Chirps from Center Ice

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

AHL Power Rankings: Week 28

Welcome to the final Chirps from Center Ice AHL Power Rankings entry for the 2017-18 season! Thanks for reading this project of mine going on five years here on the blog.

Here’s how we do the final entry of the season in the Power Rankings. The regular season champion is number one, followed by the conference champion that wasn’t the regular season champion. Then, the division winners fill out the top four, usually the hottest team after that fills out the top five. All 16 teams that qualified for the postseason are 1 though 16.

I’ll have to remember or go back and look to see if I did this in prior seasons, but the last place teams in each division finish 26 through 30 in this years iteration.

Toronto is your number one team and the regular season champion. They are followed by the dangerously consistent Western Conference Champion Tucson Roadrunners. Teams like Manitoba, Grand Rapids and Chicago stole the headlines throughout the season, yet the Roadrunners continued to plod through their season and stayed at the top of the Pacific Division and are the best team in the West.

Lehigh Valley and Chicago were the second best teams in their conferences, so they are third and fourth followed by Charlotte, who ended the season on a tear.

Click past the Checkers to see the rest of the order and thanks for reading again this year!


Last Week: TOR 4 @ LAV 1, LAV 4 @ TOR 6, BEL 3 @ TOR 4
Should be interesting to see how easy (or how hard) it is for Toronto to just run through the field of 16 like grass through a goose. The Marlies are your obvious choice to win it all.


Playoffs?: Yes, vs. Utica
Record: 54-18-2-2


Last Week: TUC 4 @ SD 0, SD 2 @ TUC 3, SD 3 @ TUC 6
Tucson is best in the West. Don’t underestimate the Roadrunners at all. They need to be careful, though, with the white hot San Jose Barracuda in a no room for error five game series.


Playoffs?: Yes, vs. San Jose
Record: 42-20-5-1


Last Week: BRI 2 @ LV 5, WBS 1 @ LV 2 (SO)
104 points and an Atlantic Division Championship. Atlantic has four very good teams, so it will be interesting to see if the Phantoms are the last team standing here in a month or so.


Playoffs?: Yes, vs. Providence
Record: 47-19-5-5


Last Week: CHI 4 @ MIL 3 (SO), CHI 6 @ RFD 4, RFD 4 @ CHI 5, MTB 3 @ CHI 1
Should be a fun series for the Wolves with Rockford, who came on strong at the end to edge into the playoffs. Same could be said about the Wolves who came on strong to capture the Central Division Championship.


Playoffs?: Yes, vs. Rockford
Record: 42-23-7-4


Last Week: CHA 5 @ PRO 3, CHA 4 @ BRI 1
Meet the Penguins in Round One. Are probably the hottest team coming into the Calder Cup Playoffs.


Playoffs?: Yes, vs. Wilkes-Barre
Record: 45-26-1-3


Last Week: GR 2 @ TEX 3 (OT), GR 6 @ SA 2, CLE 4 @ GR 6
Defending Calder Cup Champion Griffins hit the playoffs 7-1-1-1 and draw a slumping Manitoba team. Could be the first team to repeat since Hershey in 2009-10.


Playoffs?: Yes, vs. Manitoba
Record: 42-25-2-7


Last Week: WBS 3 @ SPR 2, WBS 1 @ LV 2 (SO), WBS 3 @ HER 2
Dominated the Bears in the seasons series (10-0-1-1) but face a Checkers team that they went 1-3 against in the regular season. Are the Penguins the favorite? No. They may like it that way, though.


Playoffs?: Yes, vs. Charlotte
Record: 44-22-6-3


Last Week: SYR 1 @ RCH 0, SYR 2 @ UTI 1 (OT), RCH 4 @ SYR 2
Crunch get home ice in Round One over Rochester, a team they simply cannot discount. It will be a tough test for the defending Conference Champions.


Playoffs?: Yes, vs. Rochester
Record: 46-22-3-5


Last Week: GR 2 @ TEX 3 (OT), TEX 4 @ SA 2, SA 4 @ TEX 3 (SO)
Stars open with the Ontario Reign in the 2-3 matchup in the Pacific that can go either way.


Playoffs?: Yes, vs. Ontario
Record: 38-24-8-6


Last Week: CHA 5 @ PRO 3, PRO 5 @ SPR 0, SPR 2 @ PRO 4
Bruins draw Lehigh Valley in the first round. So it will just have to travel further south to get to the inevitable postseason matchup with Wilkes-Barre, correct?


Playoffs?: Yes, vs. Lehigh Valley
Record: 45-26-3-2


Last Week: SJ 2 @ BAK 1, BAK 3 @ SJ 4, SJ 2 @ STK 1
Left for dead, 10 points out with 6 games to play, the impossible happens and the Barracuda are in. That is a huge momentum swing that maybe, just maybe, rides San Jose past Tucson in what would undoubtedly be a massive first round upset.


Playoffs?: Yes, vs. Tucson
Record: 34-26-4-4


Last Week: RFD 5 @ IA 3, CHI 6 @ RFD 4, RFD 4 @ CHI 5
Neat little Sunday preview of the Wolves / IceHogs series in Rosemont, who the IceHogs draw in Round One.


Playoffs?: Yes, vs. Chicago
Record: 40-28-4-4


Last Week: SYR 1 @ RCH 0, BEL 4 @ RCH 6, RCH 4 @ SYR 2
Amerks draw the Crunch in Round One. Will be a good test for a Rochester team that plays solid hockey. Rochester finishes seasons last ten games 7-2-1-0.


Playoffs?: Yes, vs. Syracuse
Record: 37-22-11-6


Last Week: SYR 2 @ UTI 1 (OT), UTI 1 @ BEL 3, BNG 3 @ UTI 4 (OT)
Comets draw Category Five hurricane Toronto. Hey, if Providence could knock off the Penguins last year, who won the regular season last year, Utica can do the same, right?


Playoffs?: Yes, vs. Toronto
Record: 38-26-8-4


Last Week: MTB 4 @ CLE 0, MTB 1 @ CLE 3, MTB 3 @ CHI 1
Started strong, but fizzled a bit at the end and that cost the Moose home ice and drew them the defending champions.


Playoffs?: Yes, vs. Grand Rapids
Record: 41-26-4-4


Last Week: ONT 3 @ STK 6, STK 5 @ ONT 2, ONT 1 @ BAK 5
Draw Texas in Round One in what will probably be a close contest every game that goes five games and fifteen overtimes. But the Reign come in cold, on a four game losing streak.


Playoffs?: Yes, vs. Texas
Record: 36-25-4-3


Last Week: BNG 1 @ HFD 2 (OT), HFD 4 @ BNG 2
Hartford finishes with 77 points, 23 points better than last year’s total of 54 points. You want a team to watch next year? Look no further than Hartford.


Playoffs?: No.
Record: 34-33-6-3


Last Week: TUC 4 @ SD 0, SD 2 @ TUC 3, SD 3 @ TUC 6
Massive collapse in San Diego, who needed just one point they needed to earn on their own with the tear that San Jose was on and they failed. Now left to wonder as the offseason begins this week in Gulls territory just what went wrong and why.


Playoffs?: No.
Record: 36-28-3-1


Last Week: BNG 1 @ HFD 2 (OT), HFD 4 @ BNG 2, BNG 3 @ UTI 4 (OT)
Devils end up finishing a respectable fifth place in a top heavy North Division, some 23 points out of fourth.


Playoffs?: No.
Record: 25-38-9-4


Last Week: WBS 3 @ SPR 2, PRO 5 @ SPR 0, SPR 2 @ PRO 4
Thunderbirds will improve in the offseason, one would assume. They couldn’t get past .500 though in this one.


Playoffs?: No.
Record: 32-37-5-2


Last Week: BRI 2 @ LV 5, BRI 1 @ HER 2, CHA 4 @ BRI 1
Weren’t really in it towards the end and when the door officially closed, it all fell apart on the season for the Sound Tigers who again finish fifth in the Atlantic and will miss playoffs.


Playoffs?: No.
Record: 36-31-5-3


Last Week: CHI 4 @ MIL 3 (SO), MIL 0 @ IA 3, IA 4 @ MIL 2
Milwaukee was average in an above average division and they missed playoffs.


Playoffs?: No.
Record: 38-32-4-2


Last Week: RFD 5 @ IA 3, MIL 0 @ IA 3, IA 4 @ MIL 2
Debate will rage on all summer who had the bigger choke, Iowa or San Diego. Probably San Diego, but maybe Iowa.


Playoffs?: No.
Record: 33-27-10-6


Last Week: ONT 3 @ STK 6, STK 5 @ ONT 2, SJ 2 @ STK 1
Heat started out great, flirted with the division lead for a few weeks early on, and faded, like so many this season and many before them.


Playoffs?: No.
Record: 34-28-2-4


Last Week: BEL 4 @ RCH 6, UTI 1 @ BEL 3, BEL 3 @ TOR 4
Growing pain season for Belleville. These types of seasons make or break the next five years of an organizations success in the long run. Should be interesting to see what type of team the Senators field in 2018-19.


Playoffs?: No.
Record: 29-42-2-3


Last Week: SJ 2 @ BAK 1, BAK 3 @ SJ 4, ONT 1 @ BAK 5
Condors never really threatened, and with the parent team doing the same, the trickle down effect was in full force.


Playoffs?: No.
Record: 31-27-9-1


Last Week: GR 6 @ SA 2, TEX 4 @ SA 2, SA 4 @ TEX 3 (SO)
Rampage end what can best be described as a frustrating, disappointing season. Enter full affiliation with the St. Louis Blues in 2018-19.


Playoffs?: No.
Record: 34-31-10-0


Last Week: BRI 1 @ HER 2, WBS 3 @ HER 2
Changing of the guard in Hershey. No longer are there veterans who score and score and teams that buzz through the regular season. Emphasis on development and the Bears need to work on that. A last place finish in the division is not going to sit well with a franchise and a fanbase that expects championships year after year.


Playoffs?: No.
Record: 30-37-4-5


Last Week: MTB 4 @ CLE 0, MTB 1 @ CLE 3, CLE 4 @ GR 6
Cleveland will look for better fortunes next year in the Eastern Conference. Anything better than this years fiasco will be an improvement.


Playoffs?: No.
Record: 25-41-7-3


Last Week: TOR 4 @ LAV 1, LAV 4 @ TOR 6
Laval’s season ends in a massive disappointment considering that they reincarnated from the St. John’s IceCaps, who pushed Conference Champion Syracuse to five games last season.


Playoffs?: No.
Record: 24-42-7-3

Thanks again for reading. Check out all my preview stuff this week coming out on the blog. If you have a team going in the playoffs, good luck. If not, enjoy your summer!

One response to “AHL Power Rankings: Week 28

  1. Scott Carpenter April 17, 2018 at 7:01 am

    – If you enjoy AHL hockey & want to know what is happening around the league, you can’t do much better than CHIRPS FROM CENTER ICE. I don’t know what awards are given for blogs, or, who votes for those awards, but, I’m casting mine right now. Nice work.

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