Kukla's Korner

The Puck Stops Here

AHL’s Top Team

Early in the season the first place team in any league often changes a few times.  A week and a half ago, I reported that the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (Pittsburgh farm affiliate) were in first place.  A loss on Wednesday to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Philadelphia Flyer affiliate) dropped them from first place.  Taking over the league lead is the Tucson Roadrunners (Arizona Coyote affiliate).

In the AHL, the western teams play fewer games in the season than eastern teams.  As a result, first place is not determined by points but rather by winning percentage.  Tucson has the best winning percentage at .818.  They have a record of 8-3 with 2 regulation tie points.  This gives them fewer wins than a few eastern teams but the best record in the league. 

I think Tucson is a short term league leader.  They have scored only eight more goals than they have allowed (38-30).  That isn't a particularly impressive scoring record for a first place team.  The Stockton Heat (Calgary Flames affiliate) have the same number of games played as Tucson.  They have scored 43 goals and allowed 29.  They have a .682 winning percentage.  It is a reasonable argument that Tucson isn't the best western team let alone the best team in the league.

Tucson has had solid goaltending from Adin Hill.  He is posting a .922 saves percentage and a 2.62 GAA.  Those may be all star worthy numbers.  They have three players scoring at better than point per game rate in Craig Cunningham, Chris Mueller and Brendan Perlini.  Defenceman Kyle Wood is one point below that pace.  They are a solid team, but I don't think they are good enough to remain in first place for long.  Let's watch and see if that is what happens.

NOTE:  Tuscon had an eventful night last night as top scorer Craig Cunningham suffered a seizure in the warm-up before their game with the Manitoba Moose.  Cunningham was rushed to hospital and the game was postponed.  Tucson will find it harder to stay in first place without Cunningham healthy and in the line-up.

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About The Puck Stops Here

imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

Why am I blogging? I want to.

Why are you reading it? ???

Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com