Chirps from Center Ice

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

AHL Power Rankings: End of January 2020

So we are at the All-Star break scheduled for this weekend in Ontario, California. You’d be surprised how many people confuse the Ontario Reign and think they are located in Canada, when they are really located in Southern California.

Anyway, there hasn’t been any change to the top team this week as the Milwaukee Admirals are making it look easy. They are a win away from thirty, and still haven’t lost ten. Odds on favorite for a Calder Cup? That’s for you to decide.

Belleville has finally gotten the love from the Politburo they deserve and are the number two team. Did we get a Calder Cup preview when the Senators visited the Admirals this past Tuesday?

Tucson has hit a rough stretch by their high standards and because we don’t do ties here, Hartford and Hershey round out the top five but are at this point two identical teams which lead their division.

Click through if you didn’t link in direct to see where your favorite team ended up this week.

1

Last Games: RFD 0 @ MIL 2, RFD 1 @ MIL 2 (OT), MIL 4 @ RFD 1, CHI 2 @ MIL 3 (SO), MIL 1 @ CHI 4, BEL 1 @ MIL 2
The runaway favorite for the Calder Cup? Can we make this distinction in January? It worked last year with Charlotte, history could repeat itself again.

n/a

Next Games: vs. RFD 1/24, @ RFD 1/25, @ CHI 1/31, @ RFD 2/1, @ GR 2/5
Record: 29-8-4-2

2

Last Games: BEL 5 @ ROC 1, BEL 4 @ UTI 0, BEL 5 @ MB 3, BEL 2 @ MB 3 (OT), BEL 4 @ GR 3 (SO), BEL 3 @ RFD 0, BEL 1 @ MIL 2
This Belleville Senators team is criminally underrated and shouldn’t be. They are a loaded, dangerous team loaded with a hell of a coach. It’s going to be fun to watch them battle with Utica, who they see twice before the All-Star break, for the division lead.

+11

Next Games: @ UTI 1/24, vs. UTI 1/25, @ LAV 1/31, @ LAV 2/1, @ TOR 2/4
Record: 25-14-3-1

3

Last Games: TUC 1 @ COL 5, TUC 4 @ COL 2, TUC 1 @ SD 4, TUC 2 @ ONT 1 (OT), TUC 3 @ SD 1
Some hiccups here, but in a division where you play 68 games those are highlighted more. Make no mistake this Tucson team is still very good.

-1

Next Games: vs. BAK 1/24, vs. BAK 1/25, vs. COL 1/31, vs. COL 2/1, @ BAK 2/5
Record: 28-9-1-0

4

Last Games: CHA 3 @ HFD 6, HFD 0 @ WBS 3, HFD 5 @ UTI 6 (OT), HFD 3 @ UTI 6, HFD 4 @ HER 5 (OT)
Wolf Pack remain at the top of the Atlantic for now and they keep piling points up. It hasn’t been all that bad for Hartford.

-1

Next Games: vs. BRI 1/24, vs. LV 1/25, vs. SPR 1/31, @ SPR 2/1, vs. SPR 2/5
Record: 23-10-4-5

5

Last Games: HER 2 @ WBS 1 (SO), CLE 2 @ HER 4, HER 1 @ CHA 4, HER 4 @ CHA 5, HFD 4 @ HER 5 (OT), ROC 1 @ HER 4, HER 2 @ SPR 5
Bears seem to have cooled from their run from a few weeks ago, just 6-4 in the last ten. Rematch in Springfield Friday then head to Providence before the break. Are tied with Hartford for division lead but could have company in the form of either Charlotte or Providence quick.

n/a

Next Games: @ SPR 1/24, @ PRO 1/25, @ BRI 1/31, vs. LV 2/1
Record: 25-14-2-3

6

Last Games: STK 2 @ SJ 0, STK 2 @ SJ 1, SD 4 @ STK 1, STK 1 @ ONT 5, COL 4 @ STK 3, COL 0 @ STK 5
Heat keep firing, Tucson is in a bit of a stumble. Stockton remained primed to take over the lead in the Pacific Division any day now.

n/a

Next Games: vs. ONT 1/24, vs. BAK 2/1
Record: 24-10-2-3

7

Last Games: LV 2 @ UTI 5, BEL 4 @ UTI 0, HFD 5 @ UTI 6 (OT), HFD 3 @ UTI 6, CLE 2 @ UTI 6, UTI 2 @ SYR 4, BNG 5 @ UTI 3
Home and home with Belleville for first in the North before the break this weekend.

n/a

Next Games: vs. BEL 1/24, @ BEL 1/25, @ CLE 1/31, @ CLE 2/1, @ LAV 2/5
Record: 25-15-2-2

8

Last Games: CHA 3 @ HFD 6, CHA 5 @ BRI 2, HER 1 @ CHA 4, HER 4 @ CHA 5, TOR 3 @ CHA 4 (SO), TOR 3 @ CHA 7
Five game win streak and have won nine of their last ten games. Hartford and Hershey may just be keeping the seat warm for these familiar faces.

+1

Next Games: vs. WBS 1/24, vs. WBS 1/25, @ TOR 1/31, @ TOR 2/1
Record: 24-14-3-0

9

Last Games: IA 3 @ SD 4 (OT), IA 2 @ BAK 5, IA 5 @ BAK 2, SJ 3 @ IA 1, SJ 3 @ IA 4 (OT), TEX 2 @ IA 4, IA 3 @ GR 4 (SO)
Iowa remain a solid second place team. Home for the next two weeks with some good divisional opponents stopping by.

-1

Next Games: vs. MB 1/24, vs. MB 1/25, vs. GR 1/31, vs. SA 2/5
Record: 24-14-3-3

10

Last Games: CLE 2 @ BNG 5, SYR 5 @ BNG 56 (SO), CLE 2 @ BNG 5, BNG 1 @ LV 4, SYR 6 @ BNG 5, BNG 5 @ UTI 3
Eight game win streak ended Friday in Allentown but the Devils are still 8-2 in their last ten, one of the hottest teams in the North, and have some more winnable games in the immediate future to continue their long climb out of obscurity to relevance as we march towards Spring.

+11

Next Games: @ SYR 1/24, vs. LAV 1/25, vs. PRO 1/31, vs. ROC 2/1, @ WBS 2/5
Record: 18-19-4-0

11

Last Games: LAV 7 @ SYR 5, LAV 0 @ LV 2, LAV 4 @ BRI 6, LAV 3 @ MB 0, LAV 1 @ MB 5, SYR 2 @ LAV 3 (OT)
Rocket are 7-3 in their last ten and the only team hotter than they are the Binghamton Devils. Rochester and Binghamton before the break make for good tests.

+1

Next Games: @ ROC 1/24, @ BNG 1/25, vs. BEL 1/31, vs. BEL 2/1, vs. UTI 2/5
Record: 22-17-3-1

12

Last Games: BAK 5 @ ONT 3, ONT 1 @ SD 6, STK 1 @ ONT 5, TUC 2 @ ONT 1 (OT), BAK 0 @ ONT 3
Reign get 5 of 6 points at home to get back to .500 and now get to host the All-Star festivities this weekend.

+6

Next Games: @ STK 1/24, @ SJ 1/25, @ BAK 1/31, @ SD 2/1
Record: 18-18-4-1

13

Last Games: BEL 5 @ ROC 1, ROC 4 @ SYR 5, CLE 4 @ ROC 3 (SO), ROC @ LV 4, ROC 1 @ HER 4, ROC 3 @ CLE 2 (OT)
Amerks are 2-6-2 in their last ten and with the runs Belleville and Utica are on right now are slipping out of the front runner talk in the division. Winnable games ahead.

-9

Next Games: vs. LAV 1/24, @ SYR 1/25, vs. SYR 1/31, @ BNG 2/1, @ CLE 2/5
Record: 22-13-2-4

14

Last Games: BRI 0 @ SPR 4, PRO 5 @ SPR 2, SPR 3 @ PRO 5, SPR 4 @ SYR 1, SPR 6 @ PRO 5 (OT), HER 2 @ SPR 5
Thunderbirds are a tenacious bunch, as evidenced Sunday in Providence where they score two with :40 to play to force overtime and win over the Bruins. A point out of fourth as we head into the break. Three straight with Hartford after the break will make for a decent measuring stick.

n/a

Next Games: vs. HER 1/24, vs. BRI 1/25, @ HFD 1/31, vs. HFD 2/1, @ HFD 2/5
Record: 24-18-2-0

15

Last Games: TOR 0 @ TEX 1*, TOR 3 @ TEX 5, WBS 2 @ TEX 5, WBS 3 @ TEX (SO), TEX 2 @ IA 4, TEX 1 @ RFD 0
Hottest team in the Central right now is Texas, 8-2 in their last ten. That asterisk represents a Toronto forfeit.

+9

Next Games: vs. CHI 1/24, vs. CHI 1/25, @ SA 1/31, @ RFD 2/4
Record: 19-18-2-2

16

Last Games: CHI 5 @ SA 2, CHI 4 @ SA 2, CHI 2 @ MIL 3 (SO), MIL 1 @ CHI 4, RFD 2 @ CHI 0
Decent run for Chicago here who are a solid third in the Central, for now. Travel to Texas for a tough series with the Stars before the All-Star break.

-5

Next Games: @ TEX 1/24, @ TEX 1/25, vs. MIL 1/31, vs. MB 2/1
Record: 20-18-3-2

17

Last Games: LV 2 @ UTI 5, LAV 0 @ LV 2, CLE 0 @ LV 2, SYR 4 @ LV 5, BNG 1 @ LV 4, ROC 0 @ LV 4, LV 2 @ PRO 3 (SO)
Lehigh Valley have points in six straight and that has them right back in the mix in the Atlantic. Four road games coming up makes for a light two weeks for the Phantoms.

+13

Next Games: @ PRO 1/24, @ HFD 1/25, @ WBS 1/31, @ HER 2/1
Record: 18-19-1-5

18

Last Games: MB 0 @ GR 1, MB 2 @ GR 6, RFD 2 @ GR 1 (SO), RFD 1 @ GR 4, BEL 4 @ GR 3 (SO), IA 3 @ GR 4 (SO)
Unbeaten in regulation in seven straight, the Griffins are finding their groove and have picked themselves up from last and are a playoff team right before the break.

+13

Next Games: vs. SD 1/24, vs. SD 1/25, @ IA 1/31, @ MIL 2/5
Record: 19-19-2-4

19

Last Games: HER 2 @ WBS 1 (SO), HFD 0 @ WBS 3, WBS 2 @ TEX 5, WBS 3 @ TEX 4 (SO), WBS 4 @ SA 3 (SO), WBS 3 @ SA 2 (OT)
Penguins are getting points out of their games. They are primed to make up ground on the top four this weekend in Charlotte.

+7

Next Games: @ CHA 1/24, @ CHA 1/25, vs. LV 1/31, vs. BRI 2/1, vs. BNG 2/5
Record: 20-16-3-4

20

Last Games: IA 3 @ SD 4 (OT), ONT 1 @ SD 6, SD 4 @ STK 1, TUC 1 @ SD 4, SD 4 @ BAK 3, TUC 3 @ SD 1
Five game win streak ends Tuesday at home against a very tough Tucson team. Gulls head East to take on Grand Rapids before the break.

+9

Next Games: @ GR 1/24, @ GR 1/25, vs. SJ 1/31, vs. ONT 2/1, @ SJ 2/5
Record: 17-16-2-2

21

Last Games: CHI 5 @ SA 2, CHI 4 @ SA 2, TOR 6 @ SA 1, TOR 3 @ SA 4, WBS 4 @ SA 3 (SO), WBS 3 @ SA 2 (OT)
We disagree with the thought process that the Rampage are out of it on the sheer fact that no team is really out in this league. Rampage sit three points out of a playoff spot.

-4

Next Games: @ COL 1/24, @ COL 1/25, vs. TEX 1/31, @ IA 2/5
Record: 14-17-6-5

22

Last Games: TUC 1 @ COL 5, TUC 4 @ COL 2, COL 2 @ SJ 7, COL 6 @ BAK 2, COL 4 @ STK 3, COL 0 @ STK 5
Eagles played a fun series in Stockton, but just went 2-2 in California including a clunker against last place San Jose.

-12

Next Games: vs. SA 1/24, vs. SA 1/25, @ TUC 1/31, @ TUC 2/1
Record: 21-13-3-1

23

Last Games: PRO 5 @ SPR 2, SPR 3 @ PRO 5, BRI 2 @ PRO 1, PRO 3 @ BRI 1, SPR 6 @ PRO 5 (OT), LV 2 @ PRO 3 (SO)
Nice rebound by Providence Wednesday at home in overtime after Springfield ran roughshod on the Bruins Sunday and scored two to force OT where the Thunderbirds won. Providence seems OK for now, but they are plodding on.

-1

Next Games: vs. LV 1/24, vs. HER 1/25, @ BNG 1/31, @ SYR 2/1
Record: 24-16-2-2

24

Last Games: BAK 5 @ ONT 3, IA 2 @ BAK 5, IA 5 @ BAK 2, COL 6 @ BAK 2, SD 4 @ BAK 3, BAK 0 @ ONT 3, SJ 0 @ BAK 5
I guess the theme here for Bakersfield here in the short term is if you score three or more goals, you’ll win. Anything less and you’ll lose.

+1

Next Games: @ TUC 1/24, @ TUC 1/25, vs. ONT 1/31, @ STK 2/1, vs. TUC 2/5
Record: 17-18-4-1

25

Last Games: MB 0 @ GR 1, MB 2 @ GR 6, BEL 5 @ MB 3, BEL 2 @ MB 3 (OT), LAV 3 @ MB 0, LAV 1 @ MB 5
Moose are slipping, losing to teams that are divisional foes and splitting with North Division visitors. In a division as tight as the Central, that’s not going to cut it.

-2

Next Games: @ IA 1/24, @ IA 1/25, @ RFD 1/31, @ CHI 2/1
Record: 20-24-0-0

26

Last Games: RFD 0 @ MIL 2, RFD 1 @ MIL 2 (OT), MIL 4 @ RFD 1, RFD 2 @ GR 1 (SO), RFD 1 @ GR 4, RFD 2 @ CHI 0, BEL 3 @ RFD 0, TEX 1 @ RFD 0
IceHogs hit a bit of a dry spell, play a home and home with Milwaukee before the break, need to maximize points or else they will be in last in the Central cause things are that tight right now.

-11

Next Games: @ MIL 1/24, vs. MIL 1/25, vs. MB 1/31, vs. MIL 2/1, vs. TEX 2/4
Record: 20-21-1-1

27

Last Games: TOR 0 @ TEX 1*, TOR 3 @ TEX 5, TOR 6 @ SA 1, TOR 3 @ SA 4, TOR 3 @ CHA 4 (SO), TOR 3 @ CHA 7
Marlies are in a free fall, 2-7-0-1 in their last ten. That asterisk there in their first game against against Texas represents a forfeit.

-8

Next Games: @ CLE 1/24, @ CLE 1/25, vs. CHA 1/31, vs. CHA 2/1, vs. BEL 2/4
Record: 21-16-2-2

28

Last Games: LAV 7 @ SYR 5, ROC 4 @ SYR 5, SYR 5 @ BNG 6 (SO), SYR 4 @ LV 5, SPR 4 @ SYR 1, SYR 6 @ BNG 5, UTI 2 @ SYR 4, SYR 2 @ LAV 3 (OT)
Crunch are a blah 4-4-1-1 in their last ten. They’ve had an eventful two weeks against mainly divisional teams.

-8

Next Games: vs. BNG 1/24, vs. ROC 1/25, @ ROC 1/31, vs. PRO 2/1, @ BRI 2/5
Record: 20-18-3-2

29

Last Games: BRI 0 @ SPR 4, CHA 5 @ BRI 2, LAV 4 @ BRI 6, BRI 2 @ PRO 1, PRO 3 @ BRI 1
Lowest scoring team in the AHL is the Sound Tigers and they are rightly in last place in the Atlantic Division at the All Star Break. Always time to turn it around, but things haven’t been fair in Bridgeport this season.

-1

Next Games: @ HFD 1/24, @ SPR 1/25, vs. HER 1/31, @ WBS 2/1, vs. SYR 2/5
Record: 15-23-4-1

30

Last Games: CLE 2 @ BNG 5, CLE 2 @ HER 4, CLE 0 @ LV 2, CLE 2 @ BNG 5, CLE 4 @ ROC 3 (SO), CLE 2 @ UTI 6, ROC 3 @ CLE 2 (OT)
Monsters find themselves in last in the North here as we approach the break. Look at who they have played; a hot Binghamton team, a Hershey team on a run, a streaking Lehigh Valley club and that hot Binghamton team and two against Rochester and a trip to Utica in there. Not exactly cupcakes.

-14

Next Games: vs. TOR 1/24, vs. TOR 1/25, vs. UTI 1/31, vs. UTI 2/1, vs. ROC 2/5
Record: 18-20-2-2

31

Last Games: STK 2 @ SJ 0, STK 2 @ SJ 1, COL 2 @ SJ 7, SJ 3 @ IA 1, SJ 3 @ IA 4 (OT), SJ 0 @ BAK 5
Swept by Stockton, split with Iowa. Still in last place and one of the league’s worst teams.

-4

Next Games: vs. ONT 1/25, @ SD 1/31, vs. SD 2/5
Record: 14-21-1-2

Have a nice weekend, everyone!

One response to “AHL Power Rankings: End of January 2020

  1. Rebecca Hammond January 28, 2020 at 11:51 pm

    Nice recap. It’s going to be interesting going into the home stretch of the season and see what teams that should be better are able to right their ships (Syracuse, Bakersfield, and especially Toronto come to mind) and what surprise teams may fall off the pace (hello Hartford, Utica, and Springfield). Cases could be made for several other teams.

    Comparing your rankings to mine, we had a lot of similarity thru the Top-9 (although I have each of Stockton (1st in Goals For (GF) and up to 12th now in Goals Allowed (GA) plus top 3 in both special teams) and Charlotte (7th in both GF and GA and also top 3 in special teams) 3 places above where you have them in your rankings, at #3 and #5 respectively). It’s after that when things started to get wonky. We’re in very different places on a few teams.

    I am much higher on: Providence (#9 in my rankings vs #23 – 5th in GA and 13th in GF); Colorado (#11 on mine vs #22 – 9th in GF; 15th in GA); Syracuse (#15 vs #28 – 5th in GF); Bakersfield (#19 vs #24 – 15th in GF); and Toronto (#22 vs #27 – 8th in GF). I reckon that most, if not all, of these teams will be in the dance come end of season despite some of their recent struggles, particularly related to goaltending (especially for Bakersfield, Syracuse and Toronto).

    Conversely, you’re much higher on Utica (#7 vs #13 in my rankings – sorta funny as we were reversed a couple months ago); Binghamton (#10 vs #21 on my list); Ontario (#12 vs #23); Grand Rapids (#18 vs #24); Lehigh Valley (#17 vs #26); and San Antonio (#21 vs #28). Other than perhaps Ontario (if things break right and Cal Peterson can stay hot, I don’t see any of these teams making the playoffs come April. Whether it’s offence, defence, or special teams, these are all seriously flawed teams. All the teams are bottom third in the AHL *both* offensively and defensively (with the exception of Lehigh Valley’s and GA).

    In case you’re wondering – I have your Pens at #18 (1 spot above where you have them). They’ll need a hot stretch and a few breaks to make the playoffs, but it’s possible.