AHL Update #9

BrettConnolly

Another day late with the AHL update, but this time at least I have a good excuse. OK, not really, so let’s get on with the show.

  • Bobby Butler of the Albany Devils was named Player of the Week after recording 6 goals and an assist in 3 games. In total he only has 15 points in 22 games this season, but he’s now on a 6 game scoring streak, which couldn’t have come at a better time for the Devils with Adam Henrique out 4-6 weeks. Butler you’ll remember was bought out by the Ottawa Senators this offseason due to the club having too many contracts and needing to make room for some European players. New Jersey snapped him up on the cheap and it’s looking like a good move thus far.
  • The Portland Pirates are riding a 5 game winning streak after winning 3 in a row last week. They’ve had excellent goaltending during this stretch from both Chad Johnson and Mark Visentin, who have combined to allow only 5 goals during the streak. Oliver Ekman-Larsson continues to be a force on the backend as well, pitching in with 5 points in the past 4 games.
  • The Charlotte Checkers are back to winning and putting distance between themselves and other challengers in the South Division. 3 wins last week stretched their win streak to 4 games. Zach Boychuk has led the way offensively, with 5 assists over the last 4 games, while Justin Peters looks to have wrestled the starting job back from Ellis, having allowed only 2 goals in his last 3 starts.
  • The Chicago Wolves have won 3 in a row thanks to impressive goaltending from Matt Climie while Eddie Lack is on the injured list. The offense is still struggling though, as neither Jordan Schroeder nor Zack Kassian have scored a goal since November.
  • Jordan Eberle exploded for 4 goals and an assist on Saturday night, moving him into a tie with Justin Schultz for the AHL scoring lead. Both players have 38 points in just 26 games for the Oklahoma City Barons this season, while Eberle holds the tiebreak due to an edge in goals (19 total to lead the league).
  • AHL veteran Jeffe Taffe is on a 6 game point streak while helping the Hershey Bears climb back into the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference. Taffe has 14 points in the last 10 games. The Bears squad is largely filled with veterans and it looked like the extra speed and youth throughout the AHL this season was making it hard on them, but now it appears as though they’re back to their usual competitive selves.
  • The Syracuse Crunch moved into first place overall in the AHL with 3 wins last week, including back-to-back shutouts from Riku Helenius and Dustin Tokarski. Brett Connolly had 3 goals during the week, giving him 5 thus far in December and further proving that his slow start to the season was merely an anomaly.