With three-and-a-half weeks to go in the ECHL’s regular season, the race for the Kelly Cup Playoffs continues to intensify.
Before we start our breakdowns, a huge thanks to our statistician Joe Alsman for providing the stats for this piece. Joe provides our team with a wealth of statistical information during the season, and it’s great to have him as part of Team Sin Bin.
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 four 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.
Let’s start the breakdowns!
- The top three teams in the division are separated by four points.
- Wheeling is four points back of Reading with 69 points, but the Nailers have an eight-point lead on the Worcester Railers. (Worcester also has three games in-hand on the Nailers, which could come in huge in the coming weeks.)
- With a win Tuesday night, Brampton’s tragic number stays at nine but, there is still an outside shot they could be eliminated from playoff contention this week.
- Thanks to a shutout loss by South Carolina to Idaho Thursday night and an Everblades win in overtime, Florida’s magic number for clinching the South Division title is at 19.
- Orlando’s loss in OT to the Everblades cuts their magic number for clinching a playoff berth to seven.
- Norfolk and Jacksonville continue to lurk behind the Gladiators in the race for fourth, both sitting eight points behind Atlanta.
- The Fort Wayne Komets clinched a playoff berth for the fifth straight year with an overtime win Wednesday night in Reading
- Despite having the same number of points and one fewer win than the Kansas City Mavericks, the Kalamazoo Wings hold the fourth spot in the division thanks to having more ROW (non-shootout wins) than the Mavericks. The Wings hold an edge in that department 29-to-27.
- Quad City has been eliminated from playoff contention.
- The Eagles’ magic number for clinching the Mountain Division title is at 11.
- Idaho’s magic number is still at six and there is a slight chance the Steelheads’ can clinch a playoff berth this weekend. The Steelheads will need a win tonight in South Carolina and two regulation losses by the Tulsa Oilers.
- Wichita’s magic number for clinching a playoff berth is 15
- Allen cut the deficit to third place Wichita down to two points with a win over Rapid City last night. The Americans are three points up on Tulsa for fourth place, but Allen heads to Colorado for a pair this weekend.
- Rapid City has been eliminated from playoff contention.
Current Playoff Bracket
Here is the bracket for the Kelly Cup Playoffs, if they were to start today:
Best Record in Last 10 Games:
Toledo Walleye: 8-1-1-0
Florida Everblades: 8-1-1-0
Orlando Solar Bears: 7-2-1-0
Fort Wayne Komets: 7-3-0-0
Cincinnati Cyclones: 7-3-0-0
Colorado Eagles: 7-3-0-0
The Race for the Brabham Cup
The race for the Brabham Cup is currently a two-horse race between the Florida Everblades and Toledo Walleye, who are separated by one mere point in the standings (Florida 88, Toledo 89). But, the Colorado Eagles are lurking in third, three points behind Toledo with 86 on the campaign.
Here is a look at the standings through action on Sunday:
|Toledo Walleye||43-15-3-2 (91 pts)||9 (4H, 5A)|
|Florida Everblades||41-12-2-4 (90 pts)||12 (9H, 3A)|
|Colorado Eagles||40-16-4-2 (86 pts)||10 (5H, 5A)|
|Fort Wayne Komets||42-16-2-1 (87 pts)||11 (5H, 7A)|
|South Carolina Stingrays||39-14-6-1 (85 pts)||12 (4H, 8A)|
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|
|2016-17||Toledo Walleye||Lost in Conference Finals to Colorado|
There is still a lot to be decided in the final 24 days of the ECHL regular season. We will be here to break it all down for you as it happens!