Chirps from Center Ice

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

AHL Power Rankings: Week 23

Week 23 is in the books and we already have a ticket punched to the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs.

They are your number one team in the AHL overall and the number one team again this week, the San Jose Barracuda. San Jose locked up a playoff spot Saturday night.

The team behind them, the San Didego Gulls, should be joining their Pacific Division brethren very soon, as soon as this week in fact.

But there is a team that has been there the most times and has the most hardware which reside in Central Pennsylvania who are rising like a phoenix due to a man named Pheonix. The Hershey Bears are your number three team this week after jumping to third in the ever competitive Atlantic Division.

Oh, but in fourth is the team that has been at the pinnacle of the League’s best Division for months now, and one that the Bears would love to knock off. It’s the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins.

I think I have given enough away in this lede, so please jump through if you didn’t link in anywhere direct to see where the other 26 teams and maybe where your favorite team ended up in this weeks rankings.

14tex_500

One of the last teams to punch a postseason ticket are the first this season to do so. Next up is locking up home ice in the Pacific Division.
Rank: 1
Last Week: 1st
Change: n/a
Record:
38-13-2-4
Last Week:
SJ 4 @ BAK 3
STK 7 @ SJ 4
SJ 3 @ STK 1
This Week:
@ SD 3/22
@ TUC 3/25
@ TUC 3/26

14tex_500

Perfect week for the Gulls who should be the next team to lock up a playoff spot this week.
Rank: 2
Last Week: 5th
Change: Up 3
Record:
37-15-3-2
Last Week:
STK 2 @ SD 3
SD 2 @ SA 1 (OT)
SD 4 @ SA 3 (SO)
This Week:
vs. SJ 3/22
@ BAK 3/24
vs. BAK 3/25

14tex_500

Trade deadline acquisitions and getting reinforcements back have turned the 11-time Champions into a serious playoff contender. Hershey is all of a sudden in third place. Trap games this week.
Rank: 3
Last Week: 8th
Change: Up 5
Record:
36-18-8-3
Last Week:
HFD 3 @ HER 4 (OT)
HFD 4 @ HER 6
HER 3 @ BRI 1
This Week:
vs. BNG 3/22
@ STJ 3/25
@ STJ 3/26

14tex_500

Winnable games this week, we think, on the schedule for Wilkes-Barre who will be looking for separation between them and the rest of the hungry Atlantic Division.
Rank: 4
Last Week: 3rd
Change: Down 1
Record:
42-18-3-0
Last Week:
WBS 4 @ LV 1
LV 3 @ WBS 2
This Week:
vs. HFD 3/21
@ SYR 3/24
@ LV 3/25
vs. UTI 3/26

14tex_500

Griffins beat by Milwaukee on Sunday, maybe the division race isn’t all but over in the Central like we thought.
Rank: 5
Last Week: 2nd
Change: Down 3
Record:
40-18-1-4
Last Week:
CHI 4 @ GR 5 (OT)
GR 3 @ CHI 2 (OT)
GR 3 @ MIL 6
This Week:
vs. RFD 3/24
@ RFD 3/25
@ MIL 3/26

14lv_500

Still just three back of the Penguins after exacting revenge Saturday in Wilkes-Barre. Big trip to the Rock mid week, then two at home with the Penguins and Sound Tigers this weekend.
Rank: 6
Last Week: 6th
Change: n/a
Record:
40-19-4-0
Last Week:
SYR 5 @ LV 4 (OT)
WBS 4 @ LV 1
LV 3 @ WBS 2
This Week:
@ STJ 3/21
@ STJ 3/22
vs. WBS 3/25
vs. BRI 3/26

14tex_500

Split with the Griffins, and each team got points in each game. So no ground made up at all.
Rank: 7
Last Week: 4th
Change: Down 3
Record:
37-17-7-3
Last Week:
TEX 0 @ CHI 1 (SO)
CHI 4 @ GR 5 (OT)
GR 3 @ CHI 2 (OT)
This Week:
@ CLE 3/21
@ CLE 3/22
@ CHA 3/25
@ CHA 3/26

14tex_500

Milwaukee’s win Sunday tightens things up in the Central Division. What looked like a Grand Rapids runaway looks like it can be anyones race.
Rank: 8
Last Week: 9th
Change: Up 1
Record:
37-21-3-3
Last Week:
MIL 4 @ RFD 3 (OT)
IA 1 @ MIL 2
MIL 1 @ IA 4
GR 3 @ MIL 6
This Week:
@ MTB 3/23
@ MTB 3/24
vs. GR 3/26

14tex_500

Split the week. The Wild’s chances at a playoff spot will most likely be determined this week with a pair against Charlotte and Cleveland.
Rank: 9
Last Week: 11th
Change: Up 2
Record:
30-24-6-2
Last Week:
IA 1 @ MIL 2
MIL 1 @ IA 4
This Week:
@ CHA 3/21
@ CHA 3/22
@ CLE 3/24
@ CLE 3/26

14tex_500

Like cats, you keep waiting for their lives to run out and they hand you another. That’s the story of your 2016-17 Syracuse Crunch.
Rank: 10
Last Week: 10th
Change: n/a
Record:
32-21-6-5
Last Week:
SYR 5 @ LV 4 (OT)
SYR 3 @ UTI 4
ALB 1 @ SYR 2 (OT)
This Week:
vs. WBS 3/24
vs. UTI 3/25
@ TOR 3/26

14tex_500

Condors take a trip to Arizona and shore up their playoff chances by sweeping the Roadrunners. Home and home with the Gulls this week.
Rank: 11
Last Week: 15th
Change: Up 4
Record:
28-23-5-1
Last Week:
SJ 4 @ BAK 3
BAK 4 @ TUC 0
BAK 4 @ TUC 3
This Week:
vs. SD 3/24
@ SD 3/25

14tex_500

Don’t count the Comets out yet. Three big games this week.
Rank: 12
Last Week: 14th
Change: Up 2
Record:
30-25-7-2
Last Week:
SYR 3 @ UTI 4
UTI 1 @ BRI 4
UTI 5 @ PRO 2
This Week:
@ ALB 3/24
@ SYR 3/25
@ WBS 3/26

14tex_500

Devils give points away and are still unable to chase down Syracuse for the top spot in the North. Now host three desperate teams this week in Bridgeport, Utica and Providence.
Rank: 13
Last Week: 7th
Change: Down 6
Record:
34-26-2-2
Last Week:
SPR 2 @ ALB 1 (SO)
ALB 1 @ SYR 2 (OT)
ALB 0 @ SPR 3
This Week:
vs. BRI 3/22
vs. UTI 3/24
vs. PRO 3/25

14tex_500

Swept the Amerks at home to stay relevant in the playoff discussion. Two different Atlantic Division visitors stop by this week.
Rank: 14
Last Week: 20th
Change: Up 6
Record:
31-25-7-1
Last Week:
RCH 1 @ STJ 3
RCH 0 @ STJ 2
This Week:
vs. LV 3/21
vs. LV 3/22
vs. HER 3/25
vs. HER 3/26

14tex_500

Charlotte stays in touch with Iowa for the four sport this week but there are not many weeks left in the season. Big head to head matchup with Iowa this midweek.
Rank: 15
Last Week: 21st
Change: Up 6
Record:
30-27-4-0
Last Week:
ONT 3 @ CHA 5
ONT 2 @ CHA 3
This Week:
vs. IA 3/21
vs. IA 3/22
vs. CHI 3/25
vs. CHI 3/26

14tex_500

That Utica loss Sunday was a bad loss for the Bruins, who find themselves in fourth place in the division and being chased down by Bridgeport for the final playoff spot.
Rank: 16
Last Week: 12th
Change: Down 4
Record:
36-19-5-4
Last Week:
BRI 0 @ PRO 3
SPR 2 @ PRO 4
UTI 5 @ PRO 2
This Week:
@ HFD 3/24
@ ALB 3/25
@ HFD 3/26

14tex_500

That implosion in the third period against a flaccid Binghamton side will stink for a while. For a team that is on shaky ground as to whether they are a playoff contender or not, this is hardly a confidence boost.
Rank: 17
Last Week: 19th
Change: Up 2
Record:
33-26-4-1
Last Week:
TOR 6 @ MTB 3
BNG 2 @ TOR 4
BNG 8 @ TOR 4
This Week:
vs. RCH 3/21
@ BNG 3/24
vs. SPR 3/25
vs. SYR 3/26

14tex_500

Took only one point out of Charlotte this week. Sign off on chasing down San Jose for the division lead.
Rank: 18
Last Week: 16th
Change: Down 2
Record:
30-18-10-0
Last Week:
ONT 3 @ CHA 5
ONT 2 @ CHA 3 (OT)
This Week:
vs. SA 3/24
vs. SA 3/25

14tex_500

Thunderbirds are just fine right now playing upset, which they did twice to this week to the Albany Devils.
Rank: 19
Last Week: 22nd
Change: Up 3
Record:
27-27-8-2
Last Week:
SPR 2 @ ALB 1 (SO)
SPR 2 @ PRO 4
ALB 0 @ SPR 3
This Week:
@ RCH 3/24
@ TOR 3/25
@ RCH 3/26

14tex_500

Sound Tigers still two points out of a playoff spot. Still have a game in hand on Hershey, who bumped up to third, and are even in games played with Providence. Three road games this week which are as close to must win as you will find.
Rank: 20
Last Week: 13th
Change: Down 7
Record:
38-23-2-1
Last Week:
BRI 0 @ PRO 3
UTI 1 @ BRI 4
HER 3 @ BRI 1
This Week:
@ ALB 3/22
@ HFD 3/25
@ LV 3/26

14tex_500

Heat could be a playoff contender, but loss-win-loss in a week isn’t going to help them get there.
Rank: 21
Last Week: 18th
Change: Down 3
Record:
27-25-4-1
Last Week:
STK 2 @ SD 3
STK 7 @ SJ 4
SJ 3 @ STK 1
This Week:
@ TEX 3/24
@ TEX 3/25

14tex_500

Swept by the Condors in a must have weekend for Tucson’s playoff hopes. You can pretty much close the book on this one.
Rank: 22
Last Week: 17th
Change: Down 5
Record:
24-26-6-0
Last Week:
BAK 4 @ TUC 0
BAK 4 @ TUC 3
This Week:
@ SA 3/21
@ TEX 3/22
vs. SJ 3/25
vs. SJ 3/26

14tex_500

4 of 8 points isn’t doing the Stars any favors if they want to push for a playoff spot. Texas needs to go 10-2-1 to make it to 4th place and make playoffs.
Rank: 23
Last Week: 25th
Change: Up 2
Record:
28-30-1-4
Last Week:
SA 2 @ TEX 1 (SO)
TEX 0 @ CHI 1 (SO)
TEX 4 @ CLE 0
TEX 3 @ CLE 6
This Week:
vs. TUC 3/22
vs. STK 3/24
vs. STK 3/25

14tex_500

More positive week for the Rampage who got points out of all of their games played this week.
Rank: 24
Last Week: 28th
Change: Up 4
Record:
24-32-5-2
Last Week:
SA 2 @ TEX 1 (SO)
CLE 0 @ SA 4
SD 2 @ SA 1 (OT)
SD 4 @ SA 3 (SO)
This Week:
vs. TUC 3/21
@ ONT 3/24
@ ONT 3/25

14tex_500

Monsters playoff hopes fading. A bad week for the Wild with the Checkers is what they are hoping for.
Rank: 25
Last Week: 24th
Change: Down 1
Record:
28-27-3-4
Last Week:
CLE 0 @ SA 4
TEX 4 @ CLE 0
TEX 3 @ CLE 6
This Week:
vs. CHI 3/21
vs. CHI 3/22
vs. IA 3/24
vs. IA 3/25

14tex_500

B-Sens left for dead in the third period down 4-1 Saturday and roar back for seven goals to stun the Marlies at Air Canada Centre.
Rank: 26
Last Week: 30th
Change: Up 4
Record:
25-35-2-2
Last Week:
BNG @ RCH — PPD
BNG 2 @ TOR 4
BNG 8 @ TOR 4
This Week:
@ HER 3/22
vs. TOR 3/24
vs. RCH 3/25

14tex_500

Goal for the Manitoba should be 30 wins. It’s not out of the realm of the reasonable like a playoff spot is.
Rank: 27
Last Week: 26th
Change: Down 1
Record:
24-32-4-5
Last Week:
TOR 6 @ MTB 3
RFD 2 @ MTB 1 (SO)
RFD 3 @ MTB 5
This Week:
vs. MIL 3/23
vs. MIL 3/24

14tex_500

IceHogs are in a race with the Moose to see who will finish last in the Central.
Rank: 28
Last Week: 27th
Change: Down 1
Record:
22-31-9-3
Last Week:
MIL 4 @ RFD 3 (OT)
RFD 2 @ MTB 1 (SO)
RFD 3 @ MTB 5
This Week:
@ GR 3/24
vs. GR 3/25

14tex_500

Amerks are just a point machine for other teams.
Rank: 29
Last Week: 23rd
Change: Down 6
Record:
24-36-0-2
Last Week:
BNG @ RCH — PPD
RCH 1 @ STJ 3
RCH 0 @ STJ 2
This Week:
@ TOR 3/21
vs. SPR 3/24
@ BNG 3/25
vs. SPR 3/26

14tex_500

Wolf Pack put up a fight with the Bears this weekend in Hershey but it wasn’t enough. Seems like the story of the season, doesn’t it?
Rank: 30
Last Week: 29th
Change: Down 1
Record:
21-36-4-2
Last Week:
HFD 3 @ HER 4 (OT)
HFD 4 @ HER 6
This Week:
@ WBS 3/21
vs. PRO 3/24
vs. BRI 3/25
vs. PRO 3/26

Have a great week, anybody!

2 responses to “AHL Power Rankings: Week 23

  1. Jim Maliborski in Rochester March 20, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Before you comment that The Amerks are just a point machine for other teams, please do your homework and see that we have not had (except for the first couple of weeks) a full team. Buffalo has been draining the life out of us all season – we haven’t had the same lineup fort 2 games in a row for the longest time. No Falk, no Carrier, constant call-ups of Schneider, O’Reilly (and then loaning him to Toronto for nothing in return), Bailey, Rodrigues, Baptiste, Grant, Fedun, Fasching, Ullmark at times. How can a team compete when a third of the team belongs in the ECHL? This team would have trouble against a good college team, much less against AHL competition! How other teams have 35 – 40 wins, I don’t know – everyone has injuries and call-ups, but not many have a parent team who abandons them. Thanks for listening.

    • nafsnep March 20, 2017 at 6:14 pm

      I couldn’t imagine being an Americans fan. I’ve stayed up on the pillaging buffalo has done to you guys and the arena issues. I feel for you guys, truly. You do deserve much better.