WICHITA, Kan. – With the ECHL Trade Deadline behind us, it is time to turn our attention to the 31-day long race for the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
Beginning today and running through the end of the regular season, we will keep you updated with who have clinched playoff berths, division titles and has home-ice cinched up for the opening round.
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.
Before we start, huge thanks to our statistician Joe Alsman for putting together the magic number tables for us. 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.
- Newfoundland’s magic number to clinch their first ever playoff berth is at 11.
- Spots 2-7 are separated by eight points, with Maine, Manchester and Brampton separated by just two points in the race for the final playoff spot in the North.
- Worcester has at least one game in hand on the teams in front of them
- Florida can become the first Eastern Conference team to clinch a Kelly Cup Playoff berth with a win over Atlanta in regulation, if Atlanta loses in overtime or a shootout, or if the South Carolina Stingrays lose in any fashion.
- Orlando’s magic number to clinch a playoff berth is 22.
- Cincinnati clinched a playoff berth Wednesday night
- Toledo’s magic number is 13.
- Spots 3-5 are separated by two points
- Tulsa and Idaho’s magic numbers are 5. Both can clinch playoff berths this weekend with two wins or if the Utah Grizzlies defeat the Rapid City Rush twice.
- Utah’s magic number is 7 and they cannot clinch a playoff berth this weekend.
- Kansas City’s magic number is 14
- Allen’s tragic number (playoff elimination) is at 4.
Here is the Kelly Cup Playoff Bracket, if it were to start today:
Best Record in Last 10 Games:
Cincinnati Cyclones: 8-1-1-0
Maine Mariners: 8-1-1-0
Newfoundland Growlers: 7-2-1-0
Tulsa Oilers: 7-3-0-0
Idaho Steelheads: 6-3-1-0
Does Clinching a Playoff Berth First Mean a Long Playoff Run?
Cincinnati was the first ECHL team to clinch a playoff berth on March 6, thanks to a 6-5 loss by the Wheeling Nailers. As we have seen in the last several years, clinching first does not equate to a deep playoff run, with only two teams making it to the Kelly Cup Finals:
|2008||Texas Wildcatters||Lost in South Div. Finals|
|2009||Florida Everblades||Lost in South Div. Finals|
|2010||Idaho Steelheads||Lost in Kelly Cup Finals|
|2011||Las Vegas Wranglers||Lost in West Conf QF|
|2012||Alaska Aces||Lost in West Conf Finals|
|2013||Ontario Reign||Lost in West Conf Semis|
|2014||Reading Royals||Lost in East Conf QF|
Fort Wayne Komets
|TOL lost in East Conf Finals
FW lost in North Div Finals
|2016||Missouri Mavericks||Lost in Central Div Finals|
|2017||Toledo Walleye||Lost in Western Conf Finals|
|2018||Florida Everblades||Lost in Kelly Cup Finals|
Race for the Brabham Cup
The race for the Brabham Cup, and home-ice throughout the 2019 Kelly Cup Playoffs, is between the Cincinnati Cyclones and Florida Everblades, who are separated by two points in the standings (Cincinnati 87, Toledo 85).
If you’re handicapping this race, look no further than the number of games played. Cincinnati has three games in hand, with Florida playing 60 games to Cincinnati’s 57.
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|
|2017-18||Florida Everblades||Lost in Kelly Cup Finals to Colorado|
There is still a lot to be decided in the final 31 days of the ECHL regular season. We will be here to break it all down for you as it happens!