I’ve learned a lot about the AHL this fall and winter, the main item being this: the level of competition expected from a ‘three in a row’ weekend should be reduced by many fold by the time Sunday rolls around.
Tonight the Barons face the Griffins–Detroit’s farm team–and continue to be in tough for the top of their division. OKC is currently third, behind Charlotte (trail by 2) and those pesky Houston Aeros by 1 point. The high powered offense for the Barons rarely runs two lines deep and their defense is young and error prone. If not for Ebs, Hall, Schultz and Danis this club would be well down the table.
The scoring race is getting ridiculous, and reflects top end offense and then a large dip to the secondary moderns. As it currently stands, the OKC Barons have the following men in the league’s top 100 scoring:
- #1 Jordan Eberle 32, 24-25-49
- #2 Justin Schultz 32, 17-28-45
- #6 Taylor Hall 24, 13-20-33
- #11 (tie) Mark Arcobello 30, 9-21-30
- #55 (tie) Teemu Hartikainen 32, 10-12-22
- #80 (tie) Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 19, 8-12-20
- #92 (tie) Magnus Paajarvi 32, 4-15-19
Nuge will return and maybe Arcobello can help a secondary line. However, the men listed here have spent gobs of time together and the offense flows from the top 3 names on this list (plus the Nuge when he was here). Some balanced scoring will be required if this team is going to go deep into the second season.
Those worries are miles away. For now, we look forward to fresh troops in Grand Rapids.