The final full weekend of American Hockey League action takes place this week, with the season winding down as the postseason nears. After this weekend, a few teams will be nearing ten games left on their schedule, with a few teams etching themselves as Calder Cup contenders. Check for your favorite team below.
1. Texas Stars (41-17-3-5) The Stars became the first team to clinch a playoff spot in this season and they enter this week on fire, on a five game winning streak. Travis Morin continues to lead a team that is 8-1-0-1 in their last ten games.
Upcoming Schedule: March 25th vs. Hamilton, 27th at San Antonio and 29th vs. Hamilton
2. St. John’s IceCaps (41-20-1-3) The IceCaps are one of the hottest teams in the league right now, entering this week with nine wins over their last ten games including a current four game streak. They play three East Division teams this week.
Upcoming Schedule: March 26th at Syracuse, 28th at Binghamton and 29th at Hershey
3. Manchester Monarchs (42-17-2-6) L.A.’s AHL affiliate continues to play well despite numerous call ups to the NHL level, holding the top spot in the Eastern Conference at 92 standings points. They face two non-playoff teams this week.
Upcoming Schedule: March 28th vs. Worcester and 29th at Portland
4. Grand Rapids Griffins (41-19-2-4) Last year’s Calder Cup champions has made it known they’re a championship contender this season as well, trailing the top seeded Texas Stars in the Western Conference by just two points. Rookie Teemu Pulkkinen is 15th in AHL scoring with 52 points on the campaign.
Upcoming Schedule: March 28th at Rockford, 29th vs. Rockford and 30th at Milwaukee
5. Chicago Wolves (37-19-5-3) The Wolves have found their best hockey in the New Year, entering this week on a four game point streak (2-0-1-1). Goaltender Jake Allen leads all net minders with 28 wins on the season.
Upcoming Schedule: March 26th, 29th vs. Lake Erie and 30th at Rockford
6. Springfield Falcons (39-20-1-5) With just 11 games left on their schedule, achieving the top seed in the Eastern Conference seems like a reach, but they have three easy games this week. Springfield trails the Monarchs by eight points, but have two games in hand on Manchester.
Upcoming Schedule: March 26th vs. Adirondack, 28th at Hartford and 29th at Adirondack
7. Toronto Marlies (38-20-2-3) Toronto has climbed into third in the Western Conference and is playing better as the playoffs draw near, unlike their NHL counterpart. The Marlies’ Spencer Abbott is second in AHL scoring with 68 points in 60 games.
Upcoming Schedule: March 25th vs. Rochester, 28th at Rochester and 29th vs. Iowa
8. Binghamton Senators (38-21-1-4) The loss of forward Mike Hoffman to Ottawa has yet to deter Binghamton, who enters this week on a two game winning streak. Forward Stephane Da Costa is 13th in AHL scoring with 56 points in 53 games.
Upcoming Schedule: March 28th vs. St. John’s, 29th at Syracuse and 30th at Albany
9. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (36-21-3-5) Although their parent club is decimated by injuries, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has fought their adversity all season. They’re a contender out of the Eastern Conference headed into the postseason.
Upcoming Schedule: March 26th vs. Providence, 28th and 29th at Norfolk
10. Milwaukee Admirals (30-21-6-7) With Rochester and Rockford struggling, the Admirals’ playoff positioning is improving almost gamely. They trail the fifth seed in the Western Conference by just four points.
Upcoming Schedule: March 26th at Rochester, 28th vs. Lake Erie and 30th vs. Grand Rapids
11. Albany Devils (34-20-4-7) Playing a system replicated by the New Jersey Devils in the NHL, Albany has found success with goaltending and defense. Two matchups against East Division teams is a good challenge for the almost certain playoff bound Devils.
Upcoming Schedule: March 28th at Hershey, 29th vs. Worcester and 30th vs. Binghamton
12. Providence Bruins (32-23-2-7) Providence has been a victim of far too many games past regulation this season, but find themselves in a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. A two game week provides a chance for rest heading into the stretch drive.
Upcoming Schedule: March 26th at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and 28th at Portland
13. Rockford IceHogs (31-25-5-4) The IceHogs hold a three point edge in the seventh seed in the Western Conference above playoff chasers, but they’ve struggled lately. Rockford enters this week with a 4-4-1-1 record over their past ten contests.
Upcoming Schedule: March 28th vs. Grand Rapids, 29th at Grand Rapids and 30th vs. Chicago
14. Charlotte Checkers (32-30-1-2) After sitting at the bottom of the Western Conference in the first half of the season, the Checkers trail a playoff spot by just three standings points. Three matchups against subpar teams this week could pull them very close to that goal.
Upcoming Schedule: March 25th, 26th at Iowa, 29th and 30th vs. Oklahoma City
15. Norfolk Admirals (34-22-2-7) Although playing about average lately, the Admirals sit seventh in the Eastern Conference. They recently pulled out a big 3-2 win in Hershey over a Bears team that’s hoping to catch Norfolk.
Upcoming Schedule: March 28th and 29th vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
16. Abbotsford Heat (35-24-5-2) With the Calgary Flames in full rebuilding mode, the Heat have lost a few players due to promotions to the NHL. They’re 2-7-1-0 in their past ten games.
Upcoming Schedule: March 28th, 29th at Utica and 30th at Toronto
17. Hershey Bears (32-25-4-4) After picking up a win Friday night, the Bears weekend fell apart as they picked up only two of a possible six points, finishing with a 2-1 loss in Manchester. Every game is a must win game from here on out for the Chocolate and White.
Upcoming Schedule: March 28th vs. Albany and 29th vs. St. John’s
18. Oklahoma City Barons (29-27-2-7) Although just three standings points out of the postseason, Oklahoma hasn’t hit home on their opportunity. Edmonton’s AHL affiliate has not won in regulation over their past four contests.
Upcoming Schedule: March 25th vs. San Antonio, 29th and 30th at Charlotte
19. Worcester Sharks (31-29-3-1) The Sharks are all but eliminated from playoff contention, but they’re playing much better of late, going 7-3 over their past ten matchups.
Upcoming Schedule: March 26th at Portland, 28th at Manchester and 29th at Albany
20. Utica Comets (29-28-3-4) The Comets were the laughing stock of the league in the first half, but they’ve had a complete turnout over the past couple months. They recently bumped over .500 and enter this week on a two game winning streak.
Upcoming Schedule: March 28th, 29th vs. Abbotsford and 30th vs. Iowa
21. Rochester Americans (30-24-6-4) The Americans aren’t doing themselves any favors with playoff positioning, as they cling to the eighth seed in the Western Conference. They’re winless over their past six games (0-4-2-0).
Upcoming Schedule: March 25th at Toronto, 26th vs. Milwaukee and 28th vs. Toronto
22. Lake Erie Monsters (28-28-0-7) Colorado’s AHL affiliate has an outside chance at the playoffs due to their current four game point steak (3-0-0-1), trailing the eighth seed by seven points. Mitchell Heard leads all rookies with 152 penalty minutes this season.
Upcoming Schedule: March 26th at Chicago, 28th at Milwaukee and 29th at Chicago
23. Hartford Wolf Pack (28-30-1-6) Rookie forward Danny Kristo was the lone bright spot for Hartford until recently and the assignment of J.T. Miller o the Wolf Pack has paid dividends. Defenseman Danny Syvret is eighth in blue line scoring with 36 points on the season.
Upcoming Schedule: March 28th vs. Springfield, 29th vs. Bridgeport and 30th at Bridgeport
24. Portland Pirates (23-30-2-8) The Pirates have the second lowest winning percentage (.444) in the AHL, but they enter this week after a win last weekend. They’re 30th in team defense, allowing a league worst 3.59 goals per game.
Upcoming Schedule: March 26th vs. Worcester, 28th vs. Providence and 29th vs. Manchester
25. Syracuse Crunch (25-29-4-6) Sitting last in the East Division, the Crunch are 3-6-1-0 over their past ten contests. They play two tough teams in the IceCaps and Senators this week.
Upcoming Schedule: March 26th vs. St. John’s, 28th vs. Adirondack and 29th vs. Binghamton
26. San Antonio Rampage (26-29-3-6) The Rampage have been putrid lately, linked to their anemic defense. They’re 24th in team defense, allowing 3.05 goals per contest.
Upcoming Schedule: March 25th at Oklahoma City, 27th vs. Texas, 28th and 30th vs. Hamilton
27. Hamilton Bulldogs (28-31-1-4) Montreal’s AHL affiliate will be watching their parent club after their season ends, as they trail a playoff spot by nine points with just 12 games remaining.
Upcoming Schedule: March 25th at Texas, 28th at San Antonio and 29th at Texas
28. Iowa Wild (25-28-6-4) Like Utica, the Wild are another relocated franchise in their first season. They’re last in goal scoring averaging 2.33 goals per game.
Upcoming Schedule: March 25th, 26th vs. Charlotte, 29th at Toronto and 30th at Utica 2
9. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (27-31-2-5) The Islanders’ AHL affiliate has been awful for the majority of the season and continue to be. They have just one win in their last ten games (1-7-1-1).
Upcoming Schedule: March 29th at Hartford and 30th vs. Hartford
30. Adirondack Phantoms (25-34-1-4)
This is the 5th recall this season for @TyeMcGinn believe it or not. But it is his first in a couple months. His last PHI game was Jan 12.
— Bob Rotruck (@BobRotruck) March 23, 2014
The losses of Tye McGinn to Philadelphia and Kris Newbury to the Hershey Bears will continue to hinder Adirondack, who will lose the Phantoms to Lehigh Valley next season.
Upcoming Schedule: March 26th at Springfield, 28th at Syracuse and 29th vs. Springfield
Matthew Speck covers the Washington Capitals organization for The Hockey Writers. He provides coverage of both Washington at the NHL level and prospect related content. Matthew also covers local sports for the Lebanon Daily News in Central Pennsylvania. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments.