by PuckStopsHere on 03/04/12 at 03:55 PM ET
When I last looked at AHL standings we saw the St John’s IceCaps (Winnipeg Jets minor league affiliate) in first place. Things have changed since then. The Norfolk Admirals (Tampa Bay Lighting minor league affiliate) has taken over the league lead. They are currently on a twelve game winning streak. This has given them a significant lead over the rest of the league. They are five points in front of the second place Oklahoma City Barons (Edmonton Oilers minor league affiliate).
Norfolk is the highest scoring team in the AHL. They have 19 more goals than any other team in the league. Cory Conacher, Trevor Smith and Mark Barberio are their top scorers. Conacher is a 22 year old AHL rookie who is third in league scoring. If he was a bigger man (he is 5’8” 176 lbs) he would probably be an established NHLer by now.
Trevor Smith is the sixth highest scorer in the AHL. He is a 27 year old veteran of the league who is on pace to post his career best season. This is his first year in the Tampa system after stints in the New York Islander and Anaheim Duck systems.
Mark Barberio is a 21 year old defenceman who is a good puck moving defenceman.
Tampa Bay has a solid group of prospects on their successful AHL team. Conacher and Barberio might be solid NHL players one day.
If Norfolk has a weakness, it is their goal prevention. They are a more average defensive team. Dustin Tokarski is their top goalie. He is 22 and likely still an HL prospect but better goalies exist at the AHL level.
Norfolk is very hot right now. They are in first place in the league and on a twelve game winning streak. They are the top scoring team in the league. This team has to be considered the favorite for the Calder Cup at this point.
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