by PuckStopsHere on 11/18/12 at 01:37 PM ET
At the end of October, I wrote about the teams leading in the AHL standings. It is time to look again. We have a new team atop the league in the Abbotsford Heat (Calgary Flames farm affiliate). They are undefeated in their last seven games and have only been defeated in regulation one time so far this season. They have ten wins in 14 games with three of their losses in overtime and shootouts. This gives then 23 points in 14 games played.
Abbotsford is the top defensive team in the league with only 22 goals allowed. They have had strong goaltending. Danny Taylor has been their number one goalie. He is posting a 1.69 GAA and a .938 saves percentage, which puts him among the league leaders. However those numbers do not approach those of Barry Brust who has only one goal against in four games played. Brust has a 0.25 GAA and a .991 saves percentage to dat. Those numbers are incredible and will not last all season but Brust is a good goalie. Defensively TJ Brodie and Steve McCarthy are leading the team. Their top scorer is Sven Baetschi who was a 2011 first round draft pick ad would have to be considered a Calder Trophy candidate if there was an NHL season. Roman Horak, Ben Street and Ben Walter are also having good starts to their seasons.
Abbotsford does not have a big lead in the AHL standings. They are only one point ahead of the Charlotte Checkers (Carolina Hurricane affiliate) and Springfield Falcons (Columbus Blue Jackets affiliate).
Springfield is the team giving Abbotsford the biggest challenge to their defensive supremacy. They have only allowed one more goal in an equal number of games played. Curtis McElhinney has been tremendous in goal. He is posting a 1.41 GAA and a .953 saves percentage. Tim Erixon and David Savard are their top defencemen. Their top scorers have been Jonathan Audy-Marchessault and Cam Atkinson.
Charlotte is the top offensive team in the AHL. They have 54 goals scored. Defenceman Justin Faulk leads the team in scoring. Zach Boychuk, Zac Dolpe and Drayson Bowman are close behind. In goal Dan Ellis has done a very good job. He is posting a .947 saves percentage and a 1.67 GAA.
None of these teams is likely to fall out of the race if the NHL season starts up Although each team has a player or two who would likely be in the NHL if it were running, they all have sufficient depth that they would not be destroyed by the call up of a player or two. It may make for a disjointed season in the AHL, should the NHL have a partial season, but we are unlikely to see any of these teams fall apart if it happens.
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