Chirps from Center Ice

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

AHL Power Rankings: End of February 2020

Major shakeup to the top five this week in the Chirps from Center Ice AHL Power Rankings.

The Belleville Senators are your top team this week after opening up an eight point lead over second place, largest in all the other AHL divisions. They are followed in second by Iowa, who have closed to within five of Milwaukee which was something unforeseen a month ago.

Two Pacific Division teams in Ontario and San Diego, the hottest teams in the division come in three and four and Hershey, who leads the Atlantic, slide up to fifth.

Jump past the Bears if you didn’t link in direct to see where the other teams fared.

1

Last Games: TOR 4 @ BEL 7, LAV 2 @ BEL 3 (OT), TOR 4 @ BEL 2, BEL 6 @ TOR 7 (OT), SYR 2 @ BEL 5, BEL 3 @ ROC 2 (OT)
Eight point lead over Rochester, who the Senators took down Wednesday. Belleville remains a complete team.

+1

Next Games: vs. UTI 2/21, vs. MB 2/22, vs. LAV 2/26, @ CLE 2/28, @ CLE 2/29, vs. TOR 3/4
Record: 34-15-4-1

2

Last Games: STK 2 @ IA 5, STK 4 @ IA 7, SA 1 @ IA 2, SD 0 @ IA 3, SD 5 @ IA 2, IA 3 @ MIL 2
All of a sudden, five back of Milwaukee and a real chance that the Wild can overtake the Admirals for first in the Central.

+3

Next Games: @ TEX 2/21, @ TEX 2/22, vs. CHI 2/25, @ STK 2/29, @ SJ 3/2, @ SJ 3/4
Record: 33-15-3-3

3

Last Games: ONT 10 @ BAK 3, TUC 5 @ ONT 1, BAK 2 @ ONT 4, ONT 6 @ STK 3, COL 3 @ ONT 6
Reign have pulled themselves up and look like they may push on to a first round home ice advantage playoff series quite possibly if they play their cards correctly.

+10

Next Games: vs. COL 2/21, vs. SJ 2/23, @ SJ 2/26, vs. TUC 2/28, vs. BAK 2/29
Record: 26-19-4-1

4

Last Games: TUC 3 @ SD 5, BAK 2 @ SD 4, SD 0 @ IA 3, SD 5 @ IA 2, SD 2 @ STK 3 (OT), STK 2 @ SD 3
Quietly 7-1-2 in their last ten, two off another stout Ontario team in what’s shaping up to be a great finish in the Pacific.

+5

Next Games: @ BAK 2/21, vs. SJ 2/22, @ TUC 2/26, @ STK 2/28, @ SJ 2/29
Record: 24-17-5-2

5

Last Games: HER 3 @ WBS 0, SPR 2 @ HER 5, HER 5 @ LV 2, HER 3 @ BNG 4 (OT), BNG 4 @ HER 2, LV 3 @ HER 5
Bears are looking good even though there were some stinkers in there. Lead the Atlantic and want to stay there.

-2

Next Games: @ WBS 2/21, @ BRI 2/22, vs. CHA 2/25, vs. WBS 2/29, vs. CHA 3/1
Record: 32-16-3-3

6

Last Games: TEX 3 @ MIL 2 (SO), TEX 1 @ MIL 2, MIL 2 @ CHI 5, MIL 0 @ MB 1, MIL 4 @ MB 1, IA 3 @ MIL 2
Have played like a .500 team here over the course of these last ten games. Suddenly that grip they had on the Central is starting to loosen.

-5

Next Games: vs. CHI 2/21, vs. RFD 2/22, vs. SA 2/26, @ COL 2/29, @ COL 3/1, @ TEX 3/4
Record: 35-12-4-3

7

Last Games: BNG 0 @ CLE 3, BNG 4 @ CLE 0, SYR 1 @ BNG 0, HER 3 @ BNG 4 (OT), BNG 4 @ HER 2, BNG 5 @ TOR 2, BNG 5 @ TOR 3
The hottest team in the Eastern Conference and maybe the entire league may be your Binghamton Devils. Impressive home and home sweep of the Bears and then a sweep of the Marlies. Are a point off of a playoff spot with a bunch of home games coming up.

+4

Next Games: vs. CHA 2/21, vs. CHA 2/22, vs. HFD 2/28, vs. TOR 2/29, @ BRI 3/1
Record: 26-23-4-0

8

Last Games: SYR 5 @ ROC 2, ROC 0 @ TOR 4, ROC 2 @ CHA 4, ROC 2 @ CHA 5, ROC 4 @ SYR 3 (SO), UTI 2 @ ROC 3, BEL 3 @ ROC 2 (OT)
Bit of a bounce back for Rochester after getting smashed in Charlotte.

+2

Next Games: vs. LV 2/21, vs. CLE 2/22, vs. UTI 2/26, vs. LAV 2/28, @ SYR 2/29, vs. UTI 3/4
Record: 29-17-3-4

9

Last Games: PRO 2 @ BRI 4, BRI 2 @ PRO 1 (OT), WBS 2 @ PRO 4, LAV 0 @ PRO 3, BRI 2 @ PRO 3
Took all six points this past weekend and have points in their last eight ten. Bruins have always been a real threat and a few bad weeks sprinkled in happen.

+5

Next Games: vs. SPR 2/22, vs. WBS 2/23, @ WBS 2/26, @ SPR 2/29, @ HFD 3/1
Record: 28-18-3-3

10

Last Games: HFD 0 @ CHA 6, HFD 3 @ CHA 4 (OT), WBS 2 @ HFD 1, LAV 1 @ HFD 3, HFD 4 @ LV 3 (SO)
Wolf Pack are weathering the storm in the Atlantic better than most. Won’t go away and Hershey stuttered a bit with Binghamton last weekend. Many betting on Hartford falling out, doesn’t look like that quite yet.

-7

Next Games: @ SPR 2/21, vs. WBS 2/22, @ BRI 2/23, @ BNG 2/28, @ BRI 2/29, vs. PRO 3/1
Record: 29-13-5-5

11

Last Games: SJ 1 @ COL 5, SJ 3 @ COL 4 (OT), TUC 2 @ COL 5, TUC 5 @ COL 2, COL 5 @ BAK 4 (SO), COL 3 @ ONT 6
Lost out to a very game Ontario team Sunday who they may battle for home ice in round one. Otherwise all is good in Loveland.

+1

Next Games: @ ONT 2/21, @ BAK 2/22, vs. MIL 2/29, vs. MIL 3/1
Record: 28-16-3-1

12

Last Games: STK 2 @ IA 5, STK 4 @ IA 7, STK 4 @ SJ 3 (OT), ONT 6 @ STK 3, TUC 3 @ STK 4 (SO), SD 2 @ STK 3 (OT), STK 2 @ SD 3
Had a chance to overtake the Roadrunners Wednesday and ran into a buzzsaw San Diego team. Two direct cracks at Tucson in Arizona this weekend.

-6

Next Games: @ TUC 2/21, @ TUC 2/22, vs. SD 2/28, vs. IA 2/29
Record: 28-13-3-3

13

Last Games: TUC 3 @ SD 5, TUC 5 @ ONT 1, TUC 2 @ COL 5, TUC 5 @ COL 2, TUC 3 @ STK 4 (SO) , TUC 3 @ SJ 6
Uhh, what’s going on here? That once big lead the Roadrunners had on the rest of the Pacific has dried up like rain in the desert. Stockton comes in for a very important series this weekend.

-7

Next Games: vs. STK 2/21, vs. STK 2/22, vs. SD 2/26, @ ONT 2/28, @ BAK 3/1
Record: 30-16-1-2

14

Last Games: HFD 0 @ CHA 6, HFD 3 @ CHA 4 (OT), ROC 2 @ CHA 4, ROC 2 @ CHA 5, SPR 4 @ CHA 3 (OT), SPR 4 @ CHA 3
Started hot, sweeping Hartford and Rochester, but Springfield tripped up the Checkers to get themselves back in the discussion as a playoff team. Back to the road for the Checkers and they are some tough teams.

+2

Next Games: @ BNG 2/21, @ BNG 2/22, @ HER 2/25, @ LV 2/28, @ LV 2/29, @ HER 3/1
Record: 29-18-4-0

15

Last Games: TEX 4 @ GR 3 (OT), TEX 1 @ GR 5, GR 2 @ CLE 6, CLE 2 @ GR 4, GR 5 @ CHI 2, GR 2 @ RFD 1
Up to third in the Central and looking to stay there because they are so far out of second and first that third is where they should be.

+3

Next Games: @ RFD 2/20, vs. SA 2/22, vs. SA 2/23, @ SA 2/28, @ TEX 2/29, @ SA 3/3
Record: 25-22-3-4

16

Last Games: CHI 2 @ MB 3, CHI 2 @ MB 0, MIL 2 @ CHI 5, GR 5 @ CHI 2, CLE 2 @ CHI 3 (OT)
We don’t think Chicago catches Iowa or Milwaukee, so they are in a dog fight with five other teams, some of them coming right up this week.

+4

Next Games: vs. GR 2/20, @ MIL 2/21, vs. RFD 2/23, @ IA 2/25, @ MB 2/29, @ MB 3/1
Record: 25-22-3-2

17

Last Games: SPR 1 @ LV 4, SPR 2 @ HER 5, SPR 4 @ CHA 3 (OT), SPR 4 @ CHA 3
Kickstarted their playoff chances and are back in the mix. But can they stay there, that’s the question.

+4

Next Games: vs. HFD 2/21, @ PRO 2/22, vs. SYR 2/23, vs. BRI 2/28, vs. PRO 2/29
Record: 28-23-2-0

18

Last Games: HER 3 @ WBS 0, LV 5 @ WBS 3, WBS 2 @ HFD 1, WBS 2 @ PRO 4, WBS 2 @ BRI 3
Penguins stuttering, had a chance to draw to within three of Hershey and now trail by at least ten. Schedule doesn’t get any better and the hits will keep coming.

-10

Next Games: vs. HER 2/21, @ HFD 2/22, @ PRO 2/23, vs. PRO 2/26, @ SYR 2/28, @ HER 2/29
Record: 25-20-3-5

19

Last Games: SPR 1 @ LV 4, LV 5 @ WBS 3, HER 5 @ LV 2, BRI 2 @ LV 3 (OT), HFD 4 @ LV 3 (SO) LV 3 @ HER 5, LV 8 @ BRI 5
All of a sudden three off the Penguins and Thunderbirds and the Phantoms look like they are getting their sea legs.

+7

Next Games: @ ROC 2/21, @ SYR 2/22, vs. CHA 2/28, vs. CHA 2/29
Record: 23-24-1-6

20

Last Games: SYR 4 @ UTI 5 (SO), LAV 2 @ UTI 3, UTI 2 @ SYR 3, UTI 2 @ ROC 3
Should still be OK, but it’s the wrong time to have three wins in your last ten games.

-1

Next Games: @ BEL 2/21, @ ROC 2/26, vs. TOR 2/28, vs. LAV 2/29, @ ROC 3/4
Record: 28-20-3-2

21

Last Games: SYR 5 @ ROC 2, SYR 4 @ UTI 5 (SO), SYR 1 @ BNG 0, UTI 2 @ SYR 3, ROC 4 @ SYR (SO), SYR 2 @ BEL 5
Crunch are tied with Binghamton and both are just a point out of a playoff spot. Have been clicking at .500 of late, that isn’t going to cut it down the line.

+6

Next Games: vs. CLE 2/21, vs. LV 2/22, @ SPR 2/23, vs. WBS 2/28, vs. ROC 2/29
Record: 24-22-3-5

22

Last Games: LAV 2 @ BEL 3 (OT), LAV 2 @ TOR 5, LAV 2 @ UTI 3, LAV 1 @ HFD 3, LAV 0 @ PRO 3, MB 5 @ LAV 4 (SO)
Getting points in dribs and drabs is no way to properly push for a playoff spot when you are on the outside looking in.

-5

Next Games: vs. MB 2/21, vs. TOR 2/22, @ BEL 2/26, @ ROC 2/28, @ UTI 2/29
Record: 23-23-5-3

23

Last Games: SA 2 @ RFD 3 (OT), SA 3 @ RFD 2, RFD 2 @ MB 1, RFD 5 @ MB 2, CLE 1 @ RFD 4, GR 2 @ RFD 1
Slightly better in this term for Rockford, beating the teams they should and narrowly missing out to marginally better squads. Tread carefully here these next two weeks. No team in the Central is really out of anything yet.

-1

Next Games: vs. SA 2/21, @ MIL 2/22, @ CHI 2/23, @ TEX 2/26, @ TEX 2/28, @ SA 3/1
Record: 25-26-1-2

24

Last Games: SA 2 @ RFD 3 (OT), SA 3 @ RFD 2, SA 1 @ IA 2, SA 3 @ TEX 2 (SO), SA 2 @ TEX 0
Terrible news came out since we last did this that the team is moving to Las Vegas after being bought. Hopefully, Rampage give their fans one last good ride before sailing off to the sunset.

-1

Next Games: @ RFD 2/21, @ GR 2/22, @ GR 2/23, @ MIL 2/26, vs. GR 2/28, vs. RFD 3/1, vs. GR 3/3
Record: 19-20-7-5

25

Last Games: CHI 2 @ MB 3, CHI 2 @ MB 0, RFD 2 @ MB 1, RFD 5 @ MB 2, MIL 0 @ MB 1, MIL 4 @ MB 1, MB 5 @ LAV 4 (SO)
No one is truly out of it in the Central and that includes the last place Moose. Split with the Wolves, swept by the IceHogs, split with the Admirals.

-1

Next Games: @ LAV 2/21, @ BEL 2/22, vs. CHI 2/29, vs. CHI 3/1
Record: 24-31-0-0

26

Last Games: BNG 0 @ CLE 3, BNG 4 @ CLE 0, GR 2 @ CLE 6, CLE 2 @ GR 4, CLE 1 @ RFD 4, CLE 2 @ CHI 3 (OT)
The margin of error is so thin, the Monsters aren’t really out of it yet. They have to get going though and these opponents coming up aren’t going to make it easy.

+4

Next Games: @ SYR 2/21, @ ROC 2/22, @ TOR 2/26, vs. BEL 2/28, vs. BEL 2/29
Record: 23-25-3-2

27

Last Games: ONT 10 @ BAK 3, BAK 2 @ SD 4, BAK 2 @ ONT 4, COL 5 @ BAK 4 (SO), SJ 5 @ BAK 2
Winless in their last five and just lost to last place San Jose. That isn’t going to help you make up any ground in the Pacific Division playoff race.

-12

Next Games: vs. SD 2/21, vs. COL 2/22, @ ONT 2/29, vs. TUC 3/1
Record: 20-24-4-2

28

Last Games: TEX 3 @ MIL 2 (SO), TEX 4 @ GR 3 (OT), TEX 1 @ GR 5, TEX 1 @ MIL 2, SA 3 @ TEX 2 (SO), SA 2 @ TEX 0
Winless in their last four and with how competitive the Central is, that isn’t a good look. Schedule doesn’t relent this weekend.

-3

Next Games: vs. IA 2/21, vs. IA 2/22, vs. RFD 2/26, vs. RFD 2/28, vs. GR 2/29
Record: 22-24-2-3

29

Last Games: TOR 4 @ BEL 7, ROC 0 @ TOR 4, LAV 2 @ TOR 5, TOR 4 @ BEL 2, BEL 6 @ TOR 7 (OT), BNG 5 @ TOR 2, BNG 5 @ TOR 3
Swept by the Devils in an important series this past week. It’s going to come down to Toronto and Binghamton for that four seed in the North, isn’t it?

-1

Next Games: @ LAV 2/22, vs. CLE 2/26, @ UTI 2/28, @ BNG 2/29, @ BEL 3/4
Record: 26-21-3-2

30

Last Games: SJ 1 @ COL 5, SJ 3 @ COL 4 (OT), STK 4 @ SJ 3 (OT), SJ 5 @ BAK 2, TUC 3 @ SJ 6
Bad team beads badly slumping good team is how we read that Monday result against Tucson. That will happen.

+1

Next Games: @ SD 2/22, @ ONT 2/23, vs. ONT 2/26, vs. SD 2/29, vs. IA 3/2, vs. IA 3/4
Record: 16-25-3-2

31

Last Games: PRO 2 @ BRI 4, BRI 2 @ PRO 1 (OT), BRI 2 @ LV 3 (OT), WBS 2 @ BRI 3, BRI 2 @ PRO 3, LV 8 @ BRI 5
Positive start to the last two weeks spoiled by two losses and that last one was a bad one to the Phantoms Wednesday.

-2

Next Games: vs. HER 2/22, vs. HFD 2/23, @ SPR 2/28, vs. HFD 2/29, vs. BNG 3/1
Record: 19-29-5-1

Have a great week everyone!

2 responses to “AHL Power Rankings: End of February 2020

  1. Rebecca Hammond February 21, 2020 at 2:59 am

    Thank you for all the work you put in! Amazing as always. 🙂

    I’ve noticed that your rankings are much more reactionary than the private rankings I’ve been testing out. It’s not a bad thing – just different. I’ve been trying to use trends to forecast future outcomes in my rankings.

    For example, a win streak will absolutely boost a team up my rankings but if they were a .500 Pts % team before a recent win streak (take Ontario, as a case in point), I’m reticent to bump them all the way up into a Top-10 position unless a) they can show that they can consistently ply at a higher level than they were previously, or b) there were significant roster changes that played a hand in altering the team’s fortunes.

    As a result I still have the Admirals at the top of rankings as with their goalie tandem and solid team defence I can’t justify another team forcing them out of that position (although Iowa and Belleville are certainly making it a conversation, which wasn’t the case even a month ago). As a team, Milwaukee is still 1st in Goals Against per game – and it’s not even close. They lead 2nd place by 0.35 goals per game – that’s roughly the same difference between 2nd place Hershey and the 11th place team (or between the 11th and 27th place teams)!

    While things go to shite after this kinda arbitrary point, we are in near unanimous agreement about the 13 best teams presently in the AHL (with changes since the All-Star Break in parentheses):

    1. Milwaukee (-)
    2. Belleville (+2)
    3. Iowa (+5)
    4. Hershey (+3)
    5. Charlotte (-)
    6. Stockton (-3)
    7. Colorado (+4)
    8. Hartford (-2)
    9. Providence (-)
    10. Tucson (-8)
    11. Rochester (-1)
    12. San Diego (+4)
    13. Ontario (+10)

    While things differ in where teams land, there’s near complete overlap with respect to these 13 teams. The one exception is you have the streaky Binghamton whereas I have Charlotte.

    The Checkers have been one of the best teams in the league for some time now (a few years really) and their 19/20 record is being depressed by their (really) poor start. They’re Top-8 in goals for AND goals against AND both special teams (a distinction shared only with, yep, you guessed it, Milwaukee). I just can’t not have them in the Top-10. I reckon they’ll be in the running for 1st in the Atlantic by the time things are all said and done and they could win a few rounds (again) come playoff time.

    At this point, my power rankings mostly reflect playoff odds, and so while Ontario or Binghamton may be the hottest teams in February, they’re still far from a lock for making the playoffs. On that note, we both count 5 teams from the Pacific in our Top-13. There’s going to be a good team that’s going to miss out on the playoffs this season from the Pacific, where the 4th spot always seems to come down to the wire. My gut says Tucson chokes (again) coming down the stretch.

    See you next month!

    • Rebecca Hammond February 21, 2020 at 3:11 am

      I realize Charlotte is at 14th in your rankings. So it’s not too far off. I have Binghamton down at 18th (a big drop from your #7).

      The Penguins slot in at #19 in my rankings (-1). They’re in tough to make the playoffs; I estimate their chances at 26% (-6% from the All AStar Break). With a 3-4-1 record, they’re treading water when they need to be gunning for the shore right now.