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WICHITA, Kan. – The ECHL regular season has 20 days left in it and there are still 12 positions left to fill in the 2018 Kelly Cup playoff field.

After this weekend, races tightened all over the league, and we saw some separation in the race for the Brabham Cup.

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.

If you are new to hockey and not sure 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 get into the breakdowns!

Eastern Conference

NORTH DIVISION

  • Manchester and Adirondack are in a tie points-wise at the top of the North Division, but the devil is in the details. The Monarchs still hold the lead thanks to having played two fewer games than the Thunder, and they also lead in ROW (non-shootout) wins 37-34.
  • Both Manchester & Adirondack’s magic number for clinching a playoff berth is at six. One of the two could punch their tickets this week, however, both cannot since they play two games head-to-head.
  • Reading sits five points back of the top two teams, and their magic number for clinching a playoff berth is at 11.
  • Wheeling’s lead over Worcester for the final playoff spot is now down to three points thanks to a pair of losses & Worcester wins this weekend. The two teams have a crucial game in Wheeling Tuesday night.
  • Brampton’s tragic number for playoff elimination is at seven.

SOUTH DIVISION

  • Florida and South Carolina have punched their tickets to the playoffs.
  • Florida’s magic number for clinching the South Division title is 15 and they have clinched home-ice for at least the first round of the playoffs.
  • South Carolina will also have home-ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs
  • Orlando’s magic number for clinching a playoff berth is down to four. The Solar Bears can clinch a berth by defeating South Carolina on Wednesday in regulation, combined with a regulation loss by Norfolk the same night, and a regulation loss by Jacksonville on Friday.
  • Orlando’s magic number for clinching third in the division is at seven, over Atlanta.
  • Atlanta’s magic number is at 11, and the Gladiators enter play Monday night with a five-point lead over the Jacksonville Icemen & Norfolk Admirals.

Western Conference

CENTRAL DIVISION

  • With a pair of wins on Saturday and Sunday, combined with a Fort Wayne loss Saturday night, the Toledo Walleye’s magic number for clinching the Central Division title is at nine. There is a chance the Walleye could clinch their fourth straight division title this week.
  • Fort Wayne has already clinched their playoff spot. Their magic number for locking down home-ice in the first round is at four. They could do that with a win (regulation or overtime/shootout) against Kalamazoo Wednesday night and a regulation loss by Cincinnati to Indy on Tuesday night.
  • The Cyclones’ magic number for clinching a playoff berth is at 12.
  • Kalamazoo maintains possession of the fourth playoff spot in the Central Division, thanks to having a slightly better winning percentage than the KC Mavericks (.532 to .524), the edge in ROW (30-28). The Wings’ still have a game-in-hand on the Mavericks.
  • Indy sits two points back of the Wings and Mavericks, but right now, lose out to the Wings on the above-mentioned tiebreakers. Indy will need to win the spot outright if they are to make the Kelly Cup playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
  • Sunday’s 8-0 loss to the Mavericks means the Quad City Mallards will finish last in the Central Division in their ECHL exit season.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION

  • Colorado has clinched a playoff berth already. Their magic number for clinching the Mountain Division title is down to seven. There is a reasonable chance they could clinch it this week.
  • The Steelheads need a regulation win on Wednesday against Rapid City, plus a regulation loss by Tulsa to Allen on the same day to punch their playoff ticket.
  • Wichita’s magic number for clinching a playoff berth is at 12.
  • Allen currently holds the fourth spot in the Mountain Division, thanks to a scant two-point lead on the Tulsa Oilers. The two teams will play Wednesday night at the Allen Event Center.
  • Utah lurks three points back of Tulsa and five back of Allen. The Grizzlies host the Eagles for three this week.

Teams Eliminated:

Greenville Swamp Rabbits
Quad City Mallards
Rapid City Rush

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
Adirondack Thunder: 8-1-0-1
Florida Everblades: 7-2-1-0
Orlando Solar Bears: 7-2-1-0
Worcester Railers: 7-3-0-0

The Race for the Brabham Cup

The race for the Brabham Cup is down to a two-horse race between the Florida Everblades and Toledo Walleye. Thanks to another unbeaten weekend by the Walleye and a loss Saturday night by the Florida Everblades, the gap has opened to five points.

Here is a look at the standings through action on Sunday:

TEAM RECORD GAMES REMAINING
Toledo Walleye 46-15-3-2 (97 pts) 6 (4H, 2A)
Florida Everblades 43-13-2-4 (92 pts) 10 (7H, 3A)

There is still a lot to be decided in the final 20 days of the ECHL regular season. We will be here to break it all down for you as it happens!


3 COMMENTS

  1. Will someone be addressing the debacle of the Tulsa Oilers bus breakdown, and the resulting loss of a Saturday night game with Kansas City?

  2. Oh, I’m sorry. Didn’t realize that. I’ve been a season ticket holder for 4 seasons in Tulsa, and I’m unaware of there being any cancelled games in Tulsa due to transportation issues, or Tulsa cancelling any games on the road the previous 4 seasons. Is this a normal occurrence for the Wichita Thunder? Did the Mavericks staff use the phrase “busses break down all the time” when informing ticket holders of the game cancellation?

    Perhaps if the ECHL had sufficient fines in place for team owners, who fail to get their team for a scheduled game, this kind of stuff wouldn’t happen. After all, it was only a Saturday night game on St. Patrick’s day. I’m sure the Mavs will get a similar crowd for the rescheduled game on Monday, April 2.

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