The AHL’s Pacific Division is different than the rest of the league, with six teams playing just 68 games compared to the league’s mandate of 76 games. With the imbalance in scheduling, each point is at a premium. Here’s our Pacific division breakdown.
Record: 22-21-8-1 (0.510 PCT)
Division Record: 19-17-7-1
Leading Scorer: Ty Rattie, 40 points (20 G, 20 A)
NHL/ECHL Affiliation: Edmonton Oilers & Wichita Thunder
Rostered players on AHL-only contracts: Josh Currie, Dave Gust, Ryan Hamilton, Ty Loney, Zach O’Brien, Evan Polei
Strength(s) of team: Bakersfield’s home power-play unit ranks seventh in the AHL at 19.8%.
State of team: The Condors sit tied for last in a tough division, but even so have managed to play .500 hockey on the campaign. With NHL Edmonton being hampered by the salaries of a few big-name players, the depth in the organization has just not been there this year. There may be more call-ups due to injury, but a trade seems unlikely.
Record: 27-19-4-1 (0.578 PCT)
Division Record: 23-15-3-1
Leading Scorer: Matt Moulson and Mike Amadio (in NHL with Edmonton) each have 35 points (11 G, 24 A) in 32 games, while Michael Mersch has 35 points (19 G, 16 A) in 48.
NHL/ECHL Affiliation: Los Angeles Kings & Manchester Monarchs
Rostered players on AHL-only contracts:Jamie Devane, T.J. Hensick, Sam Herr, Philippe Maillet, Brett Sutter, Sean Walker
Strength(s) of team: Scoring first and goals allowed.
State of team: The Reign are playing good hockey recently, having gone 4-0-1-0 in their last five games to move back into playoff position. Ontario is also extremely tough to beat when it scores first, going 19-2-0-1 when taking the game’s first lead. The Reign have also been stingy in their defensive zone, ranking tenth in the AHL giving up 2.84 goals a game. However, they won’t have their dominant duo in net, with Jack Campbell called up to Los Angeles, but Cal Petersen is there to handle the load. Petersen was an All-Star this year and is 16-9-0-2 with a 2.53 GAA and .910 save % for Ontario. The Reign are in good shape to make a run with Petersen in net and are unlikely to make any trades at the deadline.
San Antonio Rampage
Record: 27-23-8-0 (0.534 PCT)
Division Record: 17-13-5-0
Leading Scorer: Andrew Agozzino, 30 points (13 G, 17 A)
NHL/ECHL Affiliation: Colorado Avalanche & Colorado Eagles, St. Louis Blues & Tulsa Oilers
Rostered players on AHL-only contracts: Alex Belzile, Jake Marchment, Brendan Ranford, Shawn St-Amant, Brady Shaw
Strength(s) of Team: Home and shootout records.
State of Team: San Antonio has been steady at home this year, as the Rampage are 15-8-3-0 inside AT&T Arena. The Rampage have also been perfect in the shootout, having gone unbeaten in four games to go the distance during the current campaign. They are in a strange position in which not only themselves, but both affiliate clubs Colorado and St. Louis, have winning records and yet all find themselves outside of the playoffs in difficult divisions. If either the Avalanche or Blues fall out of contention for a playoff spot then the strategy will change as bodies may be sent down to force a playoff push at the AHL level, but regardless San Antonio does not seem likely to be affected by trade.
San Diego Gulls
Record: 30-19-1-0 (.610 PCT)
Division Record: 26-18-1-0
Leading Scorer: Kalle Kossila, 40 points (14 G, 26 A)
NHL/ECHL Affiliation: Anaheim Ducks & Utah Grizzlies
Rostered players on AHL-only contracts: Stu Bickel, Brian Cooper, Leland Irving, Jeff Schultz
Strength(s) of team: Getting the second point in OT games, goals scored per game, power-play conversion and keeping the lead after scoring the first goal.
State of team: San Diego currently sits in second place in the Pacific, having won eight of their last ten to ascend to the spot. The Gulls have been clutch in extra time, leading the AHL with a .889 points % in games decided beyond 60 minutes (4-1 OT, 4-0 SO). The offense has powered San Diego, as it ranks third in the league scoring an average of 3.34 goals per game. They also command the top power play in the AHL, converting 26% of the time on the man-advantage. San Diego has 19-3-1-0 record when scoring the game’s opening goal, which is tied for third-best in the AHL. The Gulls were plagued by injuries to NHL Anaheim early in the year, causing the Ducks to need the services of several of San Diego’s top players. Thankfully for the Gulls that seems to have calmed down, allowing them to return full strength and put together victories. With Anaheim right in the thick of the Western Conference Wild Card hunt, however, any potential future holes in Anaheim would take precedence over the needs of the San Diego. This is a possible spot where you could see a depth move be made at the AHL deadline to deepen the talent pool from which to select.
San Jose Barracuda
Record: 23-22-3-3 (.510 PCT)
Division Record: 20-17-3-3
Leading Scorer: Daniel O’Regan, 58 points (23 G, 35 A)
NHL/ECHL Affiliation: San Jose Sharks & Allen Americans
Rostered players on AHL-only contracts: Emerson Clark, Parker Gahagen, Colby McAuley, John McCarthy, Alexander True
Strength(s) of team: Penalty kill and record when scoring first.
State of Team: The Barracuda are 11th in the AHL on the penalty kill with a percentage of 83.8%. They have been tough to beat when they manage to get an early lead, going 18-3-0-0 in those games. San Jose sits tied for last in the Pacific with the Bakersfield Condors, despite the fact each team sits a game above .500. NHL San Jose is right in the middle of the race for the NHL Pacific division crown, sitting in second behind upstart Vegas, so while the Sharks won’t hesitant to make any call-ups needed, a trade does not seem reasonable right now for the Barracuda.
Record: 26-19-2-3 (.570 PCT)
Division Record: 23-15-2-3
Leading Scorer: Andrew Mangiapane, 42 points (19 G, 23 A)
NHL/ECHL Affiliation: Calgary Flames & Kansas City Mavericks
Rostered players on AHL-only contracts: Brett Findlay, Mike McMurtry, C.J. Motte, Darren Nowick, Adam Ollas Mattsson, Rod Pelley, Colby Robak, Colin Smith, Oleg Yevenko
Strength(s) of team: Goal scoring and third period dominance.
State of team: Goal scoring has been the biggest strength for the Heat this season, as they rank seventh in the AHL averaging 3.20 goals a game. They have also been dominant in the third period, and are nearly unbeatable when they take the lead to the final frame. The Heat have picked up at least a point each time they have led after two, winning 22-of-23 overall (22-0-1-0).
Stockton started the season well but has started to slip back towards the pack in recent weeks as Calgary has had to recall several key players as it looks to make a run at the NHL playoffs. Jon Gillies had been the starter in net, but now he is in Calgary. The most significant hit, however, may have been defensemen Cody Goloubef who has 17 points (7 G, 10 A) and was a plus-11 in 34 games with Stockton. Goloubef was with Team Canada at the Olympics, but played his first game back with the Heat on Saturday. His return will be a much-needed boost for Stockton.
Division Record: 13-16-5-2
Leading Scorer: Travis Morin, 48 points (8 G, 40 A)
NHL/ECHL Affiliation: Dallas Stars & Idaho Steelheads
Rostered players on AHL-only contracts: Sheldon Dries, Austin Fyten, Tyler Kelleher, Samuel Laberge, Matt Mangene, Colin Markison, Travis Morin, Michael Paliotta, Greg Rallo, Tommy Thompson
Strength(s) of team: Record in one-goal games, especially at home
State of team: The Stars have lost three in a row to slide to fifth in the ultra-competitive Pacific, leaving them on the outside looking in if the playoffs started tomorrow. .While the Stars have not been overly impressive on the stat sheet, what has been impressive has been their ability to find ways to win tight contests. Texas is an impressive 17-4-5-3 overall in games decided by just one goal, and are even better on home ice. When the game has been determined by the slimmest of margins in Cedar Park, the Stars are 12-1-2-1. NHL Dallas is in the middle of a tight race for a playoff spot, and while they did not make a trade at the NHL deadline, they have been willing to adjust the Texas lineup frequently this season. Players like Jason Dickinson, Dillon Heatherington, and Curtis McKenzie have gone back-and-forth between Dallas and Austin all year, and Remi Elie was recently returned on paper to Texas so that he would be eligible to be on the Texas roster for the playoffs. Moves between the two clubs, especially involving Dickinson who has a two-way contract, is likely to continue. The Stars could benefit from a depth acquisition to make up for the continued loss of offensive firepower.
Record: 30-17-3-1 (0.627 PCT)
Division Record: 23-15-1-1
Leading Scorer: Dylan Strome, 48 points (21 G, 27 A)
NHL/ECHL Affiliation: Arizona Coyotes & Fort Wayne Komets
Rostered players on AHL-only contracts: Carter Camper, Kevin Ekman-Larsson
Strength(s) of team: Goaltending tandem and goals allowed.
State of the team: Keeping the puck out of the net has been a significant key to the success of the Roadrunners this year, allowing a Western Conference-low 138 goals against through March, 3. The Roadrunners have benefited from having two talented netminders on the squad, as Hunter Miska adds a record of 15-7-4-0 to Adin Hill’s stellar goals against average. The Roadrunners have been playing great hockey over the last few months, and have themselves in the first position in the Pacific as the AHL trade deadline nears. Their parent club Arizona is currently on pace to finish dead last in the league and will be in no hurry to avoid that at this point. The acquisition of Carter Camper by the Coyotes at the NHL Trade Deadline has done nothing but add even more scoring depth to an already deep team. While there are undoubtedly players in Tucson who could help the Coyotes, it is not in the best interest of the club or the player to call them up to languish in last. Instead, they are far better served to continue to allow the prospects to play in meaningful games down the stretch in Tucson, all the while experiencing the pressures of a divisional race and potential subsequent playoff series.