Chirps from Center Ice

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

AHL Power Rankings: Week 24

It was a great week for the Charlotte Checkers and a horrible week for the Iowa Wild. The Wild, coming into Week 24 solidly in a playoff spot, drop four straight against Charlotte and Cleveland, the two teams pursuing the Wild for the final spot in the Central Division and right now sit out of the playoff picture.

There were two more tickets punched to the postseason and two more eliminations this week. Find out who below if you didn’t link in direct.

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Barracuda slip this week but are still in firm position at the top of the Pacific Division.
Rank: 1
Last Week: 1st
Change: n/a
Record:
39-14-2-5
Last Week:
SJ 1 @ SD 5
SJ 5 @ TUC 2
SJ 4 @ TUC 5 (SO)
This Week:
vs. MTB 3/31
vs. MTB 4/1

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Griffins were the first of the teams that play 76 games to clinch a playoff spot Sunday. Us East Coasters think that it may be an Atlantic Division team that wins it all this year…Grand Rapids may have something to say about that.
Rank: 2
Last Week: 5th
Change: Up 3
Record:
43-18-1-4
Last Week:
RFD 3 @ GR 5
GR 4 @ RFD 0
GR 3 @ MIL 2
This Week:
vs. MIL 3/29
vs. CHA 3/31
@ RFD 4/1

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Missing seven regulars, the Penguins sweep the weekend and win all four games this week and have won seven of their last eight. Should be the first team in the East to wrap up a spot in the Calder Cup Playoffs this weekend.
Rank: 3
Last Week: 4th
Change: Up 1
Record:
46-18-3-0
Last Week:
HFD 2 @ WBS 5
WBS 5 @ SYR 1
WBS 4 @ LV 0
UTI 1 @ WBS 2
This Week:
@ SPR 3/31
vs. LV 4/1
vs. UTI 4/2

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Gulls sewed up a playoff spot Saturday. Are looking to make one more run at San Jose for tops in the Pacific Division.
Rank: 4
Last Week: 2nd
Change: Down 2
Record:
38-17-3-2
Last Week:
SJ 1 @ SD 5
SD 1 @ BAK 5
BAK 3 @ SD 1
This Week:
@ TUC 3/31
@ TUC 4/1

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Despite two wins and the Wolves spilling points all week, the Admirals aren’t able to overtake Chicago for second in the Central.
Rank: 5
Last Week: 8th
Change: Up 3
Record:
39-22-3-3
Last Week:
MIL 6 @ MTB 2
MIL 3 @ MTB 1
GR 3 @ MIL 2
This Week:
@ GR 3/29
vs. TEX 4/1
vs. TEX 4/2

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Lehigh Valley are five back of the Penguins with nine games left for tops in the Atlantic. Another date with the Penguins Saturday in Wilkes-Barre.
Rank: 6
Last Week: 6th
Change: n/a
Record:
43-20-4-0
Last Week:
LV 5 @ STJ 4 (OT)
LV 3 @ STJ 2 (SO)
WBS 4 @ LV 0
BRI 3 @ LV 4 (OT)
This Week:
vs. BRI 3/31
@ WBS 4/1
@ HER 4/2

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Bears chances for overtaking Wilkes-Barre or Lehigh Valley for first in the Atlantic took a blow with about 16 seconds left in the third period Saturday in St. John’s, seeing the IceCaps get a late game winner, but it looks as if the Bears may be a third or fourth seed.
Rank: 7
Last Week: 3rd
Change: Down 4
Record:
38-19-8-3
Last Week:
BNG 1 @ HER 3
HER 3 @ STJ 4
HER 2 @ STJ 1
This Week:
@ HFD 3/31
vs. BRI 4/1
vs. LV 4/2

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Wolves salvage week by snapping Charlotte’s record breaking franchise win streak Sunday. Will probably be the second team in the Central to wrap up a spot in the playoffs this week.
Rank: 8
Last Week: 7th
Change: Down 1
Record:
38-18-7-5
Last Week:
CHI 1 @ CLE 4
CHI 1 @ CLE 2 (SO)
CHI 2 @ CHA 3 (SO)
CHI 3 @ CHA 1
This Week:
@ IA 3/31
vs. CLE 4/1
vs. CHA 4/2

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Bruins may be the most underrated team in the Atlantic Division. They, like the Penguins, sweep the weekend.
Rank: 9
Last Week: 16th
Change: Up 7
Record:
39-19-5-4
Last Week:
PRO 3 @ HFD 1
PRO 5 @ ALB 0
PRO 5 @ HFD 2
This Week:
vs. ALB 3/31
@ SPR 4/1
vs. HFD 4/2

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Marlies won the North last season, didn’t want to have anything to do with it this season but weren’t that bad and finally happenstance occurred and Toronto leads the North with a couple weeks to play.
Rank: 10
Last Week: 17th
Change: Up 7
Record:
37-26-4-1
Last Week:
RCH 0 @ TOR 6
TOR 4 @ BNG 2
SPR 1 @ TOR 4
SYR 0 @ TOR 4
This Week:
@ SYR 3/31
@ SYR 4/1

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Condors separate themselves from fifth place and look more and more like a playoff team. Condors are 7-3 in their last ten and have won four in a row.
Rank: 11
Last Week: 11th
Change: n/a
Record:
30-23-5-1
Last Week:
SD 1 @ BAK 5
BAK 3 @ SD 1
This Week:
vs. MTB 3/28
vs. ONT 3/31
vs. ONT 4/1

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Checkers rattle off seven straight wins before the Sunday setback to Chicago and rocket up the standings to fourth place in the Central.
Rank: 12
Last Week: 15th
Change: Up 3
Record:
33-28-4-0
Last Week:
IA 0 @ CHA 1
IA 2 @ CHA 3
CHI 2 @ CHA 3 (SO)
CHI 3 @ CHA 1
This Week:
@ CLE 3/28
@ CLE 3/30
@ GR 3/31
@ CHI 4/2

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Reign won’t win the Pacific this year, but don’t sleep on a team that won a Calder Cup two years ago and the Pacific Division last season.
Rank: 13
Last Week: 18th
Change: Up 5
Record:
32-18-10-0
Last Week:
SA 2 @ ONT 3
SA 0 @ ONT 2
This Week:
@ BAK 3/31
@ BAK 4/1

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Syracuse is no longer in first in the North, being overtaken by, who else, the Toronto Marlies.
Rank: 14
Last Week: 10th
Change: Down 4
Record:
33-23-6-5
Last Week:
WBS 5 @ SYR 1
UTI 1 @ SYR 5
SYR 0 @ TOR 4
This Week:
@ BNG 3/29
vs. TOR 3/31
vs. TOR 4/1

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IceCaps are a vulnerable four seed. Two this week at home against a terrible Binghamton side.
Rank: 15
Last Week: 14th
Change: Down 1
Record:
32-26-8-2
Last Week:
LV 5 @ STJ 4 (OT)
LV 3 @ STJ 2 (SO)
HER 3 @ STJ 4
HER 2 @ STJ 1
This Week:
vs. BNG 3/31
vs. BNG 4/1

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Monsters are beneficiaries of Iowa’s free fall this week. Two this week at home against Charlotte with huge playoff implications.
Rank: 16
Last Week: 25th
Change: Up 9
Record:
32-27-3-4
Last Week:
CHI 1 @ CLE 4
CHI 1 @ CLE 2 (SO)
IA 1 @ CLE 5
IA 0 @ CLE 4
This Week:
vs. CHA 3/28
vs. CHA 3/30
@ CHI 4/1
@ IA 4/2

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What an epic free fall by Iowa. Last week, solidly in a playoff spot in the Central, then go 0-for-4 against the teams chasing them down for that fourth spot and now sit sixth. How do you recover from this?
Rank: 17
Last Week: 9th
Change: Down 8
Record:
30-28-6-2
Last Week:
IA 0 @ CHA 1
IA 2 @ CHA 3
IA 1 @ CLE 5
IA 0 @ CLE 4
This Week:
vs. RFD 3/28
vs. CHI 3/31
vs. CLE 4/2

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Albany is winless in six games and what was once a matter of, “what if Albany passes Syracuse for first?” has all of a sudden become, “what if Albany misses playoffs entirely?”
Rank: 18
Last Week: 13th
Change: Down 5
Record:
34-28-2-3
Last Week:
BRI 3 @ ALB 1
UTI 2 @ ALB 1 (SO)
PRO 5 @ ALB 0
This Week:
@ PRO 3/31
vs. HFD 4/1
vs. RCH 4/2

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Utica has work to do. St. John’s isn’t playing like a playoff team right now, so maybe the Comets have a chance.
Rank: 19
Last Week: 12th
Change: Down 7
Record:
31-27-7-2
Last Week:
UTI 2 @ ALB 1 (SO)
UTI 1 @ SYR 5
UTI 1 @ WBS 2
This Week:
@ RCH 3/31
vs. RCH 4/1
@ WBS 4/2

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Pardon the pun, but Stockton is keeping the Heat on Bakersfield for that final fourth spot in the Pacific.
Rank: 20
Last Week: 21st
Change: Up 1
Record:
28-25-4-2
Last Week:
STK 5 @ TEX 4
STK 4 @ TEX 5 (SO)
This Week:
@ TEX 3/28
@ SA 3/31
@ SA 4/1

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Sound Tigers lose Jaroslav Halak back up to the Isle, and the results are showing in Bridgeport who sit five points out of a playoff spot in the Atlantic.
Rank: 21
Last Week: 20th
Change: Down 1
Record:
39-24-3-1
Last Week:
BRI 3 @ ALB 1
BRI 3 @ HFD 4
BRI 3 @ LV 4 (OT)
This Week:
@ SPR 3/29
@ LV 3/31
@ HER 4/1

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Commenter last week mentioned that Rochester has basically played undermanned all season. While that may be, this North Division was as wide open as any division and the Americans never were able to capitalize.
Rank: 22
Last Week: 29th
Change: Up 7
Record:
27-37-0-2
Last Week:
RCH 0 @ TOR 6
SPR 3 @ RCH 4 (OT)
RCH 5 @ BNG 4
SPR 0 @ RCH 2
This Week:
vs. UTI 3/31
@ UTI 4/1
@ ALB 4/2

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Roadrunners probably aren’t making playoffs, but it was a good season in Tucson nevertheless. Some more home games to play out the string this week.
Rank: 23
Last Week: 22nd
Change: Down 1
Record:
25-28-7-0
Last Week:
TUC 2 @ SA 4
TUC 3 @ TEX 4 (OT)
SJ 5 @ TUC 2
SJ 4 @ TUC 5 (SO)
This Week:
vs. SA 3/28
vs. SD 3/31
vs. SD 4/1

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Texas needs perfect hockey the rest of the way in order to qualify for playoffs. Against this weeks lineup? Good luck.
Rank: 24
Last Week: 23rd
Change: Down 1
Record:
30-31-1-4
Last Week:
TUC 3 @ TEX 4 (OT)
STK 5 @ TEX 4
STK 4 @ TEX 5 (SO)
This Week:
vs. STK 3/28
@ RFD 3/31
@ MIL 4/1
@ MIL 4/2

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Thunderbirds were eliminated from playoff contention Saturday, not that they ever had a prayer after this disastrous season, but I have to fill a capsule.
Rank: 25
Last Week: 19th
Change: Down 6
Record:
27-29-9-2
Last Week:
SPR 3 @ RCH 4 (OT)
SPR 1 @ TOR 4
SPR 0 @ RCH 2
This Week:
vs. BRI 3/29
vs. WBS 3/31
vs. PRO 4/1

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Hartford upsets Bridgeport’s apple cart by handing the Sound Tigers a loss Saturday. Have company with Binghamton and Springfield with teams who were eliminated from playoff contention.
Rank: 26
Last Week: 30th
Change: Up 4
Record:
22-39-4-2
Last Week:
HFD 2 @ WBS 5
PRO 3 @ HFD 1
BRI 3 @ HFD 4
PRO 5 @ HFD 2
This Week:
vs. HER 3/31
@ ALB 4/1
@ PRO 4/2

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As with Rockford, only a few more weeks I have to dedicate to having something, anything, to say about the San Antonio Rampage.
Rank: 27
Last Week: 24th
Change: Down 3
Record:
25-34-5-2
Last Week:
TUC 2 @ SA 4
SA 2 @ ONT 3
SA 0 @ ONT 2
This Week:
@ TUC 3/28
vs. STK 3/31
vs. STK 4/1

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Well, Binghamton was officially eliminated form playoff contention this weekend. Maybe Belleville gets a better fielded club next season.
Rank: 28
Last Week: 26th
Change: Down 2
Record:
25-38-2-2
Last Week:
BNG 1 @ HER 3
TOR 4 @ BNG 2
RCH 5 @ BNG 4
This Week:
vs. SYR 3/29
@ STJ 3/31
@ STJ 4/1

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Moose remain in a race with the IceHogs on who will finish last in the Central.
Rank: 29
Last Week: 27th
Change: Down 2
Record:
24-34-4-5
Last Week:
MIL 6 @ MTB 2
MIL 3 @ MTB 1
This Week:
@ BAK 3/28
@ SJ 3/31
@ SJ 4/1

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I have less than three weeks left to write something here semi-intelligible about the Rockford IceHogs
Rank: 30
Last Week: 28th
Change: Down 2
Record:
22-33-9-3
Last Week:
RFD 3 @ GR 5
GR 4 @ RFD 0
This Week:
@ IA 3/28
vs. TEX 3/31
vs. GR 4/1

Have a great week, everyone!

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