Chirps from Center Ice

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

AHL Power Rankings: Week 28

Another year in the can for the American Hockey League, their 80th and one of the best yet.

You have two teams in the East and the West which were the classes of the field. You have two teams that are serious dark horses to knock off the favorites.

How I do this, as I have in prior years, is that all 16 teams that qualify for the postseason are in your top 16 in the final rankings. The division winners are your top 4. This year, your dark horses are five and six.

I won’t keep you because it is this seasons last version of this. I have done this for three straight years and this by far is my most read, most popular piece on the blog because it brings in fans from all over the AHL here every Monday at 4 p.m.

Hit the jump if you didn’t link in direct…

14tex_500

Calder Cup or bust for a Toronto side that ran away with the regular season league championship and was far and away the best team in the AHL.
Rank: 1
Last Week: 1st
Change: n/a
Record:
54-16-5-1
Last Week:
HFD 3 @ TOR 2
RCH 1 @ TOR 3
RCH 2 @ TOR 4
Playoffs?
vs. A5-BRI

14tex_500

The favorite to come out of the West shouldn’t be a surprise, it’s Ontario. 44 wins in a 68 game schedule.
Rank: 2
Last Week: 2nd
Change: n/a
Record:
44-19-4-1
Last Week:
ONT 4 @ SD 2
ONT 2 @ SD 3
Playoffs?
vs. P4-SJ

14tex_500

Division champion Bears are not in many peoples discussion as a team that goes far. Are favorites by default over Portland, but may not be after that.
Rank: 3
Last Week: 4th
Change: Up 1
Record:
43-21-5-7
Last Week:
HER 2 @ BNG 4
LV 2 @ HER 4
WBS 1 @ HER 2 (SO)
Playoffs?
vs. A4-POR

14tex_500

Admirals draw Grand Rapids for the first round. The Admirals were 3-5 against the Griffins this season.
Rank: 4
Last Week: 3rd
Change: Down 1
Record:
48-23-3-2
Last Week:
CHI 1 @ MIL 3
BAK 5 @ MIL 2
MIL 1 @ RFD 7
Playoffs?
vs. C4-GR

14tex_500

Your dark horse team in the East is Albany. Strong team trapped in the wrong division with all that Toronto accomplished this season. Will give teams fits.
Rank: 5
Last Week: 6th
Change: Up 1
Record:
46-20-8-2
Last Week:
BNG 1 @ ALB 2
ALB 5 @ RCH 0
BRI 0 @ ALB 3
Playoffs?
vs. N3-UTI

14tex_500

Dark horse Western Conference team should be Lake Erie. Snuck up to second in a loaded Central. Discount the Monsters at your peril.
Rank: 6
Last Week: 8th
Change: Up 2
Record:
43-22-6-5
Last Week:
LE 5 @ GR 3
CHA 1 @ LE 3
CHA 2 @ LE 5
Playoffs?
vs. C3-RFD

14tex_500

Draw Wilkes-Barre in round one, a team that have given the Bruins fits in prior playoff years, but this postseason, the smart money has to be on Providence advancing.
Rank: 7
Last Week: 5th
Change: Down 2
Record:
41-22-9-4
Last Week:
SPR 1 @ PRO 3
PRO 3 @ WBS 1
PRO 6 @ BRI 1
Playoffs?
vs. A3-WBS

14tex_500

Split a series with Ontario, who the Gulls may see again down the line. Draw Texas in the first round.
Rank: 8
Last Week: 12th
Change: Up 4
Record:
39-23-4-2
Last Week:
ONT 4 @ SD 2
ONT 2 @ SD 3
Playoffs?
vs. P3-TEX

14tex_500

Utica was an above average team in an above average division yet still finished third to Toronto and Albany. One really good team in the series with Albany isn’t making it past the first round, and that’s a bit of a shame.
Rank: 9
Last Week: 14th
Change: Up 5
Record: 38-26-8-4
Last Week:
SYR 1 @ UTI 3
UTI 4 @ SYR 3 (OT)
BNG 4 @ UTI 2
Playoffs?
vs. N2-ALB

14tex_500

Rockford hitting the postseason in stride, shutting out Grand Rapids Friday and destroying Milwaukee Saturday. Get Lake Erie in the first round where they were 4-3-1 against the Monsters.
Rank: 10
Last Week: 19th
Change: Up 9
Record:
40-22-10-4
Last Week:
RFD 2 @ IA 1
GR 0 @ RFD 4
MIL 1 @ RFD 7
Playoffs?
vs. C2-LE

14tex_500

Good draw for the Stars, who were 5-1 against the Gulls in the regular season. Texas meets San Diego in round one and should be considered the favorite in the series.
Rank: 11
Last Week: 11th
Change: n/a
Record: 40-25-8-3
Last Week:
SA 6 @ TEX 5 (OT)
MTB 1 @ TEX 4
Playoffs?
vs. P2-SD

14tex_500

Portland had an up and down season. Now the Pirates get to play division champion Hershey first.
Rank: 12
Last Week: 7th
Change: Down 5
Record:
41-27-6-2
Last Week:
BRI 3 @ POR 2
POR 2 @ SPR 3 (OT)
POR 3 @ SPR 1
Playoffs?
vs. A1-HER

14tex_500

Barracuda get in on the last day in the last game played in the AHL with a 6-0 whitewash of a bland Heat team. Their reward? The Category Five superteam in Ontario.
Rank: 13
Last Week: 22nd
Change: Up 9
Record:
31-26-8-3
Last Week:
SJ 4 @ STK 5
STK 0 @ SJ 6
Playoffs?

vs. P1-ONT

14tex_500

A team that has lost five in a row, known for its streaks this season draws Central Champion Milwaukee. Series will either end in a sweep for one team or go all five games.
Rank: 14
Last Week: 9th
Change: Down 5
Record:
44-30-1-1
Last Week:
GR 0 @ IA 3
LE 5 @ GR 3
GR 0 @ RFD 4
BAK 3 @ GR 2
Playoffs?
vs. C1-MIL

14tex_500

14 straight years of postseason hockey in the Wyoming Valley, but this season isn’t looking like one that is going to deliver the Penguins first Calder Cup with injuries defiling this team.
Rank: 15
Last Week: 13th
Change: Down 2
Record:
43-27-4-2
Last Week:
WBS 2 @ LV 1
PRO 3 @ WBS 1
WBS 1 @ HER 2 (SO)
Playoffs?
vs. A2-PRO

14tex_500

Draw the Category Five super team in Toronto. Hey, David did beat Goliath, didn’t he?
Rank: 16
Last Week: 15th
Change: Down 1
Record:
40-29-4-3
Last Week:
BRI 3 @ PRO 2
BRI 0 @ ALB 3
PRO 6 @ BRI 1
Playoffs?
vs. N1-TOR

14tex_500

Fate was in their hands until it wasn’t anymore and those guys (San Jose) took it and ran. Trade deadline acquisitions didn’t do anything to help Charlotte.
Rank: 17
Last Week: 16th
Change: Down 1
Record:
36-32-3-5
Last Week:
CHA 1 @ LE 3
CHA 2 @ LE 5
Playoffs?
No.

14tex_500

Needed a lot of help at the end to get in but couldn’t get over that hump.
Rank: 18
Last Week: 21st
Change: Up 3
Record:
41-32-3-0
Last Week:
HFD 3 @ TOR 2
HFD 4 @ STJ 1
HFD 1 @ STJ 2
Playoffs?
No.

14tex_500

Phantoms floated at or near .500 all season it seemed. Another year of promise leads to disappointment in the Lehigh Valley.
Rank: 19
Last Week: 10th
Change: Down 9
Record:
34-35-4-3
Last Week:
WBS 2 @ LV 1
LV 2 @ HER 4
SYR 2 @ LV 5
Playoffs?

No.

14tex_500

Rampage season summed up in one sentence: Great first 10 games, great last 10 games, terrible in between.
Rank: 20
Last Week: 18th
Change: Down 2
Record:
33-35-8-0
Last Week:
SA 6 @ TEX 5 (OT)
MTB 5 @ SA 2
Playoffs?

No.

14tex_500

One step forward was met with two steps back for a Syracuse team that was average in an above-average division.
Rank: 21
Last Week: 20th
Change: Down 1
Record:
32-29-11-4
Last Week:
SYR 1 @ UTI 3
UTI 4 @ SYR 3 (OT)
SYR 2 @ LV 5
Playoffs?

No.

14tex_500

Heat played .500 hockey this season but with only playing 68 games with four other good teams playing 68 games above .500, they missed.
Rank: 22
Last Week: 17th
Change: Down 5
Record:
32-32-2-2
Last Week:
STK 3 @ BAK 6
SJ 4 @ STK 5
STK 0 @ SJ 6
Playoffs?

No.

14tex_500

IceCaps miss playoffs for a second season in a row. If they build on their mistakes made this season, they are a playoff team next season.
Rank: 23
Last Week: 27th
Change: Up 4
Record:
32-33-8-3
Last Week:
HFD 4 @ STJ 1
HFD 1 @ STJ 2
Playoffs?

No.

14tex_500

B-Sens month of November killed them and they never recovered.
Rank: 24
Last Week: 25th
Change: Up 1
Record:
31-38-6-1
Last Week:
BNG 1 @ ALB 2
HER 2 @ BNG 4
BNG 4 @ UTI 2
Playoffs?

No.

14tex_500

We think that Manitoba has upside for next year. This season they were never expected to contend but instead of packing it in they fought hard.
Rank: 25
Last Week: 23rd
Change: Down 2
Record:
26-41-4-5
Last Week:
MTB 5 @ SA 2
MTB 1 @ TEX 4
Playoffs?

No.

14tex_500

Amerks were much like Syracuse; an average team in an above average division.
Rank: 26
Last Week: 29th
Change: Up 3
Record:
34-38-3-1
Last Week:
ALB 5 @ RCH 0
RCH 1 @ TOR 3
RCH 2 @ TOR 4
Playoffs?

No.

14tex_500

Turmoil up top trickled down to Bakersfield which was incarnate of a strong Oklahoma City team that made it to the Western Conference Playoffs last year. This Condors team was never a contender.
Rank: 27
Last Week: 28th
Change: Up 1
Record:
31-28-7-2
Last Week:
STK 3 @ BAK 6
BAK 5 @ MIL 2
BAK 3 @ GR 2
Playoffs?

No.

14tex_500

Season was stuck in second gear all year. Expected to contend, but Chicago completely fell on its face and never made a push that could turn their season around.
Rank: 28
Last Week: 26th
Change: Down 2
Record:
33-35-5-3
Last Week:
CHI 1 @ MIL 3
CHI 3 @ IA 2 (SO)
IA 2 @ CHI 4
Playoffs?

No.

14tex_500

Springfield was doomed at the start as a team that wasn’t built to contend and got its head kicked in night after night. The 42 losses is the most in the AHL for any team.
Rank: 29
Last Week: 30th
Change: Up 1
Record:
26-42-3-5
Last Week:
SPR 1 @ PRO 3
POR 2 @ SPR 3 (OT)
POR 3 @ SPR 1
Playoffs?

No.

14tex_500

League’s worst team again this season. Had small peaks but there were deep valleys again this season.
Rank: 30
Last Week: 24th
Change: Down 6
Record:
24-41-5-6
Last Week:
GR 0 @ IA 3
RFD 2 @ IA 1
CHI 3 @ IA 2 (SO)
IA 2 @ CHI 4
Playoffs?

No.

Thanks for reading!

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