With just 23 days left until the playoffs start, more than half of the Western Conference playoff field has been set, but not a single team in the Eastern Conference has clinched a playoff berth.
That will change this week.
Let’s get into our conference breakdowns of where this weekend’s action left the race for the playoffs.
In the Eastern Conference:
- Florida will become the first Eastern Conference playoff team with their next win or any South Carolina loss
- Also, Florida’s magic number for clinching the South Division title is at 4 (Greenville).
- Positions 2-5 in the South are only separated by six points.
- Cincinnati is the hard-charging team, completing a weekend sweep of the Alaska Aces. They having narrowed their deficit to second place Greenville to just one point.
- Orlando holds the final position in the south, with a two-point lead over the South Carolina Stingrays. The Solar Bears have three games in hand on Cincinnati.
- In the North Division, Brampton holds a three-point lead over the Reading Royals and Adirondack Thunder. Brampton’s magic number to clinch their first-ever Kelly Cup playoff berth is 7.
- Reading and Adirondack are tied for second in the North Division. The Royals currently hold the second position, thanks to having more non-shootout wins than the Thunder.
- Manchester sits one point back of Reading & Adirondack, but are five points clear of Wheeling. The Nailers’ “tragic number” is 11.
In the Western Conference:
- Colorado, Allen, Toledo, Fort Wayne, and Quad City have all clinched playoff berths.
- Toledo’s magic number for clinching the Central Division title is 8 (Fort Wayne).
- Kalamazoo’s magic number to clinch the final spot in the Central Division is 3. They can clinch a playoff spot this week with two wins or a win & a loss in OT/SO by Tulsa.
- In the Mountain Division, Colorado’s magic number for clinching their second straight division title is 14 (Allen).
- Idaho’s magic number for clinching a playoff berth is 5. The earliest the Steelheads could clinch a berth is Saturday night.
- Alaska’s magic number sits at 14. The Aces hold a five-point lead on Utah and a six-point lead on the Missouri Mavericks for the final playoff spot in the Mountain Division.
- Indy, and Wichita have been eliminated from playoff contention.
Here is how the bracket shakes out if the playoffs started today. Teams who have clinched berths are represented by an “X” next to their seeding.
The Race for the Brabham Cup:
Four teams remain in contention for the ECHL regular season championship. Here is a look at the standings entering action on Friday:
|Toledo Walleye||46-14-2-1 (95 pts)||9 (6H, 3A)|
|Colorado Eagles||43-15-2-3 (91 pts)||9 (3H, 8A)|
|*Allen Americans||41-17-3-2 (87 pts)||9 (6H, 3A)|
|Florida Everblades||41-16-2-3 (87 pts)||10 (4H, 6A)|
*= Allen is third in the ECHL because of a +25 goal differential over the Florida Everblades.
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.
Stay with thesinbin.net as we keep you updated on the playoff races in the ECHL & around minor pro hockey!