One month from today’s date, 16 teams will begin their quest for Mr. Kelly’s chalice. Between now and then, there is still much to sort out. We will keep you updated with who has clinched playoff berths, division titles and has home-ice cinched up for the opening round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
For those new to hockey and not sure of how the magic numbers work, they represent the number of “points” needed to clinch. Of which these can be garnered in any combination. The ultimate is a win by a team in front combined with a regulation loss by a team behind. That gains 4 points for the team ahead. Combinations of wins/losses can result in 4, 3, 2, 1, or no points gained.
Win – Regulation Loss: 4 point gain
Win – OT/SO Loss: 3 point gain
Win – Win: 2 point gain
OT/SO Loss – Regulation Loss: 1 point gain
Anything else is 0 points gained.
Here is an update from the Eastern Conference:
- In the North Division, the Reading Royals now have a three-point lead over Brampton & Manchester in the race for the division title, by virtue of their 4-1 win over Elmira.
- Brampton has the #2 seed in the division, with a 33-31 edge in wins over Manchester. The Beast have just 1 shootout win this year.
- Adirondack still has an eight point lead over the Wheeling Nailers, in the race for fourth in the North.
- Florida’s magic number remains at 10 after losing to South Carolina 2-1.
- Cincinnati now holds a scant one-point lead over the South Carolina Stingrays after getting drubbed by Idaho 5-2.
- Norfolk and Elmira have been eliminated from playoff contention in the Eastern Conference.
In the Western Conference:
- In the Central Division, Toledo was the first ECHL team to clinch a playoff berth last weekend.
- Fort Wayne can become the second team to punch their ticket to the Kelly Cup playoffs if Tulsa loses at Missouri this afternoon
- Quad City’s and Kalamazoo were not able to lower their magic numbers (12 and 15 respectively) after suffering losses Saturday night.
- In the Mountain Division, Colorado and Allen enter the day separated by four points for the division lead. Both teams are in action this afternoon.
- Colorado’s magic number for clinching a playoff berth is down to five, while Allen’s is down to 11.
- Idaho appears destined for the third seed in the division semifinal round, as they hold a seven-point lead over the Alaska Aces.
- Speaking of Alaska, they have a five-point cushion on the Utah Grizzlies and a seven-point lead on the Missouri Mavericks in the race for the fourth playoff position. Alaska plays Colorado, while Missouri hosts Tulsa this afternoon.
- Indy and Wichita have been eliminated from playoff contention, while Rapid City is very close to being eliminated, sitting 16 points behind Alaska with 12 games left.
Here is the playoff bracket, if it were to start today:
The Race for the Brabham Cup:
With one month to go before the playoffs, four teams remain in contention for the ECHL regular season championship. Here is a look at the standings entering action on Sunday:
|Toledo Walleye||42-14-2-1 (87 pts)||13 (9H, 4A)|
|Colorado Eagles||40-15-2-3 (85 pts)||12 (4H, 8A)|
|Florida Everblades||38-15-2-3 (81 pts)||14 (6H, 8A)|
|Allen Americans||38-17-3-2 (81 pts)||12 (8H, 4A)|
The importance of winning the Brabham Cup is that it gives the winner home-ice advantage throughout every round of the playoffs for as long as they are in.
Looking back to 2006-07, the winners of the Brabham Cup have gone on to win the Kelly Cup three times.
|2006-07||Las Vegas Wranglers||Lost in Conference Semis to Idaho|
|2007-08||Cincinnati Cyclones||WON KELLY CUP|
|2008-09||Florida Everblades||Lost in South Division Finals to SC|
|2009-10||Idaho Steelheads||Lost in Kelly Cup Finals to Cincinnati|
|2010-11||Alaska Aces||WON KELLY CUP|
|2011-12||Alaska Aces||Lost in Conference Finals to Las Vegas|
|2012-13||Alaska Aces||Lost in Conference Semis to Stockton|
|2013-14||Alaska Aces||WON KELLY CUP|
|2014-15||Toledo Walleye||Lost in Conference Finals to SC|
|2015-16||Missouri Mavericks||Lost in Conference Semis to Allen|
It is interesting to note that throughout their run of titles, the Allen Americans have won the league-regular season title once (2013 in the CHL.) Colorado has never won it; Florida has won the title twice; while Toledo has won it once in their current iteration, three times overall.
Stay with thesinbin.net as we keep you updated on the playoff races in the ECHL & around minor pro hockey!