WICHITA, Kan. – Three weeks from tonight, the 16-team, seven-week tournament for Mr. Kelly’s chalice will begin in earnest. But until then, there is still a lot to be decided, with almost every game the rest of the way having playoff implications of some kind.
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!
- With a win last night, the Manchester Monarchs pulled two points ahead of the Adirondack Thunder in the race for the division lead. Manchester’s magic number for clinching a playoff berth is at three, and they could punch their ticket this weekend.
- Adirondack’s magic number for clinching is at five. Like Manchester, they could punch their ticket this weekend.
- Reading sits five points back of Adirondack and four points ahead of fourth-place Wheeling. Their magic number is 10.
- Wheeling took a crucial game in a shootout over the Worcester Railers Wednesday night. They sit four points ahead of the Railers, but the rookie franchise has two games in-hand on the team from West Virginia.
- Brampton’s tragic number for playoff elimination is at two. They will be eliminated with their next loss or Wheeling win.
- Florida has already clinched a playoff berth and home-ice in the first round of the playoffs. Their magic number for clinching the South Division is at 13.
- South Carolina has already clinched a playoff berth and home-ice in the first round of the playoffs.
- Orlando’s magic number for clinching a playoff berth is at three. They could secure it as early as Friday night. Their magic number for clinching the third-seed and a date with South Carolina in the opening round is at five. Again, that could be settled this weekend.
- Atlanta’s magic number for clinching the fourth-seed is 10.
- Norfolk & Jacksonville’s tragic numbers are both at nine. They cannot be eliminated this weekend.
- Toledo continues to close in on the Central Division title. Thanks to Fort Wayne’s loss in regulation to Kalamazoo Wednesday night, the Walleye’s magic number for the division is at eight.
- Fort Wayne has clinched a playoff berth already, and their magic number for clinching the two seed and home-ice in the opening round is at two. They will do that with either their next win or Cincinnati loss in regulation.
- Cincinnati’s magic number for clinching a playoff berth is at 11. Their magic number for clinching the third seed is at 13.
- Kalamazoo reclaimed the fourth spot with a win over Fort Wayne Wednesday night. They also own the tiebreaker on Kansas City, thanks to non-shootout wins (Kalamazoo holds a 31-29 lead over KC in that category)
- Indy continues to lurk behind both the Wings and Mavericks, just two points back. They will need to win the spot outright if they are to make the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
- Quad City will finish last in the division in their ECHL exit season
- The Colorado Eagles have clinched a playoff berth and are closing in on the Mountain Division title. Their magic number stands at five heading into this weekend.
- Idaho can clinch a playoff berth with a win and a loss of any kind by the Allen Americans on Friday night. They can also sew up the second-seed with a loss by Wichita tonight and a win tomorrow night against the Rush.
- Wichita’s magic number remains at 12
- Tulsa jumped back into fourth place in the Mountain Division with a big win in Allen last night. They own the tiebreaker on Allen, thanks to non-shootout wins (Tulsa holds a 29-28 lead over Allen in that category)
- Utah’s tragic number for playoff elimination is at 10
- The Rapid City Rush will finish last in the division.
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
Florida Everblades: 8-1-1-1
Adirondack Thunder: 8-1-0-1
Colorado Eagles: 8-2-0-0
Idaho Steelheads: 7-2-0-1
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.
Here is a look at the standings through action on Wednesday:
|Toledo Walleye||46-15-3-2 (97 pts)||6 (4H, 2A)|
|Florida Everblades||44-13-2-4 (94 pts)||10 (6H, 3A)|
There is still a lot to be decided in the final 16 days of the ECHL regular season. We will be here to break it all down for you as it happens!