Today in the "A": Western Conference Standings

Today the Springfield Falcons departed a snowy western Massachusetts and headed south as they get ready for another of the seemingly endless "three-in-threes" that are part of the AHL culture. If this were baseball, these would be the equivalent of the dog days of August upon us. The season is about to enter its final quarter and the Falcons have the AHL's best team, the Norfolk Admirals (10-0-0 in their last 10 games) waiting for them with games on Friday and Saturday.

Today in the "A", it's time to take a look at the standings in the Western Conference of the AHL. The Falcons don't have to worry about any of these teams in the regular season, and truthfully, they will only have the chance to play against one of them if they should make it all the way to the Calder Cup Finals.

AHL WESTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS (as of 3/1/12):

Pos. Team GP W L OTL SOL PTS GF GA
1. Oklahoma City Barons (EDM) 55 35 15 2 3 75 161 121
2. Toronto Marlies (TOR) 57 32 19 4 2 70 171 138
3. Charlotte Checkers (CAR) 56 31 19 2 4 68 160 150
4. Chicago Wolves (VAN) 56 30 21 2 3 65 157 142
5. Abbotsford Heat (CAL) 56 30 21 3 2 65 136 142
6. San Antonio Rampage (FLA) 57 31 23 2 1 65 144 154
7. Houston Aeros (MIN) 55 26 17 3 9 64 150 149
8. Peoria Rivermen (STL) 58 30 25 2 1 63 172 161
9. Milwaukee Admirals (NSH) 55 29 22 2 2 62 155 144
10. Rochester Americans (BUF) 56 26 21 6 3 61 164 168
11. Lake Erie Monsters (COL) 57 27 25 2 3 59 141 164
12. Grand Rapids Griffins (DET) 53 23 21 5 4 55 171 170
13. Hamilton Bulldogs (MTL) 56 25 26 1 4 55 143 172
14. Rockford IceHogs (CHI) 57 24 26 2 5 55 159 185
15. Texas Stars (DAL) 55 24 27 2 2 52 163 179

The affiliations of the top three divisional leaders in the West: Edmonton, Toronto and Carolina, while powerful in what is regarded as the second best league in the world, have yet to bear those fruit at the major league level. (Carolina's cup win was six years ago)

The Oklahoma City Barons, are two years removed from their previous affiliate...the Springfield Falcons. The success that the Barons are currently enjoying, and the brash personality of the Oilers, make it appear that before long, the Oilers will once again be challenging for the Stanley Cup.

I'm no Oilers fan, but I wanted to point that out, because with some draft picks stockpiled and with possibly the #1 pick this summer, maybe it's time to look at the big picture and give some thought to where the Blue Jackets might be 2, 3, 4 or 5 years from now.

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