by PuckStopsHere on 01/20/09 at 03:23 AM ET
When I last looked at the AHL scoring race, it was unclear who would lead the way the rest of the season because the top three scorers had all been called up to the NHL. It turns out Keith Aucoin of the Hershey Bears (Washington affiliate) had the shortest NHL recall of the bunch. He was up for three NHL games (in which he failed to score). Thus he has been back in the AHL for a while and been able to build a bit of a scoring lead with 55 points in his 42 games. His teammate Alexandre Giroux remains second in AHL scoring, but his NHL recall was a much longer one. Giroux spent 11 games with the Washington Capitals. He is scoring at a higher per game rate in the AHL with 52 points in only 35 games, but his longer stint in the show has him behind Aucoin in the league scoring race.
The third man in the scoring race in my December report was Chris Minard of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh affiliate). He remains a member of the Pittsburgh roster and has thus fallen out of the AHL scoring race.
Other candidates who are in the race include Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau of the Hartford Wolf Pack (NY Rangers affiliate) with 48 points and teammate Artem Anisimov and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton star Jeff Taffe with 46 points each.
It looks like the AHL scoring race is likely between the Hershey pair of Aucoin and Giroux as we go into the second half of the season. If both remain in the AHL, it should be a tight race. The presence of scorers of this quality is one reason that Hershey is in first place in the AHL and a sign that Washington has depth if injuries strike down the stretch in the NHL.
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