Chirps from Center Ice

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

AHL Power Rankings: Week 26

The final week of the AHL regular season is upon us and things are still in doubt for a handful of teams. There are teams that have clinched divisions and conferences in Wilkes-Barre and San Jose, and teams that are pushing to make the playoffs in the top five this week in Charlotte and Cleveland. There are teams that are elevating up and down in Hershey and Bridgeport and teams that had promising runs this season and have come or will come up short in Des Moines and Utica.

It’s down to the Penguins or Barracuda for the Kilpatrick Trophy in the one race we here in Wilkes-Barre will be watching this final week of the regular season. These two teams are one and two in this weeks AHL Power Rankings.

To see the rest of the teams that fill out this weeks edition, click through the jump if you didn’t link in direct.

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San Jose wrapped up the Western Conference Sunday and now the race is with Wilkes-Barre on who gets the Kilpatrick trophy for regular season champion.
Rank: 1
Last Week: 1st
Change: n/a
Record:
43-15-2-5
Last Week:
ONT 1 @ SJ 5
SJ 2 @ STK 5
STK 1 @ SJ 2 (OT)
This Week:
vs. TUC 4/11
vs. TUC 4/13
@ BAK 4/15

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First to 50 wins and the fifth team in AHL history since they played 76 games to do so. There may not be a team that has been more consistent than the one in Wilkes-Barre.
Rank: 2
Last Week: 2nd
Change: n/a
Record:
50-19-3-1
Last Week:
WBS 3 @ LV 0
WBS 2 @ HFD 1
WBS 2 @ PRO 1
This Week:
vs. LV 4/12
vs. HER 4/14
vs. BRI 4/15

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Marlies may do the unthinkable, considering where this team was 10 weeks ago, and actually win the North Division this week.
Rank: 3
Last Week: 6th
Change: Up 3
Record:
41-28-4-1
Last Week:
STJ 2 @ TOR 5
TOR 1 @ UTI 3
HER 2 @ TOR 1
RCH 3 @ TOR 4
This Week:
@ STJ 4/14
@ STJ 4/15

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Cleveland is closing out the season like a monster. 11 wins in last 13 games. You may not want Cleveland in the playoffs if you win the Central Division.
Rank: 4
Last Week: 8th
Change: Up 4
Record:
38-28-4-4
Last Week:
CLE 1 @ IA 2 (OT)
CLE 1 @ MIL 0
CLE 4 @ GR 0
GR 3 @ CLE 4 (SO)
This Week:
vs. MTB 4/13
vs. MTB 4/14

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Checkers sweep all four games this week and are 7-2-1-0 in their last ten games. Watch out for Charlotte if they make it in as the four seed.
Rank: 5
Last Week: 9th
Change: Up 4
Record:
39-29-5-0
Last Week:
SA 1 @ CHA 3
SA 2 @ CHA 5
TEX 3 @ CHA 9
TEX 1 @ CHA 3
This Week:
@ GR 4/12
@ GR 4/14
@ CHI 4/15

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The Wolves have consistently been the best team in the Central Division for months and the results show them at the top of the division in the final week of the season.
Rank: 6
Last Week: 10th
Change: Up 4
Record:
42-19-7-5
Last Week:
IA 3 @ CHI 4 (OT)
RFD 1 @ CHI 3
This Week:
@ IA 4/13
@ IA 4/14
vs. CHA 4/15

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Central race for the top spot is coming down to the wire and Milwaukee is right in the mix. Two this week with lowly Rockford should help their chances.
Rank: 7
Last Week: 4th
Change: Down 3
Record:
41-25-4-3
Last Week:
CLE 1 @ MIL 0
RFD 4 @ MIL 2
MIL 2 @ IA 3 (OT)
This Week:
@ RFD 4/12
vs. RFD 4/14
vs. GR 4/15

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Grand Rapids was passed by Chicago for tops in the Central. Looking more and more like the Griffins will host the Milwaukee Admirals in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs.
Rank: 8
Last Week: 5th
Change: Down 3
Record:
44-23-1-5
Last Week:
GR 1 @ MTB 3
GR 2 @ MTB 1 (OT)
CLE 4 @ GR 0
GR 3 @ CLE 4 (SO)
This Week:
vs. CHA 4/12
vs. CHA 4/14
@ MIL 4/15

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Crunch clinch a playoff spot this week and will get an injection of talent from Tampa Bay this week.
Rank: 9
Last Week: 13th
Change: Up 4
Record:
35-24-7-7
Last Week:
SYR 0 @ ALB 3
SYR 3 @ BNG 4 (OT)
ALB 2 @ SYR 3
This Week:
@ UTI 4/12
vs. BNG 4/14
vs. UTI 4/15

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Bears sweep the week to roar back into the four spot in the Atlantic.
Rank: 10
Last Week: 21st
Change: Up 11
Record:
41-22-8-3
Last Week:
HER 3 @ LV 2 (OT)
HER 3 @ RCH 2
HER 2 @ TOR 1
This Week:
@ WBS 4/14
vs. PRO 4/15

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Not the best week way to go out of the regular season if you are San Diego. Three losses this week.
Rank: 11
Last Week: 3rd
Change: Down 8
Record:
40-20-3-2
Last Week:
SD 3 @ STK 5
ONT 4 @ SD 0
SD 1 @ ONT 3
This Week:
vs. BAK 4/12
@ ONT 4/14
vs. ONT 4/15

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Bruins really pushed hard against Bridgeport in their two games this weekend but looked out of gas Sunday afternoon at home against the Penguins.
Rank: 12
Last Week: 7th
Change: Down 4
Record:
43-21-5-4
Last Week:
BRI 1 @ PRO 2
PRO 3 @ BRI 0
WBS 2 @ PRO 1
This Week:
@ SPR 4/12
@ LV 4/14
@ HER 4/15

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Phantoms have to wait till the final week to clinch a playoff spot.
Rank: 13
Last Week: 12th
Change: Down 1
Record:
45-23-5-0
Last Week:
HER 3 @ LV 2 (OT)
WBS 3 @ LV 0
SPR 2 @ LV 4
This Week:
@ WBS 4/12
vs. PRO 4/14
@ BNG 4/15

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How big is that loser point the Heat took home Sunday afternoon from San Jose?
Rank: 14
Last Week: 15th
Change: Up 1
Record:
33-25-5-2
Last Week:
SD 3 @ STK 5
SJ 2 @ STK 5
STK 1 @ SJ 2 (OT)
This Week:
vs. ONT 4/12
vs. BAK 4/14
vs. TUC 4/15

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Ontario punches a playoff ticket this week. Looking like it may be against the San Diego Gulls.
Rank: 15
Last Week: 17th
Change: Up 2
Record:
35-20-10-0
Last Week:
ONT 1 @ SJ 5
ONT 4 @ SD 0
SD 1 @ ONT 3
This Week:
@ STK 4/12
vs. SD 4/14
@ SD 4/15

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Devils should be the next team in the North to clinch up playoff spot in the final week of the regular season.
Rank: 16
Last Week: 19th
Change: Up 3
Record:
37-31-2-3
Last Week:
SYR 0 @ ALB 3
STJ 3 @ ALB 4
ALB 2 @ SYR 3
This Week:
vs. HFD 4/12
@ RCH 4/14
vs. RCH 4/15

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IceCaps use a big week and look like the most secure fourth place team in any division as we head into the final week of the season.
Rank: 17
Last Week: 20th
Change: Up 3
Record:
35-29-8-2
Last Week:
STJ 2 @ TOR 5
STJ 3 @ ALB 4
STJ 5 @ BNG 0
STJ 1 @ UTI 0
This Week:
vs. TOR 4/14
vs. TOR 4/15

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Sound Tigers swept by Providence and now are the ones outside looking in on the final week of the season. They need help to get in.
Rank: 18
Last Week: 11th
Change: Down 8
Record:
44-26-3-1
Last Week:
SPR 1 @ BRI 2
BRI 1 @ PRO 2
PRO 3 @ BRI 0
HFD 2 @ BRI 3
This Week:
@ SPR 4/14
@ WBS 4/15

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Amerks finishing the season strong, winners of 7 of their last 9 and upsetting some potential playoff bound teams apple carts.
Rank: 19
Last Week: 23nd
Change: Up 4
Record:
31-40-0-2
Last Week:
BNG 2 @ RCH 5
HER 3 @ RCH 2
UTI 0 @ RCH 5
RCH 3 @ TOR 4
This Week:
vs. BNG 4/12
vs. ALB 4/14
@ ALB 4/15

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Iowa gets points in all four games this week but it’s too little, too late. The Wild were eliminated Sunday.
Rank: 20
Last Week: 24th
Change: Up 4
Record:
34-30-7-2
Last Week:
CLE 1 @ IA 2 (OT)
RFD 1 @ IA 3
IA 3 @ CHI 4 (OT)
MIL 2 @ IA 3 (OT)
This Week:
vs. CHI 4/13
vs. CHI 4/14
@ RFD 4/15

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Condors are looking to make one final push into the Pacific Division playoffs.
Rank: 21
Last Week: 16th
Change: Down 5
Record:
32-27-5-1
Last Week:
BAK 3 @ TEX 4
BAK 3 @ SA 4
BAK 5 @ SA 2
This Week:
@ SD 4/12
@ STK 4/14
vs. SJ 4/15

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Springfield closes out the regular season, a success at the box office, with three games at home before the end of the regular season.
Rank: 22
Last Week: 14th
Change: Down 8
Record:
29-33-9-2
Last Week:
SPR 1 @ BRI 2
SPR 3 @ HFD 4
SPR 2 @ LV 4
This Week:
vs. PRO 4/12
vs. BRI 4/14
vs. PRO 4/15

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Binghamton beats Syracuse in overtime Friday in a crushing loss at the time for the Crunch. Close out the season under the banner of the Ottawa organization this week.
Rank: 23
Last Week: 28th
Change: Up 5
Record:
27-42-2-2
Last Week:
BNG 2 @ RCH 5
SYR 3 @ BNG 4 (OT)
STJ 5 @ BNG 0
This Week:
@ RCH 4/12
@ SYR 4/14
vs. LV 4/15

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Utica needs a ton of help this week if they want to punch a postseason ticket.
Rank: 24
Last Week: 18th
Change: Down 6
Record:
34-30-7-2
Last Week:
TOR 1 @ UTI 3
UTI 0 @ RCH 5
STJ 1 @ UTI 0
This Week:
vs. SYR 4/12
vs. HFD 4/14
@ SYR 4/15

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Moose will be looking to play upset to the Monsters this week on the road in Cleveland.
Rank: 25
Last Week: 30th
Change: Up 5
Record:
28-36-5-5
Last Week:
GR 1 @ MTB 3
GR 2 @ MTB 1 (OT)
TUC 4 @ MTB 5 (OT)
TUC 3 @ MTB 4
This Week:
@ CLE 4/13
@ CLE 4/14

14tex_500

Bottom just fell out of the season for Tucson. It does for all teams in the AHL, some recover. Others, like Tucson, don’t.
Rank: 26
Last Week: 25th
Change: Down 1
Record:
26-31-8-0
Last Week:
TUC 4 @ MTB 5 (OT)
TUC 3 @ MTB 4
This Week:
@ SJ 4/11
@ SJ 4/13
@ STK 4/15

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Hartford will be happy that they don’t have to face Wilkes-Barre anymore. They were swept in all eight games against the Penguins this season and the aggregate was not pretty.
Rank: 27
Last Week: 22nd
Change: Down 5
Record:
24-43-4-2
Last Week:
SPR 3 @ HFD 4
WBS 2 @ HFD 1
HFD 2 @ BRI 3
This Week:
@ ALB 4/12
@ UTI 4/14
@ SPR 4/15

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What a way to go out this week for the Stars.
Rank: 28
Last Week: 26th
Change: Down 2
Record:
32-36-1-4
Last Week:
BAK 3 @ TEX 4
TEX 3 @ CHA 9
TEX 1 @ CHA 3
This Week:
vs. SA 4/12
@ SA 4/14
vs. SA 4/15

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Rampage finish out with the Texas Stars this week. Misery loves company!
Rank: 29
Last Week: 27th
Change: Down 2
Record:
26-40-5-2
Last Week:
SA 1 @ CHA 3
SA 2 @ CHA 5
BAK 3 @ SA 4
BAK 5 @ SA 2
This Week:
@ TEX 4/12
vs. TEX 4/14
@ TEX 4/15

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One more week of having to write anything about the Rockford IceHogs.
Rank: 30
Last Week: 29th
Change: Down 1
Record:
25-36-9-3
Last Week:
RFD 1 @ IA 3
RFD 4 @ MIL 2
RFD 1 @ CHI 3
This Week:
vs. MIL 4/12
@ MIL 4/14
vs. IA 4/15

Have a great week everyone!

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