AHL Power Rankings: Week Three

1. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (6-0)

The Penguins are off to an unexpected 6-0 start and have an Eastern Conference best 13 goal differential. Brian Gibbons has four goals and seven assists through Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s first six games.

Upcoming Schedule: October 25th at Binghamton and October 26th vs. Norfolk

2. Springfield Falcons (5-0)

The Falcons are the only remaining club with an undefeated record, including three road wins. Defenseman Tim Erixon, acquired by Columbus trade last year, has nine points in four games.

Upcoming Schedule: October 25th at Providence and October 26th vs. Worceste

3. Hartford Wolf Pack (5-0-0-1)

Hartford-Wolf-Pack-Logo.svg

The name change from the Connecticut Whale seems to have made a difference as the Rangers AHL affiliate has 11 points in their first five games. However, New York recently called up J.T. Miller, Brandon Mashinter, Chris Kreider and Cameron Talbot.

Upcoming Schedule: October 23rd vs. Portland, October 25th at Albany and October 26th at Hershey

4. Toronto Marlies (4-1)

The Marlies’ success all starts at the blue line with T.J. Brennan who leads the AHL with eight goals in five games. Goalie Drew MacIntyre has a 1.98 goals against average and .914 save percentage in his first four games in net for Toronto.

Upcoming Schedule: October 23rd vs. Rockford, October 26th vs. Rochester and October 27th at Hamilton

5. Texas Stars (4-1-1-0)

The Stars are led by AHL leading scoring Travis Morin who has 15 points through six games, with seven goals and eight assists. The Texas forward also leads the league in power play points (6) and shots on goal (29). The Stars are second in the league on the power play, connecting at a 30.3% clip.

(Ross Bonander / THW)

(Ross Bonander / THW)

Upcoming Schedule: October 23rd vs. Oklahoma City, October 26th at Milwaukee and October 27th at Rockford

6. Manchester Monarchs (4-0-1-2)

Upcoming Schedule: October 23rd at Worcester, October 25th and 26th vs. St. John’s

L.A. Kings prospect Tyler Tiffoli has helped out Manchester early on with three shootout goals. They’ve only outscored their opponents by three goals this season and aren’t necesarrily dominating like the teams listed above.

7. Iowa Wild (3-1)

This new AHL franchise is off to a hot start due to goalie Johan Gustafsson (2-0) who has a 0.50 goals against average and .984 save percentage in 120 minutes of play. The Wild have grabbed the lead in games each time so far and are 3-1 when doing scoring first.

Upcoming Schedule: October 24th vs. Chicago and October 27th vs. Grand Rapids

8. Norfolk Admirals (3-1-0-2)

The Admirals have two talented goalies with John Gibson and Frederik Andersen, but their penalty kill (88.6%, 9th) has been a big factor in scoring goals so far. Norfolk is tied with Binghamton for the league lead in shorthanded goals with three, including two from forward Devante Smith-Pelly.

Upcoming Schedule: October 25th at Adirondack, October 26th at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and October 27th at Hershey

9. Milwaukee Admirals (2-0-2-0)

Not too much jumps out at you when you take a look at the Admirals, but they’re 7th in the league in goals against per game, averaging 2.25 in their net per contest. They only have nine goals in four games offensively however.

Upcoming Schedule: October 26th vs. Texas

10. Binghamton Senators (4-2)

The Senators have stiff competition in the East division with opponents such as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Hershey and Norfolk but are off to a hot start. They’re seventh with 3.5 goals per game, but 21st allowing 3.33 goals per matchup.

Upcoming Schedule: October 25th vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and October 26th vs. Adirondack

11. Albany Devils (3-1-0-1)

Albany struggled a lot last season, but there’s a reason for optimism with season. Albany has only allowed ten goals in five games, third in the AHL. Center Scott Timmins leads the Devils with three goals and four assists through Albany’s first five games, including two power play goals.

Upcoming Schedule: October 23rd at Utica, October 25th vs. Hartford and October 26th vs. Portland

12. Rockford IceHogs (4-2)

The IceHogs are 29th in shots on goal allowed per game (36.50) and last in shots per game (21.60) but have found some success early on. Defenseman Adam Clendening has eight points in six games.

Upcoming Schedule: October 22nd at Hamilton, October 23rd at Toronto, October 26th vs. Charlotte and October 27th vs. Texas

13. Oklahoma City Barons (3-3-0-1)

The Barons’ roster won’t be aided by the NHL lockout this year so expect Oklahoma City to have its struggles. Winger Linus Omark has six points through seven games.

Upcoming Schedule: October 23rd at Texas, October 25th and 26th at San Antonio

14. Abbotsford Heat (3-3-0-1)

An overtime and shootout win combined for two of Abbotsford’s wins to start the year. Paul Bryon has six points on the season and three other players each have five points to start the season.

Upcoming Schedule: October 25th and 26th vs. Lake Erie

15. Grand Rapids Griffins (2-1-1-1)

Last year’s Calder Cup Champions currently sit ninth in the Western Conference early on. Red Wings’ prospect Gustav Nyquist has three goals and four assists through his first five games.

Upcoming Schedule: October 25th vs. Charlotte, October 26th at Chicago and October 27th vs. Iowa

16. Rochester Americans (3-2)

The Americans lost goalie David Leggio this offseason, but appear to be sailing along in the onset. Sabres’ forward prospect Luke Adam has seven points to lead the Americans and he’s tied for tenth in AHL scoring .

Upcoming Schedule: October 25th at Hamilton and October 26th at Toronto

17. Providence Bruins (2-2-0-2)

Providence Bruins (Goaliej54/flickr)

Providence Bruins (Goaliej54/flickr)

The Bruins hold two promising goalie prospects with Macolm Subban and Niklas Svedberg. Subban has struggled early on in two games, but Svedberg, who started in goal for Providence in the playoffs last year, has a 2.62 goals against average and .924 save percentage thus far.

Upcoming Schedule: October 25th vs. Springfield and October 27th vs. St. John’s

18. Syracuse Crunch (2-2-1-0)

Upcoming Schedule: October 25th at Utica and October 26th vs. Bridgeport

19. Chicago Wolves (3-3)

Chicago’s offense is underachieved through their first six games, averaging 2.33 goals per game. AHL veteran Keith Aucoin only has one assists in five games, as he looks to turn his slow start around. Winger Mark Mancari leads the Wolves with five goals.

Upcoming Schedule: October 24th at Iowa, October 26th vs. Grand Rapids and October 27th vs. Charlotte

20. Lake Erie Monsters (3-3)

Forward Bryan Lerg leads Lake Erie in scoring with six points in six games and forward Brad Malone and Avalanche defensive prospect Stefan Elliot both have five points. The Monsters are 3-1 in games which they score first.

Upcoming Schedule: October 25th and 26th at Abbotsford

21. Charlotte Checkers (2-2)

The Checkers have had trouble at their home rink, but success on the road early on, going 2-0 away from Charlotte, but are 0-2 in their home building.

Upcoming Schedule: October 25th at Grand Rapids, October 26th at Rockford and October 27th at Chicago

22. St. John’s IceCaps (2-3-1-0)

Rookie defenseman Brenden Kichton has been a bright spot for the IceCaps, registering five points on the St. John’s blue line to start the year. They recently picked up a home win over Hershey on Friday night.

Upcoming Schedule: October 25th and 26th at Manchester and October 27th at Providence

23. Hershey Bears (1-2-1-0)

Hershey picked up its first win for new head coach Mike Haviland Saturday night with a win over St. John’s. They lost to in overtime to Adirondack opening night in their only home game this season.

Hershey Bears in action against the Utica Comets during preseason (Annie Erling Gofus/The Hockey Writers)

Hershey Bears in action against the Utica Comets during preseason (Annie Erling Gofus/The Hockey Writers)

Upcoming Schedule: October 26th vs. Hartford and October 27th vs. Norfolk

24. Hamilton Bulldogs (1-1-0-2)

Although they only have on regulation win to speak of, the Bulldogs have a few bright spots. Goaltender Dustin Tokarski is 9th in the AHL with a 1.92 goals against average and has an impressive .934 save percentage through two games.

Upcoming Schedule: October 22nd vs. Rockford, October 25th vs. Rochester, October 26th at Utica and October 27th vs. Toronto

25. Adirondack Phantoms (1-3-0-2)

After a win on the road in their season opener, the Phantoms have yet to win a regulation game since. Rookie forwards Petr Straka and Nick Cousins each have five points apiece.

Upcoming Schedule: October 25th vs. Norfolk and October 26th at Binghamton

26. Worcester Sharks (1-2)

The Sharks are in for a long season in the Western Conference and are off to an expected slow start. They’re ranked 14th on the power play, converting at a 20% rate.

Upcoming Schedule: October 23rd vs. Manchester and October 26th at Springfield

27. San Antonio Rampage (2-4)

Florida’s AHL affiliate is last in the league in goal scoring, averaging 1.67 goals per contest. Their defense is performing much better than their offense however, allowing 2.83 goals per game, 14th in the AHL.

Upcoming Schedule: October 25th and 26th vs. Oklahoma City

28. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (1-3-1-0)

Bridgeport’s power play has is ranked 28th in the AHL, performing at 8.3%. Forward Ryan Strome is a player to watch for and has one goal and five assists through five games.

Upcoming Schedule: October 26th at Syracuse

29. Portland Pirates (0-3-0-1)

The Pirates have come out as expected this season, with most their talent back in junior or with the Phoenix Coyotes. They’ve scored the first goal in every single game, but don’t have one regulation win to show for.

Upcoming Schedule: October 23rd at Hartford and October 26th at Albany

30. Utica Comets (0-3)

Upcoming Schedule: October 23rd vs. Albany, October 25th vs. Syracuse and October 26th vs. Hamilton

The relocated Comets have yet to pick up any points through three games and have only seven goals combined as a team. They begin their home schedule this week after beginning the season away from their home rink.

You can follow Matthew on twitter @m_speck and email him at mspeck21@yahoo.com with any questions or comments.

Matthew Speck

Matthew Speck

Matthew Speck covers the Washington Capitals organization for The Hockey Writers. He's credentialed for Washington's AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears, and covers most home games. Matthew also covers high school sports for the Lebanon Daily News. You can email him at mspeck21@yahoo.com with any questions or comments.
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