WICHITA, Kan. – Happy Palm Sunday! The Kelly Cup Playoff field expanded by two more on Saturday night, with both entrants to the 16-team tournament coming from the ECHL’s Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, there is a new team in the pole position 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.
Magic numbers 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 it going!
- Manchester became the first ECHL North Division team to punch their ticket to the 2016 Kelly Cup Playoffs, thanks to a Worcester loss to the Reading Royals. Their magic number for clinching the North Division is at eight.
- Adirondack sits two points behind Manchester for the division lead, but the Monarchs have a game-in-hand on the Thunder. Adirondack’s magic number is at one and they will likely clinch with at least a regulation tie on Wednesday night in Worcester.
- Reading continues to sit five points back of Adirondack and their magic number is currently at six
- Wheeling holds a five-point lead on Worcester for the final playoff spot in the North, but the Railers hold two games-in-hand (both are essentially must-wins for the Railers.) The Nailers’ magic number is at nine.
- Florida and South Carolina have already clinched playoff berths and will have home-ice in the first round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
- Florida’s magic number for clinching the South Division is at 11.
- Thanks to a loss by the Jacksonville Icemen, the Orlando Solar Bears punched their playoff tickets for the fourth time in five years. They will be the three seed in the South Division playoffs and play the South Carolina Stingrays, beginning April 12.
- Atlanta’s magic number is down to two. They can clinch the fourth seed and a date with the Florida Everblades in the opening round of the playoffs with a win at home Wednesday over the Kalamazoo Wings.
- Toledo and Fort Wayne have already clinched playoff berths and will have home-ice in the first round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
- Toledo’s magic number for clinching the Central Division is still at six.
- Cincinnati’s magic number is at 11.
- Kalamazoo retains the fourth spot in the Central Division, even though they are tied with the Kansas City Mavericks. The Indy Fuel lurks two points back. Both Kalamazoo and Indy are in action today.
- The Colorado Eagles and Idaho Steelheads have already clinched playoff berths and will have home-ice in the first round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs
- Colorado’s magic number for clinching the Mountain Division is at three.
- Wichita’s magic number for clinching a playoff berth is down to seven. Their magic number for clinching the third seed and a date with the Idaho Steelheads in the opening round of the playoffs is down to nine.
- Despite losing 6-1 to the Kansas City Mavericks Saturday night, the Allen Americans still hold the fourth position in the division. Their magic number for clinching the spot is at 10. Wichita and Allen play a huge game in Allen Wednesday night that could go a long way in determining who will win the spot.
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:
Florida Everblades: 9-1-0-0
Toledo Walleye: 7-2-0-1
Idaho Steelheads: 7-2-0-1
Adirondack Thunder: 7-2-0-1
Colorado Eagles: 7-3-0-0
South Carolina Stingrays: 7-3-0-0
Manchester Monarchs: 7-3-0-0
The Race for the Brabham Cup
The race for the Brabham Cup is a three-horse race between the Florida Everblades, Toledo Walleye, and Colorado Eagles. This race is likely going to go down to the season’s final weekend.
Here is a look at the standings through action on Saturday:
|Florida Everblades||46-13-2-4 (98 pts)||7 (4H, 3A)|
|Toledo Walleye||46-16-3-2 (97 pts)||5 (4H, 1A)|
|Colorado Eagles||44-17-4-2 (94 pts)||5 (3G, 2A)|
There is still a lot to be decided in the final two weeks of the ECHL regular season. We will be here to break it all down for you as it happens!