WICHITA, Kan. – It was another action-packed weekend across the ECHL as the playoff races intensified in each division. With the league taking the day off, its a great time to get you caught up on how the races stack up.

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 with the division breakdown, 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.

Eastern Conference:

NORTH DIVISION

  • Newfoundland’s magic number to clinch their first ever playoff berth is at 7.
  • Spots 3-6 are separated by four points, with Brampton and Worcester each having a game-in-hand on fourth place Manchester
  • Reading is seven points out of fourth place

SOUTH DIVISION

  • Florida clinched a playoff berth Friday night thanks to South Carolina’s loss to Maine Friday night
  • Orlando’s magic number to clinch a playoff berth is 15
  • Jacksonville’s magic number to clinch their first playoff berth is 17
  • Orlando and Jacksonville are separated by two points for the final home-ice spot, but Orlando has four games in-hand.
  • South Carolina and Atlanta are separated by two points in the race for the final playoff spot. Atlanta has two games in-hand on the Stingrays and the two teams meet four times before the end of the season.
  • Gree

Western Conference

CENTRAL DIVISION

  • Cincinnati clinched a playoff berth Wednesday night
  • Toledo’s magic number is 12.
  • The race for the third and fourth playoff spots are separated by one point, but, Fort Wayne has two games in-hand on Kalamazoo

MOUNTAIN DIVISION

  • Idaho’s magic number is 3. They can clinch a playoff berth this week with either two wins, two losses by Rapid City, or a win in OT/SO and a Rapid City loss.
  • Tulsa’s magic number is 4. They can clinch a playoff berth this week with two wins this week (@ALN Tue, @KC Sat) and two losses by Rapid City
  • Utah’s magic number is 6 and they could clinch a playoff berth this week with two wins against the Rush.
  • Kansas City’s magic number is 11
  • Rapid City’s tragic number (playoff elimination) is 11, while Wichita’s tragic number is at 12.
  • Allen has been eliminated from playoff contention

If the Kelly Cup Playoffs were to start today, here is how it would breakdown:

Teams With Best Record in Last 10 Games:

Cincinnati Cyclones: 8-1-1-0
Maine Mariners: 7-1-2-0
Orlando Solar Bears: 7-2-1-0
Florida Everblades: 7-3-0-0
Manchester Monarchs: 6-2-1-1

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:

YEAR TEAM RESULT
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
2015 Toledo Walleye
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
2019 Cincinnati Cyclones ???

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 91, Toledo 89).

If you’re handicapping this race, look no further than the number of games played. Cincinnati has three games in hand, with Florida playing 62 games to Cincinnati’s 59.

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.

YEAR TEAM PLAYOFF RESULT
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
2018-19 ???? ????

There is still a lot to be decided in the final 28 days of the ECHL regular season. We will be here to break it all down for you as it happens!

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