Chirps from Center Ice

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

AHL Power Rankings: Week 16

We have hit the AHL All-Star break and there are teams that are mainstays at the top and teams playing hot potato for the fourth spot in seemingly every division.

One team which as been at the top of the AHL Power Rankings is a team that if you are a regular to this blog, are familiar with.

With this special noon Monday debut time, I wanted to get this out of the way in advance of the all star exhibition later this night. So hit the jump if you didn’t link in direct and enjoy.

14tex_500

Finish the month of January with a franchise best record of 12-2. A 38 year old leads the team in goals scored. Wilkes-Barre has been the class of the AHL in the first half. Does it continue into the second with all those head to head matchups with the Phantoms looming?
Rank: 1
Last Week: 2nd
Change: Up 1
Record:
33-9-3-0
Last Week:
SYR 2 @ WBS 3 (OT)
WBS 3 @ UTI 2
WBS 6 @ BNG 2
This Week:
vs. STJ 2/3
vs. LV 2/4

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Ontario is starting to open up a bit of a lead now in the Pacific. What once was a race to watch is becoming a landslide victory for the Reign.
Rank: 2
Last Week: 3rd
Change: Up 1
Record:
23-9-7-0
Last Week:
BAK 2 @ ONT 3
ONT 4 @ SA 5 (OT)
ONT 4 @ SA 3
This Week:
vs. SD 2/3
@ SD 2/4

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Best team in the West is Grand Rapids at the break. A lot of teams are vying for the top in the Central but the Griffins have become more of a mainstay.
Rank: 3
Last Week: 1st
Change: Down 2
Record:
28-12-1-2
Last Week:
IA 2 @ GR 1
SJ 4 @ GR 1
STK 1 @ GR 2
This Week:
@ CHI 2/3
vs. MIL 2/4

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Seven in a row now for Bridgeport who are a playoff team at the break. Sound Tigers have the fewest games played out of any team in the division.
Rank: 4
Last Week: 6th
Change: Up 2
Record:
25-15-1-1
Last Week:
PRO 0 @ BRI 1 (OT)
HFD 2 @ BRI 3 (SO)
LV 2 @ BRI 3
This Week:
vs. RCH 2/3
vs. SPR 2/4

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8-0-0-1 for the Gulls who are one of the more streakier teams we have come across. One week, they are sixth in the Pacific and on a five game losing streak. This week, they are third in the Pacific and handled a very good Tucson team in a trio of games.
Rank: 5
Last Week: 17th
Change: Up 12
Record:
21-12-2-2
Last Week:
SD 8 @ TUC 1
SD 2 @ TUC 1
SD 3 @ TUC 0
This Week:
@ ONT 2/3
vs. ONT 2/4

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You keep waiting for the bottom to fall out on the Crunch and it hasn’t happened yet. Will it? Time will tell, but with every passing week it looks like it won’t.
Rank: 6
Last Week: 13th
Change: Up 7
Record:
22-12-4-5
Last Week:
SYR 2 @ WBS 3 (OT)
SYR 4 @ SPR 3
SYR 4 @ UTI 3 (SO)
This Week:
@ ALB 2/2
@ TOR 2/4
@ TOR 2/5

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Nine points back of the Penguins with two games in hand and ten more meetings with the AHL leaders. The Phantoms are a second half team you certainly want to keep an eye on.
Rank: 7
Last Week: 8th
Change: Up 1
Record:
29-12-2-0
Last Week:
BNG 2 @ LV 7
LV 2 @ BNG 1
LV 2 @ BRI 3
This Week:
@ ALB 2/3
@ WBS 2/4

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News this week that Albany will be relocating to Binghamton next year surfaced. On the ice, the Devils split the week and in the loss to Rochester were up 3-0.
Rank: 8
Last Week: 4th
Change: Down 4
Record:
25-17-1-1
Last Week:
ALB 2 @ RCH 1
RCH 5 @ ALB 3
This Week:
vs. SYR 2/2
vs. LV 2/3
@ BNG 2/4

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Consider the Wolves as of the more surprising teams here at the all-star break. We all had them as a playoff contender, but as a solid playoff contender?
Rank: 9
Last Week: 16th
Change: Up 7
Record:
25-15-3-3
Last Week:
CHI 4 @ CLE 2
CHI 2 @ CLE 3 (SO)
This Week:
vs. GR 2/3
vs. RFD 2/4

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Another team that no one is talking about and really should be is San Jose. Barracuda have remained second in the Pacific for a bit now and are pushing Ontario for the top spot and fending off a flavor of the week third place team.
Rank: 10
Last Week: 15th
Change: Up 5
Record:
22-11-1-3
Last Week:
SJ 5 @ STK 0
SJ 4 @ GR 1
SJ 4 @ MIL 2
This Week:
@ MTB 2/3
@ MTB 2/4

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The most surprising team at the break are your Iowa Wild. Derek Lalonde has his side on the precipice of a playoff spot. This is one team that doesn’t look like it wants to go away just yet.
Rank: 11
Last Week: 14th
Change: Up 3
Record:
22-19-4-1
Last Week:
IA 2 @ GR 1
IA 3 @ RFD 2
IA 5 @ RFD 1
This Week:
@ CLE 2/3
@ CLE 2/4

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Toronto comes in and throws a bucket of cold water at St. John’s this past weekend. IceCaps are one of those playoff teams at the break you don’t think will be around come the end of the regular season.
Rank: 12
Last Week: 5th
Change: Down 7
Record:
20-18-5-1
Last Week:
TOR 5 @ STJ 3
TOR 4 @ STJ 0
This Week:
@ WBS 2/3
@ HER 2/4
@ HER 2/5

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Milwaukee is one of those teams that will either win the division or miss playoffs entirely. Third in the central, seven back of Grand Rapids for the lead.
Rank: 13
Last Week: 11th
Change: Down 2
Record:
24-15-2-2
Last Week:
CLE 5 @ MIL 2
STK 0 @ MIL 3
SJ 4 @ MIL 2
This Week:
vs. RFD 2/3
@ GR 2/4

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P-Bruins sit third in the Atlantic and remain a dangerous team. If it isn’t one of the two Pennsylvania teams taking home the Atlantic crown in a few months, it should be Providence.
Rank: 14
Last Week: 10th
Change: Down 4
Record:
25-12-5-3
Last Week:
PRO 0 @ BRI 1 (OT)
HER 2 @ PRO 3 (SO)
PRO 3 @ HFD 4
This Week:
vs. SPR 2/3

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Condors go to Cedar Park last week and sweep the Stars and leapfrog them in the Pacific. Bakersfield is now up to sixth.
Rank: 15
Last Week: 20th
Change: Up 5
Record:
17-16-4-1
Last Week:
BAK 2 @ ONT 3
BAK 6 @ TEX 3
BAK 4 @ TEX 2
This Week:
vs. STK 2/3
@ STK 2/4

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Points out of the week except for the matchup with the Penguins, which are just on another level right now. Comets may be fending off a hard charging Marlies side here in the next few weeks.
Rank: 16
Last Week: 7th
Change: Down 9
Record:
18-17-6-2
Last Week:
SPR 2 @ UTI 1 (OT)
WBS 3 @ UTI 2
SYR 4 @ UTI 3 (SO)
This Week:
@ HFD 2/3

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Sweeping the week and taking down the surprising St. John’s IceCaps on the road will do wonders in turning this Marlies team around.
Rank: 17
Last Week: 22nd
Change: Up 5
Record:
20-20-2-1
Last Week:
TOR 2 @ RCH 1 (SO)
TOR 5 @ STJ 3
TOR 4 @ STJ 0
This Week:
vs. SYR 2/4
vs. SYR 2/5

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Monsters are right there, as they were last year around this time of year and we all know how that ended.
Rank: 18
Last Week: 24th
Change: Up 6
Record:
20-17-1-3
Last Week:
CLE 5 @ MIL 2
CHI 4 @ CLE 2
CHI 2 @ CLE 3 (SO)
This Week:
vs. IA 2/3
vs. IA 2/4

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Hershey cauterizes the bleeding this week taking 5 out of a possible 6 points out of their New England trip, but remember that two of those teams are not playoff contending teams.
Rank: 19
Last Week: 25th
Change: Up 6
Record:
21-13-7-3
Last Week:
HER 5 @ HFD 4
HER 2 @ PRO 3 (SO)
HER 4 @ SPR 2
This Week:
@ BNG 2/3
vs. STJ 2/4
vs. STJ 2/5

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Roadrunners got smoked by the Gulls in three games 13-2 on aggregate. Woof.
Rank: 20
Last Week: 9th
Change: Down 11
Record:
20-13-5-0
Last Week:
SD 8 @ TUC 1
SD 2 @ TUC 1
SD 3 @ TUC 0
This Week:
vs. CHA 2/3
vs. CHA 2/4

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Kept is close Friday against the Phantoms and then were blown out by the Penguins Saturday. Binghamton is in shouting distance for a playoff spot as we hit the All-Star break.
Rank: 21
Last Week: 12th
Change: Down 9
Record:
18-22-2-1
Last Week:
BNG 2 @ LV 7
LV 2 @ BNG 1
WBS 6 @ BNG 2
This Week:
vs. HER 2/3
vs. ALB 2/4

14tex_500

Checkers split with the Moose and are middling around in the Central. Need to kickstart their second half strong this weekend in Arizona.
Rank: 22
Last Week: 21st
Change: Down 1
Record:
19-22-3-0
Last Week:
MTB 1 @ CHA 4
MTB 2 @ CHA 1
This Week:
@ TUC 2/3
@ TUC 2/4

14tex_500

Moose are better than Rockford, on par with Charlotte and not as good as Iowa. These four teams are the ones not in the playoff picture just yet, but if any of the top four fall out it will be one of these teams. Is it Manitoba? We don’t think so.
Rank: 23
Last Week: 23rd
Change: n/a
Record:
18-20-3-2
Last Week:
MTB 2 @ TEX 1
MTB 1 @ CHA 4
MTB 2 @ CHA 1
This Week:
vs. SJ 2/3
vs. SJ 2/4

14tex_500

Nice comeback win after getting trounced in the first period Saturday by Albany. There is still a lot of time to make a push in that the Politburo thinks is the weakest division in the AHL for the Americans.
Rank: 24
Last Week: 28th
Change: Up 4
Record:
19-24-0-2
Last Week:
TOR 2 @ RCH 1 (SO)
ALB 2 @ RCH 1
RCH 5 @ ALB 3
This Week:
@ BRI 2/3
@ HFD 2/4

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Kept it close with the division leading Reign in both games this weekend. Maybe something to build off of going forward.
Rank: 25
Last Week: 27th
Change: Up 2
Record:
20-21-4-0
Last Week:
RFD 2 @ SA 6
ONT 4 @ SA 5 (OT)
ONT 4 @ SA 3
This Week:
vs. TEX 2/3
@ TEX 2/4

14tex_500

All you can expect out of Hartford this year is for them to play upset like they did in getting points out of playoff contending teams in Bridgeport and Providence.
Rank: 26
Last Week: 26th
Change: n/a
Record:
16-24-3-2
Last Week:
HER 5 @ HFD 4
HFD 2 @ BRI 3 (SO)
PRO 3 @ HFD 4
This Week:
vs. UTI 2/3
vs. RCH 2/4

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One goal to show for the Heat as they hit the break in a big time slump. Maybe the extra days off will be good for this Stockton group who look promising.
Rank: 27
Last Week: 19th
Change: Down 8
Record:
19-16-3-1
Last Week:
SJ 5 @ STK 0
STK 0 @ MIL 3
STK 1 @ GR 2
This Week:
@ BAK 2/3
vs. BAK 2/4

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Were swept this week. Seventh in the Pacific at the break. Haven’t been a serious threat in the division for a while. What’s wrong in Cedar Park?
Rank: 28
Last Week: 18th
Change: Down 10
Record:
20-19-1-2
Last Week:
MTB 2 @ TEX 1
BAK 6 @ TEX 3
BAK 4 @ TEX 2
This Week:
@ SA 2/3
vs. SA 2/4

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Springfield just doesn’t have the horses to run with the leaders in the Atlantic.
Rank: 29
Last Week: 29th
Change: n/a
Record:
16-19-6-2
Last Week:
SPR 2 @ UTI 1 (OT)
SYR 4 @ SPR 3
HER 4 @ SPR 2
This Week:
@ PRO 2/3
@ BRI 2/4

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When you are getting pounded by San Antonio and Iowa, that’s when you know you have a bad hockey team.
Rank: 30
Last Week: 30th
Change: n/a
Record:
14-23-5-3
Last Week:
RFD 2 @ SA 6
IA 3 @ RFD 2 (OT)
IA 5 @ RFD 1
This Week:
@ MIL 2/3
@ CHI 2/4

Have a great week, everyone!

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