The final two weeks have arrived in the 2013-14 American Hockey League season, with multiple teams closing in on playoff spots. Two teams in the Eastern Conference and four teams in the Western Conference have clinched playoff spots. Check where your favorite team ranks below in The Hockey Writers weekly edition of AHL Power Rankings.
1. Texas Stars (45-17-3-6)
The Texas stars have the top winning percentage in the AHL (.697) and will likely finish first in the Western Conference. They’re currently setup for a first round matchup against the Rochester Americans.
Upcoming Schedule: April 11th vs. San Antonio, 12th and 13th at San Antonio
2. Grand Rapids Griffins (45-21-2-4)
Last season’s Calder Cup champions are playing well like Texas, also securing a playoff spot. The Griffins are 7-3 over their past ten contests.
Upcoming Schedule: April 10th and 13th at Charlotte
3. Manchester Monarchs (45-19-2-6)
L.A.’s AHL affiliate will likely enter the playoffs as the number one seed and could face the Hershey Bears in their opening round matchup. They’ve lost just seven games at home this season.
Upcoming Schedule: April 9th at Portland, 12th vs. Portland and 13th at Providence
4. Toronto Marlies (42-22-2-4)
The Marlies have clinched a playoff spot and could get reinforcements after the Toronto Maple Leafs season concludes. Forward Spencer Abbott is fourth in AHL scoring with 69 points on the year.
Upcoming Schedule: April 11th at Rochester, 12th at Syracuse and 13th at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
5. Chicago Wolves (40-20-5-5)
The Wolves have also clinched a playoff spot and enter this week on a three game point streak (1-0-0-2). Goaltender Jake Allen leads the league with 30 wins.
Upcoming Schedule: April 11th at Iowa, 12th at Milwaukee and 13th vs. Rockford
6. Springfield Falcons (44-21-1-5)
With Columbus headed toward the playoffs, Springfield will join them at the AHL level. They enter this week with a 7-3 record in their past ten games as they head towards the Calder Cup playoffs.
Upcoming Schedule: April 11th vs. Portland, 12th vs. Hershey and 13th at Bridgeport
7. Binghamton Senators (41-23-1-5)
Although not in the upper echelon like Manchester and Springfield, the Senators are a very dangerous team in the playoffs. The Senators have two big games against the Hershey Bears this week, an East division opponent.
Upcoming Schedule: April 11th vs. Hershey, 12th at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 13th at Hershey
8. Providence Bruins (38-23-2-8)
Providence could be a very dangerous team in the playoffs, due to their forward depth and talent in goal. They face three tough matchups this week.
Upcoming Schedule: April 11th vs. Norfolk, 12th at Albany and 13th vs. Manchester
9. Abbotsford Heat (39-25-5-2)
Calgary’s AHL affiliate enters this week on a two game winning streak as they look to pull to third in the Western Conference. Max Reinhart is 15th in AHL scoring with 57 points this season.
Upcoming Schedule: April 11th and 13th vs. Oklahoma City
10. St. John’s IceCaps (42-22-2-4)
Currently at twenty games over .500, the IceCaps main goal should be to secure home ice advantage for the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs. They’re 5-3-1-1 in their last ten games with winnable matchups this week.
Upcoming Schedule: April 8th and 9th vs. Hamilton, 12th and 13th vs. Hartford
11. Oklahoma City Barons (33-27-2-9)
Edmonton’s AHL affiliate has risen in our rankings over the past few weeks as they’ve taken over the seventh spot in the Western Conference. They’re currently on a six game point streak (4-0-0-2).
Upcoming Schedule: April 11th and 13th at Abbotsford
12. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (40-23-3-5)
Pittsburgh’s AHL affiliate has been outstanding all season due to their ability to fight through adversity and injuries. They’re almost a lock for the playoffs, it’s just a question if they can grab home ice advantage in the opening round.
Upcoming Schedule: April 11th at Syracuse, 12th vs. Binghamton and 13th vs. Toronto
13. Milwaukee Admirals (34-23-6-7)
Milwaukee has climbed to sixth in the Eastern Conference and would face Toronto in the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs. Miikka Salomaki is 11th in AHL rookie scoring with 46 points in 69 games.
Upcoming Schedule: April 8th vs. Rockford, 11th at Rockford, 12th vs. Chicago and 13th at Iowa
14. Hershey Bears (37-25-4-4)
The Bears enter this week on a five game win streak with matchups against inferior teams. The play of rookie forward Caleb Herbert is encouraging for the stretch run.
Upcoming Schedule: April 11th at Binghamton, 12th at Springfield and 13th vs. Binghamton
15. Albany Devils (35-23-5-8)
With the New Jersey Devils expecting to miss the NHL playoffs this season, Albany could receive some major help personnel wise. They have two extremely winnable games this week against the Sound Tigers and the Crunch.
Upcoming Schedule: April 11th vs. Bridgeport, 12th vs. Providence and 13th vs. Syracuse
16. Norfolk Admrirals (36-25-2-7)
Norfolk has slipped up as the season winds down and will face two crucial games against the Hershey Bears next week at home. John Gibson was recently recalled to the Anaheim Ducks.
Upcoming Schedule: April 11th at Providence, 12th at Worcester and 13th at Portland
17. Rochester Americans (33-27-6-4)
Buffalo’s AHL affiliate has a one point edge on the eighth seed in the Western Conference which would set them up with a challenging first round matchup against Texas. However, they enter this week on a three game winning streak.
Upcoming Schedule: April 11th vs. Toronto, 12th at Hamilton and 13th at Lake Erie
18. Hartford Wolf Pack (33-31-1-6)
The Wolf Pack have quietly climbed over the .500 mark even though they playoffs are out of the question. They enter this week on a five game winning streak.
Upcoming Schedule: April 9th at Worcester, 12th and 13th at St. John’s
19. Utica Comets (31-30-5-4)
Like Hartford, Utica has some movement up the standings as they plan towards next season. This is a good time for the Comets to evaluate what they head into the offseason.
Upcoming Schedule: April 10th and 11th at Lake Erie, 13th at Adirondack
20. Charlotte Checkers (36-33-1-2)
The Checkers are currently battling with three teams for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, currently trailing Rochester by one standings point. They’ve been struggling of late though, entering this week on a three game losing streak.
Upcoming Schedule: April 10th and 13th vs. Grand Rapids
21. Worcester Sharks (34-31-4-2)
San Jose’s AHL affiliate is out of the playoff race; currently trailing the eighth seeded Hershey Bears by eight points. Their penalty kill is 11th in the league at 83%.
Upcoming Schedule: April 9th vs. Hartford, 11th vs. Adirondack and 12th vs. Norfolk
22. Rockford IceHogs (33-28-5-4)
The IceHogs enter this week on a two game losing streak as they trail the eighth seeded Rochester Americans by one point. They have just three wins over their last ten games.
Upcoming Schedule: April 8th at Milwaukee, 11th vs. Milwaukee and 12th vs. Iowa
23. Hamilton Bulldogs (31-33-1-6)
The Bulldogs are two games over .500 as Montreal’s AHL affiliate this season and likely will be missing out on the playoffs. They’re 28th in the league in goal scoring, averaging 2.41 goals per game.
Upcoming Schedule: April 8th and 9th at St. John’s, 12th vs. Rochester
24. Syracuse Crunch (29-30-4-7)
Syracuse is the worst team in the East Division and won’t be appearing in the playoffs this season. Injuries from their parent club have hurt them tremendously.
Upcoming Schedule: April 11th vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 12th vs. Toronto and 13th Albany
25. San Antonio Rampage (29-33-3-6)
San Antonio is second to last in the Western Conference, but enter this week on a two game winning streak. They face three tough games against the Stars this week.
Upcoming Schedule: April 11th at Texas, 12th and 13th vs. Texas
26. Lake Erie Monsters (29-32-0-9)
The Monsters have lost four straight contests heading into this week, but have three winnable game this week. The finish their weekend Sunday vs. Rochester.
Upcoming Schedule: April 10th and 11th vs. Utica, 13th vs. Rochester
27. Adirondack Phantoms (27-36-1-6)
The Flyers AHL affiliate has struggled ever since the New Year and losing key forwards Kris Newbury and Tye McGinn hasn’t help. They move to Lehigh Valley in the 2013-14 campaign.
Upcoming Schedule: April 11th at Worcester, 12th at Bridgeport and 13th vs. Utica
28. Iowa Wild (27-33-6-4)
The relocated Minnesota affiliate has struggled in their first year in Iowa and will not be participating in the playoffs this season. They have the worst offense in the league, averaging just 2.26 goals per matchup.
Upcoming Schedule: April 11th vs. Chicago, 12th at Rockford and 13th vs. Milwaukee
29. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (27-36-2-6)
With the New York Islanders struggling, the Sound Tigers has numerous players on tryout contracts as their season wraps up. Losing rookie Ryan Strome to the NHL was a major loss.
Upcoming Schedule: April 11th at Albany, 12th vs. Adirondack and 13th vs. Bridgeport
30. Portland Pirates (24-35-3-8)
Portland has the worst winning percentage in the league (.421) and just would like this season to be completed. They have just three wins in their last ten games.
Upcoming Schedule: April 9th vs. Manchester, 11th at Springfield, 12th at Manchester and 13th vs. Norfolk
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.