ BNG 3/11
vs. UTI 3/12
vs. TOR 3/13

14tex_500

Griffins sweep through the week stabilizing their playoff chances heading into mid-March.
Rank: 10
Last Week: 12th
Change: Up 2
Record:
36-20-1-1
Last Week:
RFD 1 @ GR 2 (OT)
GR 4 @ CHA 0
GR 2 @ CHA 1
This Week:
vs. MTB 3/11
vs. MTB 3/12
@ CHI 3/13

14tex_500

Sound Tigers take points out of all three contests but it is still just 4 of 6. Big week ahead for Bridgeport.
Rank: 11
Last Week: 14th
Change: Up 3
Record:
31-22-3-3
Last Week:
HFD 4 @ BRI 3 (SO)
BRI 4 @ PRO 3 (OT)
BRI 3 @ HFD 2
This Week:
@ SYR 3/11
@ WBS 3/12
vs. WBS 3/13

14tex_500

Split a pair with the Sound Tigers this week in a light work week. Three with hungry in division foes this week.
Rank: 12
Last Week: 16th
Change: Up 4
Record:
29-27-2-0
Last Week:
HFD 4 @ BRI 3 (SO)
BRI 3 @ HFD 2
This Week:
@ PRO 3/11
vs. LV 3/12
@ POR 3/13

14tex_500

Monsters could have made serious inroads for the division lead but instead drop both to the leaders in Rockford.
Rank: 13
Last Week: 6th
Change: Down 7
Record:
31-19-5-5
Last Week:
MIL 0 @ LE 2
MIL 4 @ LE 3 (SO)
LE 0 @ RFD 5
LE 1 @ RFD 2
This Week:
@ SA 3/11
@ SA 3/13

14tex_500

Finally swung back at Hershey Sunday and beat the Bears. Took an important 4 of 6 points out of the weekend.
Rank: 14
Last Week: 17th
Change: Up 3
Record:
35-19-4-1
Last Week:
WBS 3 @ LV 0
WBS 2 @ HER 6
HER 4 @ WBS 5
This Week:
vs. LV 3/9
vs. BRI 3/12
@ BRI 3/13

14tex_500

Split a pair with Bakersfield whom the Barracuda are in hot pursuit with for a playoff spot.
Rank: 15
Last Week: 15th
Change: n/a
Record:
25-19-6-3
Last Week:
STK 1 @ SJ 7
BAK 3 @ SJ 2
BAK 2 @ SJ 4
This Week:
@ STK 3/9
@ BAK 3/12
vs. ONT 3/13

14tex_500

One point out of the weekend that was. Not a crippling blow to the playoff chances but the Pirates can’t duplicate weekends like this if they want to make a push.
Rank: 16
Last Week: 11th
Change: Down 5
Record:
31-22-3-1
Last Week:
SYR 3 @ POR 1
PRO 3 @ POR 1
POR 3 @ PRO 4 (OT)
This Week:
vs. TOR 3/11
@ SPR 3/12
vs. HFD 3/13

14tex_500

Split a series with a good Devils side. St. John’s may have one final push in them.
Rank: 17
Last Week: 23rd
Change: Up 6
Record:
25-23-8-3
Last Week:
ALB 1 @ STJ 3
ALB 5 @ STJ 4 (OT)
This Week:
vs. BNG 3/8
vs. BNG 3/9
vs. HER 3/12
vs. HER 3/13

14tex_500

5 of 6 points for a Crunch team we left for dead, despite the fact they are just .010 percentage points out of a playoff spot.
Rank: 18
Last Week: 27th
Change: Up 9
Record:
24-23-9-3
Last Week:
LV 3 @ SYR 2 (SO)
SYR 3 @ POR 1
SYR 6 @ SPR 3
This Week:
vs. BRI 3/11
vs. RCH 3/12
@ SPR 3/13

14tex_500

Good week for the Amerks taking down their opponents in convincing fashion. Have to protect that playoff spot from the Atlantic Division crossover.
Rank: 19
Last Week: 28th
Change: Up 9
Record:
28-26-2-1
Last Week:
SPR 3 @ RCH 7
TOR 2 @ RCH 4
This Week:
vs. UTI 3/11
@ SYR 3/12
vs. BNG 3/13

14tex_500

San Diego unable to make up any ground on second place Texas this week.
Rank: 20
Last Week: 13th
Change: Down 7
Record:
28-20-2-2
Last Week:
STK 1 @ SD 3
STK 5 @ SD 4 (OT)
This Week:
@ BAK 3/8
vs. BAK 3/11
@ ONT 3/12

14tex_500

We don’t think that the Heat are a serious playoff threat, but it’s something that we are keeping an eye on.
Rank: 21
Last Week: 18th
Change: Down 3
Record:
24-23-1-2
Last Week:
STK 1 @ SJ 7
STK 1 @ SD 3
STK 5 @ SD 4 (OT)
This Week:
vs. SJ 3/9
vs. TEX 3/11
vs. TEX 3/12

14tex_500

Split a pair with San Jose who they are pursuing for the final playoff spot in the Pacific, guarding against the Central crossover. Would have liked to come away with all four points.
Rank: 22
Last Week: 25th
Change: Up 3
Record:
25-22-3-2
Last Week:
BAK 3 @ SJ 2
BAK 2 @ SJ 4
This Week:
vs. SD 3/8
@ SD 3/11
vs. SJ 3/12

14tex_500

Wild proving to be a tougher cellar dwelling team than the others in the AHL.
Rank: 23
Last Week: 22nd
Change: Down 1
Record:
19-33-3-4
Last Week:
IA 2 @ TEX 5
IA 4 @ TEX 3 (OT)
This Week:
@ MTB 3/7
@ MTB 3/9
@ MIL 3/11
vs. MIL 3/13

14tex_500

Split the Texas trip in predictable fashion.
Rank: 24
Last Week: 21st
Change: Down 3
Record:
18-31-4-5
Last Week:
MTB 3 @ SA 0
MTB 1 @ TEX 6
This Week:
vs. IA 3/7
vs. IA 3/9
@ GR 3/11
@ GR 3/12

14tex_500

B-Sens deliver what will likely be the final nail in the Phantoms playoff chances this past Saturday.
Rank: 25
Last Week: 29th
Change: Up 4
Record:
22-31-3-1
Last Week:
HER 3 @ BNG 1
LV 1 @ BNG 3
This Week:
@ STJ 3/8
@ STJ 3/9
vs. ALB 3/11
@ RCH 3/13

14tex_500

Lost leading scorer in Dustin Jeffrey to a trade this week, results were predictable. Three losses.
Rank: 26
Last Week: 19th
Change: Down 9
Record:
21-30-3-4
Last Week:
SPR 3 @ RCH 7
SPR 1 @ UTI 2
SYR 6 @ SPR 3
This Week:
vs. POR 3/12
vs. SYR 3/13

14tex_500

We don’t think that there will be a Central Division crossover this season because the two teams that occupy those spots, Charlotte and these Wolves, aren’t going to make a serious enough push to make it there.
Rank: 27
Last Week: 20th
Change: Down 7
Record:
25-26-5-2
Last Week:
CHI 0 @ MIL 1 (OT)
MIL 5 @ CHI 2
This Week:
@ CHA 3/8
@ CHA 3/10
vs. MIL 3/12
vs. GR 3/13

14tex_500

Stick a fork in the Phantoms playoff chances. After just two of six points taken home from the week, it’s an early Spring for the Phantoms.
Rank: 28
Last Week: 24th
Change: Down 4
Record:
27-28-2-3
Last Week:
LV 3 @ SYR 2 (SO)
WBS 3 @ LV 0
LV 1 @ BNG 3
This Week:
@ WBS 3/9
@ HFD 3/12

14tex_500

After starting 9-0-4 to start the season, San Antonio is 15-28-4. Eek!
Rank: 29
Last Week: 26th
Change: Down 3
Record:
24-28-8-0
Last Week:
MTB 3 @ SA 0
ONT 5 @ SA 1
This Week:
vs. ONT 3/9
vs. LE 3/11
vs. LE 3/13

14tex_500

Slumping Checkers swept by Grand Rapids and have won just two of their last ten. Playoff chances in jeopardy.
Rank: 30
Last Week: 30th
Change: n/a
Record:
27-24-3-3
Last Week:
GR 4 @ CHA 0
GR 2 @ CHA 1
This Week:
vs. CHI 3/8
vs. CHI 3/10
vs. RFD 3/12
vs. RFD 3/13

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