by PuckStopsHere on 01/15/12 at 04:08 PM ET
The Hershey Bears (Washington Capitals affiliate) have a four point lead over the rest of the AHL with 55 points. They have a 24-15 record with seven regulation tie points. This is the team with the best offence in the league. The two top scorers in the AHL are both Hershey players in Keith Aucoin and Chris Bourque. Jacob Micflikier and Graham Mink are other Hershey players among the top scorers in the league. This team has averaged 3.84 goals per game. By comparison, the Boston Bruins lead the NHL with 3.58 goals per game.
Perhaps the team most likely to catch Hershey is the Abbotsford Heat (Calgary Flames affiliate). They are in a three way tie with 51 points behind the Bears. Abbotsford has a 24-14 record with only three regulation tie points. Neglecting the regulation ties, their record would have them in first place. Abbotsford has to overcome significant travel issues. They are in the large AHL West Division. Its other teams are in Texas and Oklahoma.
Abbotsford is the top defensive team in the AHL. They have allowed 2.32 goals per game. Leland Irving has played the largest number of games for the team. He is currently playing in the NHL. This leaves Danny Taylor as their top goalie. He has posted a .944 saves percentage and a 1.92 GAA since arriving in Abbotsford.
The Hershey Bears seem to be running away with the AHL regular season lead. They are a strong offensive team. If anyone catches them it is likely the defensively-strong Abbotsford Heat. It will be remarkable if they do catch Hershey because of the travel issues that they face.
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