AHL Power Rankings: Week 7

The Hockey Writers ranks all 30 American Hockey League (AHL) teams after over a month of playing time. The Abbotsford Heat continued to top the weekly compilation of AHL power rankings. Find your favorite team below.

1. Abbotsford Heat (14-5-0-1)

The Heat have been on fire of late, going 9-1 in their last ten games. They have a strong 6-1-0-1 record at their home rink, but they play three games on the road this week.

Upcoming Schedule: November 19th at Milwaukee, 20th at Rockford, 23rd and 24th at Iowa

2. Springfield Falcons (10-3-0-1)

Like Abbotsford who rank first this week, the Falcons, AHL affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets, have also been strong lately. They’ve won three straight games and play three games in three nights this weekend. Defenseman Frederic St. Denis leads all active skaters in scoring with 11 points for Springfield.

Upcoming Schedule: November 22nd vs. Albany, 23rd vs. Hartford and 24th at Providence

3. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (10-3-0-2)

The Penguins lead the East Division, aided by their strong play against the rival Hershey Bears, AHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals. They’ve been strong away from their home rink, going 6-1-0-1 on the road.

Upcoming Schedule: November 20th at Rochester, 22nd and 23rd vs. St. John’s

4. Manchester Monarchs (11-3-1-2)

The L.A. Kings’ AHL affiliate has been on fire of late, going 7-3 in their last ten games. Defenseman Nick Deslauriers leads their blue line is 10th in defenseman scoring with 11 points this season.

Upcoming Schedule: November 22nd vs. Worcester, 23rd vs. Providence and 24th at Worcester

5. Grand Rapids Griffins (10-4-1-1)

Last season’s AHL Calder Cup Champions continue to dominate the Western Conference, trailing the Abbotsford Heat by five points, but have played three less games than Abbotsford. The Griffins are 8-2 in the last ten games played.

(Ross Bonander / THW)
(Ross Bonander / THW)

Upcoming Schedule: November 20th vs. Milwaukee, 22nd at Iowa and 23rd at Chicago

6. Texas Stars (9-6-2-1)

Led by forward Travis Morin (24 points), Texas is climbing in the Western Conference. Colton Sceviour has supplemented Morin’s offensive clinic, adding 19 points in 17 games, placing him sixth on the AHL scoring list.

Upcoming Schedule: November 19th at Hamilton, 22nd vs. San Antonio and 23rd vs. Toronto

7. Binghamton Senators (11-4)

Ottawa Senators prospect Cody Ceci has been solid in his rookie AHL season, contributing 13 points thus far, placing him fifth in rookie him scoring. The Senators are 7-1 when scoring first.

Upcoming Schedule: November 22nd at Adirondack, 23rd and 24th at Hershey

8. Syracuse Crunch (9-4-1-1)

Like Binghamton, the Crunch, AHL affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning, have been strong when scoring first (7-0-1-0). Rookie forward Nikita Kucherov has led Syracuse offensively, posting 24 points to lead all AHL rookies.

Upcoming Schedule: November 22nd at Hamilton and 23rd vs. Hamilton

9. Rochester Americans (7-4-2-2)

Even though they lost goaltender David Leggio in free agency, the Americans continue to compete in the Western Conference. Forward Luke Adams leads all Rochester skaters with 18 points in 15 games.

Upcoming Schedule: November 20th vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 22nd vs. Utica and 23rd at Utica

10. Milwaukee Admirals (8-3-3-1)

The Admirals also continue to rise in the standings, posting a 5-3-1-1 record in their past ten games. They’re tenth in goals against, allowing 2.73 goals per contest.

Upcoming Schedule: November 19th vs. Abbotsford, 20th at Grand Rapids and 22nd vs. Chicago

11. Chicago Wolves (9-6-0-1)

After getting off to a slow start to begin the 2013-14 season, Chicago’s talented group is back where many projected they would be, fighting for a top spot in the Western Conference. Corey Locke leads the Wolves in scoring, with 13 points in 15 games, including three power play assists.

Upcoming Schedule: November 22nd at Milwaukee and 23rd vs. Grand Rapids

12. Albany Devils (9-6-0-1)

The Devils had a tough go of it last season, but have made significant strides to begin this season. Although they’re not scoring a whole lot (2.56 goals per game), Albany is allowing only 2.44 goals per contest, third in the AHL.

Upcoming Schedule: November 20th vs. Hartford, 22nd at Springfield and 23rd at Adirondack

13. Norfolk Admirals (8-6-0-3)

Anaheim’s AHL affiliate is led by their two goalies, John Gibson (6-4-2, 1.99 GA, .940 SV %) and Frederik Andersen (2-0, 0.96 GAA,.971 SV %) . They’re second in goals against per game, allowing a miniscule 2.35 per game, only trailing the Springfield Falcons in that department.

Staubitz Photo Credit:(John Wright/Norfolk Admirals)
Staubitz Photo Credit:(John Wright/Norfolk Admirals)

Upcoming Schedule: November 22nd and 23rd vs. Portland

14. Lake Erie Monsters (8-6-0-1)

Lake Erie’s success has been supported by their ability to close out games when they have the lead. They’re 5-0 when leading after two periods and 4-1 when leading after the first period. On the flip side, they’ve yet to win a game when trailing after two periods (0-5-0-1).

Upcoming Schedule: November 21st and 22nd vs. Oklahoma City

15. Toronto Marlies (9-6-1-0)

Defenseman T.J. Brennan continues to shine on the Toronto defense, leading all AHL blue liners with 19 points in 16 games. Spencer Abbott also has 19 points for the Marlies, placing him 11th on the AHL scoring list.

Upcoming Schedule: November 19th vs. Charlotte, 23rd at Texas and 24th at San Antonio

16. Providence Bruins (7-5-1-2)

Coming into the season, the Bruins were expected to be led by their two young goalies Malcolm Subban (2-4, 2.72 GAA, .904 SV %) and Niklas Svedberg (5-2-2, 3.25 GAA, .902 SV). Although they haven’t been as phenomenal as expected, the Bruins’ offense has picked up the slack. Five forwards have 12 points or more on the season and Ryan Spooner leads the team with 16 points in 13 games.

Upcoming Schedule: November 22nd vs. Bridgeport, 23rd at Manchester and 24th vs. Springfield

17. Rockford IceHogs (9-8-1-0)

Defenseman Adam Clendening has been the top offensive player for Rockford this season, contributing 16 points in 18 games. They look to begin a winning streak this week, entering Wednesday’s game following a win last weekend.

Upcoming Schedule: November 20th vs. Abbotsford, 23rd and 24th at Charlotte

18. Hartford Wolf Pack (8-6-0-2)

The New York Rangers’ AHL affiliate has considerably cooled off after an energetic start to the season, going 3-6-0-1 in their last ten games. Their power play has struggled mightily, converting at only 14.7%, 24th in the league.

Upcoming Schedule: November 20th at Albany and 23rd at Springfield

19. Portland Pirates (6-5-0-2)

The Pirates’ penalty kill has aided them to an above .500 record, placing them 5th in the league when shorthanded, at 86.4%. They’re 15th in both goals per game and goals against per game.

Upcoming Schedule: November 22nd and 23rd at Norfolk

20. Adirondack Phantoms (7-6-0-2)

Adirondack’s defense has been extremely better through 15 games this season compared to last year, allowing 2.53 goals per game, 5th in the AHL. Cal Heeter has been strong between the pipes, posting a 4-4 record with a 2.24 goals against average and .926 save percentage. Nick Cousins leads the Phantoms’ offense with nine points.

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Upcoming Schedule: November 22nd vs. Binghamton and 23rd vs. Albany

21. St. John’s IceCaps (7-7-1-2)

The IceCaps have picked up points in three straight games and look to be turning the corner. They’ve struggled away from their home building, posting a 3-5 record on the road.

Upcoming Schedule: November 22nd, 23rd vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and 24th at Bridgeport

22. San Antonio Rampage (8-8-0-1)

Although the Rampage have struggled on the road (2-5-0-1) like St. John’s listed above, they’ve been playing better of late, going 6-3-0-1 in their last ten games.

Upcoming Schedule: November 19th vs. Oklahoma City, 22nd at Texas and 24th vs. Toronto

23. Hershey Bears (5-5-2-2)

Hershey picked up two wins in three games last week including a two game sweep in Charlotte where they outscored the Checkers 13-4. The Bears continued to struggle against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins this season, falling Saturday night to the Baby Pens on the road.

Upcoming Schedule: November 23rd and 24th vs. Binghamton

24. Oklahoma City Barons (7-8-0-2)

Scoring has been a big problem for the Barons in the early part of the season, averaging only 2.41 goals per game, 26th in the league. They’re also allowing 31.88 shots against per game, 23rd in the AHL.

Upcoming Schedule: November 19th at San Antonio, 21st and 22nd at Lake Erie

25. Hamilton Bulldogs (7-7-0-3)

Montreal’s AHL affiliate sits at the .500 mark to begin the season and have been strong when outshooting their opponent, going 5-2 in that situation. Forwards Sven Andrighetto, Louis LeBlanc and Martin St. Pierre all have 11 points on the season to lead the Bulldogs offensively.

Wikipedia

Upcoming Schedule: November 19th vs. Texas, 22nd vs. Syracuse and 23rd at Syracuse

26. Worcester Sharks (5-7-1-0)

The Sharks have the 27th worst win percentage in the league but could be on the upswing. They’ve earned five of a possible six points during a three game point streak. They need to improve on their 2-5 home record to have a shot at the postseason.

Upcoming Schedule: November 22nd at Manchester, 23rd vs. Bridgeport and 24th vs. Manchester

27. Iowa Wild (6-8)

This newly located franchise got off to a hot start, but have cooled off. They’re 3-7 in their last ten games and have and have an abysmal 3-7 record at home.

Upcoming Schedule: November 22nd vs. Grand Rapids, 23rd and 24th vs. Abbotsford

28. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (4-8-1-1)  

Ryan Strome continues to be the bright spot for the New York Islanders’ AHL affiliate. Strome has is tied with Danny Kristo of Hartford for fourth in rookie scoring with 16 points on the season. The Sound Tigers have lost three consecutive games.

Upcoming Schedule: November 22nd at Providence, 23rd at Worcester and 24th vs. St. John’s

29. Charlotte Checkers (5-10-0-1)

A two game sweep at home by the Hershey Bears continue to push the Checkers south in the standings.  They’ve lost seven straight games and have yet to pick up a win at home (0-6).

Upcoming Schedule: November 19th at Toronto, 23rd and 24th vs. Rockford

30. Utica Comets (2-10-1-1)

The first year in New York for the Comets hasn’t gone as the team has hoped, last in the AHL with a .214 winning percentage. They’ve lost two straight games and like Charlotte, haven’t picked up a win at home (0-6-1-1).

Upcoming Schedule: November 22nd at Rochester and 23rd vs. Rochester

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