Chirps from Center Ice

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

AHL Power Rankings: Mid-November 2019

We are halfway through November and just two weeks away from American Thanksgiving and there has been some shake up in the Power Rankings.

Hartford and Springfield were the first teams in the Eastern Conference to ten wins. I don’t think anyone predicted that a month ago. They are winning with goaltending and the ability to win close games in regulation, unlike some teams who play close games but can’t either get that extra goal or that extra point.

Tucson was the first AHL team to ten wins this season and while they are not in the top five this week, they are in the top ten.

Top five go this way this week; Hartford, the leaders in the Atlantic look to widen the gap while other teams in the division figure things out.

Stockton, firing in over four goals a game, are locked in an early battle with Tucson, who they have seen a ton of recently, are second this week.

Laval, the surprise team in the AHL so far, are third and lead the North Division. They are a lot like Hartford that even in defeat they are piling up loser points.

Milwaukee is fourth this week. They are hot in a division which has gone cold.

Discount Toronto, our fifth place team this week, at your peril.

After the Marlies, jump in and see where your favorite team ended up this week if you didn’t link in direct. Enjoy.

1

Last Games: HFD 1 @ LAV 2 (SO), HFD 4 @ BEL 5 (SO), HER 1 @ HFD 2, BEL 4 @ HFD 3 (SO), HFD 2 @ PRO 1
Don’t adjust your computer screens, this is a very good team. Even in losses, they get points.

+2

Next Games: @ PRO 11/15, vs. PRO 11/16, vs. SYR 11/20, @ ROC 11/22, @ SYR 11/23
Record: 10-1-0-4

2

Last Games: SJ 2 @ STK 3 (SO), TUC 4 @ STK 3 (OT), STK 2 @ TUC 3 (SO), STK 6 @ TUC 7, SD 3 @ STK 6
Tops in goals for (an eye popping 4.08) and also in power play have the Heat just running teams over in the Pacific. It’s going to be fun watching them counter punch with Tucson in this battle through the winter.

+3

Next Games: vs. TUC 11/15, vs. SJ 11/16, @ BAK 11/21, @ SD 11/23, @ ONT 11/27
Record: 8-2-1-2

3

Last Games: HFD 1 @ LAV 2 (SO), TOR 5 @ LAV 6 (SO), LAV 2 @ CLE 1, LAV 4 @ CLE 0, BEL 5 @ LAV 4 (OT)
I think it’s safe to call Laval the surprise team in the the North a month and a half into 2019-20. Rocket lead the North with 20 points and even in defeat are getting points.

+13

Next Games: vs. MIL 11/15, vs. BRI 11/16, @ TOR 11/20, vs. UTI 11/22, vs. UTI 11/23, @ BEL 11/27
Record: 9-5-2-0

4

Last Games: IA 1 @ MIL 0, CHI 2 @ MIL 5, MB 4 @ MIL 6, MIL 3 @ SA 1, MIL 4 @ SA 3 (SO), CHI 3 @ MIL 6
Admirals sit atop the Central in the middle of November. Their run of seven wins in their last ten game shot them there. Interesting games ahead for Milwaukee.

+7

Next Games: @ LAV 11/15, @ BEL 11/16, @ IA 11/19, @ GR 11/22, vs. GR 11/23, vs. MB 11/27
Record: 9-3-1-2

5

Last Games: TOR 7 @ BEL 4, TOR 5 @ LAV 6 (SO), TOR 1 @ RFD 3, TOR 1 @ GR 4, TOR 5 @ GR 2
Marlies are setting up fine, just two regulation losses and don’t have to travel at all now till Thanksgiving. Who thought that the Laval Rocket would be keeping pace with Toronto like this?

-3

Next Games: vs. TEX 11/16, vs. TEX 11/17, vs. LAV 11/20, vs. MB 11/23, vs. MB 11/24
Record: 8-2-2-1

6

Last Games: IA 1 @ MIL 0, IA 2 @ RFD 3 (OT), CHI 3 @ IA 0, ONT 3 @ IA 2, ONT 0 @ IA 3
Wild stutter a bit, let the lead shrink in the Central, but still look good. The Central isn’t a pushover.

-2

Next Games: @ CHI 11/16, vs. CHI 11/17, vs. MIL 11/19, vs. BAK 11/23, vs. BAK 11/24, @ TEX 11/26
Record: 8-3-2-1

7

Last Games: HER 1 @ SPR 8, WBS 3 @ SPR 4 (SO), SPR 0 @ BRI 1, SPR 1 @ CHA 2, SPR 4 @ CHA 3 (OT), LV 1 @ SPR 2
Thunderbirds are getting great goaltending and that’s carrying the day at present for Springfield who are emerging as a real contender in the Atlantic.

+11

Next Games: @ WBS 11/15, @ BNG 11/16, vs. WBS 11/22, vs. PRO 11/23, @ BRI 11/24, vs. BRI 11/27
Record: 10-6-0-0

8

Last Games: GR 3 @ MB 5, GR 4 @ MB 7, CLE 5 @ GR 3, TOR 1 @ GR 4, TOR 5 @ GR 2, GR 4 @ CLE 2
Grand Rapids are staying in the mix in the Central for now as they are jockeying with all of the teams they are playing in the next two weeks.

+1

Next Games: vs. RFD 11/15, @ RFD 11/16, vs. SA 11/20, vs. MIL 11/22, @ MIL 11/23, @ CHI 11/27
Record: 7-6-1-1

9

Last Games: TUC 4 @ STK 3 (OT), TUC 5 @ SJ 3, STK 2 @ TUC 3 (SO), STK 6 @ TUC 7
It’s Tucson who are the first AHL club to ten wins this season after a run and gun affair with Stockton. Roadrunners are 8-2 in their last ten and have more dates against divisional foes before Thanksgiving.

+14

Next Games: @ STK 11/15, @ SJ 11/17, @ SJ 11/20, vs. ONT 11/22, vs. ONT 11/23, @ BAK 11/27
Record: 10-3-0-0

10

Last Games: TOR 7 @ BEL 4, HFD 4 @ BEL 5 (SO), BEL 3 @ SYR 4 (OT), BEL 4 @ HFD 3 (SO), BEL 2 @ BRI 1, BEL 5 @ LAV 4 (OT)
Senators are coming together here and playing some really impressive hockey as of late. Unbeaten in regulation in their last five and 6-3-1 in their last ten. They’ve got some stiff competition inbound here before Thanksgiving.

+11

Next Games: vs. BRI 11/15, vs. MIL 11/16, vs. MB 11/20, @ BNG 11/22, @ LV 11/23, vs. LAV 11/27
Record: 7-6-1-0

11

Last Games: BNG 2 @ ROC 4, ROC 6 @ UTI 0, BNG 4 @ ROC 3 (SO), SYR 3 @ ROC 4
Amerks are keeping the pressure on Toronto and Laval, while nosing ahead of Utica, Cleveland and Syracuse here in mid-November.

-3

Next Games: vs. CLE 11/15, @ UTI 11/16, vs. HFD 11/22, @ BNG 11/23
Record: 8-3-1-2

12

Last Games: PRO 2 @ UTI 0, PRO 3 @ HER 5, PRO 4 @ BRI 1, HFD 2 @ PRO 1, BRI 2 @ PRO 0
Boy when the Bruins are on, (2-0 win against Utica) they are on and when they are off (2-0 loss against Bridgeport) they are off. Jay Leach is too good of a coach to have a Jekyll and Hyde team like this.

-5

Next Games: vs. HFD 11/15, @ HFD 11/16, vs. BRI 11/22, @ SPR 11/23, vs. HER 11/24, @ HER 11/27
Record: 8-6-0-2

13

Last Games: WBS 4 @ LV 3 (SO), WBS 3 @ SPR 4 (SO), WBS 2 @ LV 4, WBS 2 @ UTI 1, SYR 0 @ WBS 2, HER 0 @ WBS 1 (SO)
Defense looks like an impenetrable fortress at present for the Penguins who are shutting down high powered offenses in Utica, Syracuse and Hershey in the last three games. Penguins sit third in the Atlantic in mid-November looking to push higher.

+7

Next Games: vs. SPR 11/15, vs. LV 11/16, @ SPR 11/22, vs. CHA 11/23, vs. LV 11/27
Record: 8-5-1-1

14

Last Games: BAK 3 @ ONT 2 (OT), BAK 4 @ ONT 1, ONT 0 @ COL 4, ONT 4 @ COL 0, ONT 3 @ IA 2, ONT 0 @ IA 3
Split trips in Loveland and Des Moines. Big divisional games coming up before Thanksgiving.

-8

Next Games: vs. SD 11/15, @ SD 11/16, @ TUC 11/22, @ TUC 11/23, vs. STK 11/27
Record: 8-4-2-0

15

Last Games: COL 4 @ SD 5, COL 2 @ SD 5, ONT 0 @ COL 4, ONT 4 @ COL 0, COL 5 @ TEX 2, COL 3 @ SA 1
Eagles swept by San Diego, split with Ontario and sweep through Texas. Quiet schedule here before Thanksgiving.

+9

Next Games: vs. BAK 11/15, vs. BAK 11/16, @ SJ 11/22, @ SJ 11/23
Record: 7-6-0-0

16

Last Games: WBS 4 @ LV 3 (SO), LV 3 @ BRI 2, LV 3 @ BRI 4, WBS 2 @ LV 4, HER 2 @ LV 3 (OT), LV 2 @ HER 3 (SO), LV 1 @ SPR 2
It’s up and down for Lehigh Valley, 4-2-0-4 in their last ten while either teams in the division are heating up.

-3

Next Games: @ BNG 11/15, @ WBS 11/16, vs. CHA 11/20, vs. CHA 11/22, vs. BEL 11/23, @ WBS 11/27
Record: 6-3-1-4

17

Last Games: HER 1 @ SPR 8, PRO 3 @ HER 5, SYR 2 @ HER 4, HER 1 @ HFD 2, HER 2 @ LV 3 (OT), LV 2 @ HER 3 (SO), HER 0 @ WBS 1 (SO)
Hershey is a flat 4-3-1-2 in their last ten and sit fifth in the Atlantic. It’s still early, but the Bears are in close games but unable to find that extra push to get them past their opponent at the finish line. Still piling loser points which is better than some.

-2

Next Games: vs. CHA 11/15, vs. CHA 11/16, @ BRI 11/23, @ PRO 11/24, vs. PRO 11/27
Record: 7-5-2-2

18

Last Games: PRO 2 @ UTI 0, ROC 6 @ UTI 0, UTI 2 @ BNG 4, WBS 2 @ UTI 1, UTI 3 @ BNG 2 (OT), SYR 3 @ UTI 1
Comets go cold and are 5-5 in their last ten. Offense, which got Utica out to an undefeated start, completely shuts down and goes away. Divisional games ahead against some really tough opponents ahead for Utica, looking to jumpstart the offense again.

-17

Next Games: @ SYR 11/15, vs. ROC 11/16, vs. BNG 11/20, @ LAV 11/22, @ LAV 11/23, vs. SYR 11/27
Record: 9-5-0-0

19

Last Games: BRI 1 @ SYR 5, BNG 2 @ SYR 3, SYR 2 @ HER 4, BEL 3 @ SYR 4 (OT), SYR 0 @ WBS 2, SYR 3 @ UTI 1, SYR 3 @ ROC 4
It has been a struggle of late for Syracuse. Two games with blood rival Syracuse on the docket these next two weeks as well as a date with the Hartford Wolf Pack who look unbeatable.

-5

Next Games: vs. UTI 11/15, vs. CLE 11/16, @ HFD 11/20, vs. HFD 11/23, @ UTI 11/27
Record: 7-5-2-0

20

Last Games: CHA 1 @ CLE 2 (OT), CHA 1 @ CLE 5, CLE 5 @ GR 3, LAV 2 @ CLE 1, LAV 4 @ CLE 0, GR 4 @ CLE 2
Monsters go cold and when you are in a division with heavies like Toronto and Rochester mixed in with surprises like Belleville and Laval, Cleveland drops.

-8

Next Games: @ ROC 11/15, @ SYR 11/16, vs. CHI 11/21, vs. CHI 11/23, @ CHA 11/26, @ CHA 11/27
Record: 8-6-0-1

21

Last Games: SA 4 @ TEX 2, TEX 2 @ SA 8, MIL 3 @ SA 1, MIL 4 @ SA 3 (SO), COL 3 @ SA 1
After a hot start, Rampage regress to the mean. Power play is clicking at over 25% but San Antonio is kind of average in goals allowed which are costing them the close games they lost this past week. Busy, busy schedule before Thanksgiving in the division.

-11

Next Games: @ MB 11/15, @ MB 11/17, @ CHI 11/19, @ GR 11/20, vs. TEX 11/22, vs, RFD 11/24, vs, RFD 11/26
Record: 6-4-2-2

22

Last Games: CHA 1 @ CLE 2 (OT), CHA 1 @ CLE 5, SPR 1 @ CHA 2, SPR 4 @ CHA 3 (OT)
Checkers are okay for now, but .500 hockey probably isn’t going to compete for a playoff spot this season in this division. But .500 is fine, considering how badly Charlotte was pillaged this offseason.

-5

Next Games: @ HER 11/15, @ HER 11/16, @ LV 11/20, @ LV 11/22, @ WBS 11/23, vs. CLE 11/26. vs. CLE 11/27
Record: 5-5-2-0

23

Last Games: GR 3 @ MB 5, GR 4 @ MB 7, MB 4 @ MIL 6, MB 4 @ RFD 0, MB 3 @ CHI 0, TEX 1 @ MB 4, TEX 1 @ MB 2
Look out but Manitoba have won four straight and are in shouting distance of the top four of the Central.

+6

Next Games: vs. SA 11/15, vs. SA 11/17, @ BEL 11/20, @ TOR 11/23, @ TOR 11/24, @ MIL 11/27
Record: 7-8-0-0

24

Last Games: IA 2 @ RFD 3 (OT), CHI 4 @ RFD 7, TOR 1 @ RFD 3, MB 4 @ RFD 0, RFD 4 @ CHI 1
IceHogs have turned a corner and have improved to over .500. 7-3 in their last ten, getting points from some really good teams is proof that Rockford can hang in the Central Division.

+4

Next Games: @ GR 11/15, vs. GR 11/16, @ TEX 11/23, @ SA 11/24, @ SA 11.26
Record: 7-6-0-0

25

Last Games: COL 4 @ SD 5, COL 2 @ SD 5, SD 5 @ BAK 3, SD 3 @ SJ 1, SD 3 @ STK 6, SJ 3 @ SD 9
When we last saw San Diego here in the Rankings, they were winless in October. Now, two weeks into November, they’ve ripped off five of six wins and are out of the Pacific basement. Hey, progress!

+6

Next Games: @ ONT 11/15, vs. ONT 11/16, vs. STK 11/23, vs. SJ 11/27
Record: 5-7-0-0

26

Last Games: CHI 2 @ MIL 5, CHI 4 @ RFD 7, CHI 3 @ IA 0, MB 3 @ CHI 0, RFD 4 @ CHI 1, CHI 3 @ MIL 6
Wolves are stumbling and in this division you really can’t afford a cold streak like Chicago is on, losing three straight.

-7

Next Games: vs. IA 11/16, @ IA 11/17, vs. SA 11/19, @ CLE 11/21, @ CLE 11/23, vs. GR 11/27
Record: 7-8-1-0

27

Last Games: BNG 2 @ ROC 4, BNG 2 @ SYR 3, UTI 2 @ BNG 4, BNG 4 @ ROC 3 (SO), UTI 3 @ BNG 2 (OT)
Go 2-2-1 against divisional foes here which isn’t really that good. Keeps the Devils within shouting distance. Tough teams coming in before Thanksgiving.

-2

Next Games: vs. LV 11/15, vs. SPR 11/16, @ UTI 11/20, vs. BEL 11/22, vs. ROC 11/23
Record: 5-7-3-0

28

Last Games: BAK 3 @ ONT 2 (OT), BAK 4 @ ONT 1, SD 5 @ BAK 3, SJ 3 @ BAK 6
Condors are .500. Busy two weeks coming up here for Bakersfield against tougher teams.

-5

Next Games: @ COL 11/5, @ COL 11/16, vs. STK 11/21, @ IA 11/23, @ IA 11/24, vs. TUC 11/27
Record: 6-6-1-0

29

Last Games: BRI 1 @ SYR 5, LV 3 @ BRI 2, LV 3 @ BRI 4, SPR 0 @ BRI 1, PRO 4 @ BRI 1, BEL 2 @ BRI 1, BRI 2 @ PRO 0
Sound Tigers are behind the eight ball and the schedule of opponents before Thanksgiving is tough. Got to get at least seven points out of the next two weeks.

n/a

Next Games: @ BEL 11/15, @ LAV 11/16, @ PRO 11/22, vs. HER 11/23, vs. SPR 11/24, @ SPR 11/27
Record: 4-9-2-1

30

Last Games: SJ 2 @ STK 3 (SO), TUC 5 @ SJ 3, SJ 3 @ BAK 6, SD 3 @ SJ 1, SJ 3 @ SD 9
Said last time we did the Rankings that the games against Tucson and Stockton would be early tests. Well, San Jose failed, badly. Bottom of the Pacific and winless in their last five. Schedule doesn’t lighten up either.

-3

Next Games: @ STK 11/16, vs. TUC 11/17, vs. TUC 11/20, vs. COL 11/22, vs. COL 11/23, @ SD 11/27
Record: 4-7-0-1

31

Last Games: SA 4 @ TEX 2, TEX 2 @ SA 8, COL 5 @ TEX 2, TEX 1 @ MB 4, TEX 1 @ MB 2
Nine straight games without a win and the first AHL team to ten losses. Seems like a case of beating themselves almost. The Stars have a franchise worst losing streak they are trying to snap this weekend in Toronto.

-5

Next Games: @ TOR 11/16, @ TOR 11/17, @ SA 11/22, vs. RFD 11/23, vs. IA 11/26
Record: 3-10-0-2

Have a great weekend, everyone!

3 responses to “AHL Power Rankings: Mid-November 2019

  1. Rebecca Hammond November 16, 2019 at 10:49 am

    Nice! It’s good you’re doing bi-monthly. So much change happens in just a couple weeks. I’m largely in agreement with you in #MyOwnPrivatePowerRankings with some differences.

    My top 5 have 3 same, 2 different. I have Hartford at #1 followed by Toronto (fewer games but still top of best division by Pts %), Tucson, Milwaukee, and Rochester.

    I’ve been bigger on Tucson all season so this recent hot streak isn’t surprising. Andy Miele and Aaron Ness (when he‘s back when the Coyotes blueline is healthy) were great FA signing in the off-season and they have the deepest goaltending situation in the AHL with Eric Comrie joining Adin Hill (til the inevitable Raanta or Kuemper injury ofc). Rochester at #5 makes sense as it’s the 2nd best team in the best Division in (AHL) Hockey – they’re also just a really good team top to bottom and, barring injuries in Buffalo, is going to give Toronto a run for their money this season. Last year’s 1st round playoff defeat is still fresh in their minds and they’d like to upset the reigning (playoff) North Division Champs.

    The rest of my Top-10:
    6. Springfield (I begrudgingly couldn’t keep them out of the Top-10 any longer; how they’re here is beyond me but it won’t last, like I’ve said).
    7. Stockton (While they’ve got a fearsome offence, like you’ve noted, I have to disagree in that they’re not the 2nd best team in the AHL – not avg 3.36 goals against (6th worst in the entire League).
    8. Utica (They dropped 7 spots from 1st in my ranking. I’m not about drop them down to 18th however. Whoa there! This is still a solid team, at least up front, and if they can even net half the 7 or 8 goals per game they were scoring at the start of the season they should be fine in the insane North Division).
    9. Iowa (You has them at 6th, but about the same, more or less. Given the 💩 Division they play in, I’m more likely to give an Eastern Conference team (like Springfield or Utica) preferential treatment in a coin flip).
    10. Providence (On almost every list the past couple years I feel like Providence is somewhere between 10 and 15. They’re the Minnesota Wild if the NHL – or at least what the Wild used to be – solid, steady, but uninspiring. That said, if I had to bet on any team making the playoffs at this stage, Providence would be as safe a bet as any, even compared to rivals Springfield or Hartford it seems…safer, LOL?).

    And the rest….
    11. Grand Rapids
    12. Laval (getting there but not Top-10 yet)
    13. Ontario (are they gonna start Cal Peterson for all 76 games this season? Goalie Ironman streaks are back!)
    14. Wilkes-Barre (good to see the Pens back in the thick of things)
    15. Cleveland (inexplicably a +8 despite losing more games than winning; victim of bad luck and a crazy tough Division)
    16. Lehigh Valley
    17. Colorado
    18. San Antonio
    19. Belleville (want to see more – and consistently) before moving them into the top half of the standings; also have I mentioned, the North Division is super tough this year)
    20. Syracuse (perennial contenders in tough in the North but holding on)
    21. Charlotte (see Syracuse, sub “Atlantic” for “North”)
    22. Bakersfield (can’t figure this team out; returned most of last year’s team but forgot how to do the hockey)

    The Also-Rans (I expect to see these teams on the outside of the playoff picture all season)
    23. Manitoba
    24. San Diego
    25. Hershey
    26. Chicago
    27. Rockford
    28. Binghamton
    29. San Jose
    30. Bridgeport
    31. Texas

    • Rebecca Hammond November 16, 2019 at 11:20 am

      In sum, the two rankings are within 2 spots for 17 of the 31 teams which is pretty reassuring. See folks, there is Science involved 🔮. Only half of the 14 remaining were by 6 or more spots. I think I articulated the reasons for most of them above but here are those 7, listed from greatest to least difference.

      1. Utica (18th vs 8th) – Covered above…

      2. Laval (3rd vs 12th) – While they’ve been playing well, and beating some good teams, it’s mostly been timely (shootout) goals. They only have 5 Regulation/Overtime of their 9 wins. I can’t reward a team for success in a skills competition and, moreover, the lack of ROWs could come back to bite them in a fight for their first playoff spot in the tough North Division.

      3. Belleville (10th vs 19th) – Wow, make it 3 North Division teams. I suppose if you look at the end of last season (and how they finished strong), there’s a longer track record. This team’s been flirting with success for awhile but I haven’t seen them seize it yet. Give them another solid couple weeks and I’d reconsider.

      4. Hershey (17th vs 25th) – Not sure how you can rank them 17th. In theory they should be better in net but they only rank 12th in goals against. It’s not enough to offset the 3rd worst offence in the entire league, an offence bereft of scorers and talent when you break it down. Will be an ugly year in chocolatetown.

      5. Tucson (9th vs 3rd) – I detailed music case for Tucson above, but I think you’re underrating them. They were a good team that collapsed at the end last season and they made some significant and tactical off-season additions.

      6. Rochester (11th vs 5th) – A 4th North Division team! I think when you look at the Divisional competition, they’ve performed better than the rest of the Top-10, simply put.

      7. Bakersfield (28th vs 22nd) – I am convinced that they’ll find their way. Benson, Jones, Starrett, and company are all back for an encore performance and so, unlike the 9 teams below them, I think this team won’t be on the outside looking in, come the Spring.

      Other than that – I pretty much (mostly) totes agree 100%! 🙏 I apologize if you’ve mentioned this before, but do you an AHL team where you live? Are you a fan of one in particular?