Chirps from Center Ice

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

Category Archives: The AHL

Pens / Americans Postponed

This is getting old.

Includes Penguins at Rochester with the explanation as follows: “The American Hockey League today announced that due to league COVID-19 protocols affecting the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins…”

This isn’t working. The NHL hit pause on their season early, I think it is high time for the AHL to do the same.

No, Canada! – 12/21 Pens at Marlies Postponed

Includes the December 21 game the Penguins were supposed to play up North. Instead, the Pens will just head to Rochester where they will play the Americans on Wednesday.

Logistically, this is a nightmare. The Pens and Marlies play four times this season, two home and two away. Wilkes-Barre isn’t scheduled to go back to Toronto till March 23. That’s a Wednesday. My guess is that it will likely be a back to back to some type, either a Tuesday-Wednesday or a Wednesday-Thursday. If they do Thursday, they have to make an exception because the League eliminated four games in five nights a few years back. After the Pens head to Rochester, they are finished with the Americans this season, so it’s not like they can just cross over the next time they play Rochester, after Wednesday there is no next time.

Probably worse for Toronto, because their two games at Grand Rapids this weekend were also postponed. Again, logistical nightmares.

More tomorrow after the Hershey game. I just can’t commit to putting a preview series out when everything is so volatile.

From Canada to Syracuse

One of them is the December 3 game that the Pens were supposed to play in Syracuse. That gets moved to Sunday, March 27. Wilkes-Barre will be wrapping up a FRiday stop in Belleville and a Saturday trip to Laval. Instead of bussing straight home, the Pens will play in Syracuse that Sunday at 5.

All but one game (the December 5 game in Hershey) needs to be rescheduled. Edit: This game was rescheduled for February 22. Thank you Brian for the correction. The Charlotte game that the Pens were supposed to play at home after the Friday trip to Syracuse was moved to the middle of April. Yesterday’s game played was supposed to be last Wednesday’s game.

Power Rankings — Not Today, COVID

There were no Power Rankings last week because when you had nearly an entire division in the Atlantic out of action the first weekend in December, you can’t fairly grade and come up with Rankings like that. COVID-19 would have been the number one team. People are dying from this, you can’t really make a joke out of it. So I thought it would be best to just not do one last week.

Anyway we are back at 100%, or a reasonable facsimile thereof, and have the Rankings back and better than ever this week.

Utica goes back to number one, but really throw a blanket over the top three teams and either one can be the number one side.

Here’s the full list…

RankTeamBlurbLast Week
1Still tearing through teams. When do we start having the conversation of Utica being an all time great team?+1
2Haven’t lost in ten straight. Now, beating up on last place Texas for three games isn’t that impressive. The Wolves are a literally wolf in a sheeps den of other teams in the Central.+5
3Pasted San Jose 10-1 last Tuesday. This is what good teams do to bad teams. Don’t really see any problems schedule wise with this team so the run should continue.+3
4Returned from COVID protocol and lost a shootout in Allentown on Sunday. Rematch this Friday at home with the Phantoms, then an important home and home with Springfield.n/a
5Came out of COVID protocol and faced Utica and managed to win in overtime which was impressive. Also managed to beat Laval this week. Head to Charlotte for a midweek trip.-4
6Senators are back to .500 and looking to make more noise. Successful weekend trip through Providence and Bridgeport.+4
7Bruins were patient zero in the AHL’s Atlantic and were rewarded with a three in three coming out of protocol. Almost unfair. Managed 4 of 6 points with a shutout of the Thunderbirds tossed in there Saturday.+2
8Play Chicago in a kids day game Thursday with a chance to make up a bit of ground that the Wolves have on them.+4
9Played a home and home with San Diego where the home team in each contest was victorious. Are .500 and among a ton of other teams in the Pacific who are the same.-1
10We have reached the “slightly above average” portion of teams in the Pacific, with Tucson playing at a 6-4 in their last ten clip, including a shootout win over the Stockton Heat, who are in their own stratosphere currently.+7
11Dropped all of the offense Wednesday in Syracuse (8 goals) then lost in Utica and in Allentown. Five game homestand begins this Thursday with visits from Utica and Chicago.-6
12Has been pretty business as usual for the Checkers, who split a pair of 5-3 decisions with Syracuse this past weekend. Rochester and Bridgeport are in this week.+3
13Are the Bears extremely average?+6
14Eagles use Bakersfield and Tucson on their schedule to make a run up to fourth in the Pacific. Big test this weekend in Stockton.-3
15Split a pair out in Rockford. There is a lot of average in the Pacific and the Silver Knights are one of them.+3
16Penguins take advantage of a rag tag Springfield group Sunday and pick up their first shutout since January 2020 with a guy they signed on a PTO from ECHL Idaho. Stuff of legends.+9
17Some teams managed to make it out of COVID protocols OK (like the Penguins) and then there is Springfield, who has been pillaged lineup wise. Back to back shutout losses this past weekend with Providence and Wilkes-Barre.-14
18When I got to the IceHogs I was expecting them to be a lot worse than third in the Central, especially when I saw Henderson paste Rockford 5-0 last Friday.+4
19Went win – loss – loss this weekend through the Northeast. Host Syracuse then head to Grand Rapids this weekend.-5
20Griffins are highly inconsistent. Marlies drop by this weekend.-4
21Admirals are on a four game win streak – does this survive through a home and home with the Wolves this weekend?+5
22North Division’s most inconsistent team. Beat Manitoba, lost to Rochester then went to Hershey and made a 2-2 in the third period into a 4-2 win.+5
23Haven’t won in seven straight, getting swept by lowly Milwaukee this last weekend. Admirals travel to Des Moines Tuesday, which starts a six game homestand for the Wild.-10
24Seven game homestand opens with a win over the Reign. Bakersfield and San Jose stop by this weekend.-4
25Have stayed COVID free and picked up two wins in the process. Big tests this week with Belleville, Hartford and Rochester coming.+6
26Picked up a win against a suddenly struggling Marlies team on Saturday and lost to a suddenly hot Belleville team on Sunday.-3
27Split a pair in Charlotte. That can be something to build off of.+3
28Have had a few COVID delays. They have played like it too, going 2-5-1-2 in their last ten. Schedule doesn’t relent. Stockton and San Diego are this weeks opponents.-7
29Road trip wraps up in Henderson. Canucks have the sixth best power play in all the AHL, bested only in the division by, you guessed it, Stockton.n/a
30Salvaged a split with Abbotsford. Four game road trip after the Eagles swoop in this Wednesday.-2
31Stars kickoff their long homestand with the Wolves drubbing them for 19 goals across three games. Schedule doesn’t lighten up with Rockford this week and Manitoba next week.-7

Postpone / Re-Schedule / Re-Schedule

Wednesday’s game against Hershey postponed to next Tuesday, December 14. Last Saturday’s game with Charlotte moved to Wednesday, April 13 at 7:05.

Yes, teams are slowly getting back to practice, but with 12 or fewer skaters and with one goaltender, on the photos I saw from Hershey’s practice and Providence. The same case likely applies to Wilkes-Barre as well.

Penguins have game scheduled for this Saturday against Hershey and this Sunday against Springfield. For now.

All Games Postponed This Weekend

I am not surprised.

Next scheduled games are Wednesday and Saturday at home against Hershey and Sunday at home against Springfield. We will see what happens then.

More, as it comes.

Schedule Alterations

I’m actually quite surprised it has taken as long as it has for COVID to find its way into AHL locker rooms. You may or may not have heard about a boat load of schedule postponements* and other changes to the AHL schedule affecting many AHL Atlantic Division teams (Hershey, Providence, Hartford, etc.) for games scheduled for this week.

At this point, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins are clear of COVID (as best they can be playing a physical sport in the midst of a pandemic) and are scheduled to play two of the three games originally scheduled for this weekend. They are:

At Syracuse Friday.
Home against Charlotte Satuday.

Their Sunday game against Hershey, in Hershey was postponed by the League Wednesday, along with a bevy of changes affecting a lot of teams.

Two other changes to note, swap the opponents for the Penguins home games scheduled for March 18 and 19. It was originally going to be Utica on Friday, March 18 and Syracuse on Saturday, March 19. Swap it. Syracuse is here Friday, March 18 and Utica is here the next night on March 19.

No makeup date has been announced for the December 5 game in Hershey yet.

Weekend Preview will still hit Friday morning, setting up Syracuse and Charlotte.

* – there is a difference between, “cancelled” (it has been stricken from the schedule) and “postponed” (it has been delayed) please utilize caution.