by PuckStopsHere on 12/08/08 at 02:28 PM ET
There is an interesting situation at the top of the AHL scoring race right now. The three top scorers so far this season have all been called up to the NHL. Keith Aucoin leads the league in scoring with 36 points, but he has been called up by the Washington Capitals (who are the parent club of his AHL team - the Hershey Bears). The next position in the scoring race is a tie between his Washington/Hershey teammate Alexandre Giroux and Pittsburgh/ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguin Chris Minard with 30 points. Both of them have been called up the NHL as well. This leaves a four-way tie for the top scorer this season who is currently in the AHL. The tie consists of Jeff Taffe from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Mike Iggulden of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (New York Islander affiliate), Yanick Lehoux of the Hamilton Bulldogs (Montreal Canadiens affiliate) and Jamie Lundmark of the Quad Cities Flames (Calgary affiliate). All four of them have 28 points. Another player worthy of mention in the AHL scoring race is Mark Mancari of the Portland Pirates (Buffalo Sabre affiliate) He has 27 points in only 16 games played due to an NHL call-up. Clearly who will win the AHL scoring title depends upon which of those players remain in the league.
Washington has suffered through a rash of injuries and have a league leading 10 players on the TSN injury list (Brian Pothier, Mike Green, Alexander Semin, John Erskine, Chris Clark, Sergei Fedorov, Jeff Schultz, Tyler Sloan, Eric Fehr and Tom Poti); therefore they have required some AHL callups to keep a full roster. They are well positioned for this as their Hershey Bears farm team is arguably the best in the AHL.
Chris Minard was called up by Pittsburgh due to Tyler Kennedy suffering a knee injury.
It is a rare situation that the top scorers in the AHL are all recalled at approximately the same time. Some of the recalls might stay in the NHL and thus drop out of the AHL scoring race. Some others may be back in the minors before long. This creates an opening for other players to come from off the pace and take over the scoring lead.
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