WICHITA, Kan. – Sunday afternoon, the Kelly Cup Playoff field grew by one team, as the Idaho Steelheads became the third western conference team to punch their ticket to the tournament, which begins next month. By the end of the night, a fourth western conference team could clinch a playoff berth.
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.
Let’s get into the division-by-division breakdowns.
- Newfoundland’s magic number to clinch their first ever playoff berth is 3
- Adirondack’s magic number for clinching a playoff berth is 11
- Spots 3-5 are separated by two points; Maine, Manchester and Worcester have all played 63 games
- Fifth-place Brampton is four points behind Manchester for the fourth playoff spot
- Reading is seven points out of fourth place
- Florida has clinched a playoff berth. They have clinched at least a share of the South Division title and can clinch it outright with their next point and any loss by Orlando
- Orlando’s magic number to clinch a playoff berth is 11
- Jacksonville’s magic number to clinch their first playoff berth is 14
- Orlando and Jacksonville are separated by three points for the final home-ice spot, and Orlando has two games-in-hand.
- South Carolina and Atlanta are tied for the final playoff spot. Atlanta has three games in hand on the Stingrays and the two teams meet two more times before the end of the season.
- Greenville has been eliminated from playoff contention
- Cincinnati has clinched a playoff berth. Their magic number for clinching their first division title since 2013 (North Division champs) is at 1. With a win Wednesday night, the Cyclones will clinch the division
- Toledo’s magic number is 4
- Fort Wayne’s magic number is 11
- The race for the third and fourth playoff spots are separated by three points, with Fort Wayne having two games-in-hand on Kalamazoo
- Tulsa has clinched a playoff berth; their magic number for clinching the Mountain Division is 17
- Idaho has clinched a playoff berth
- Utah’s magic number is 2. They can clinch a playoff berth tonight with a win in regulation against the Rapid City Rush
- Kansas City’s magic number is 7
- Rapid City & Wichita’s tragic numbers (playoff elimination) are both at 7
- Allen has been eliminated from playoff contention
If the Kelly Cup Playoffs were to start today, here is how the playoff field would breakdown:
Teams With Best Record in Last 10 Games:
Cincinnati Cyclones: 8-1-1-0
Florida Everblades: 8-2-0-0
Fort Wayne Komets: 7-3-0-0
Tulsa Oilers: 7-3-0-0
Worcester Railers: 7-2-0-1
Orlando Solar Bears: 6-3-0-1
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 97, Florida 95).
If you’re handicapping this race, look no further than the number of games played. Cincinnati has four games in hand, with Florida playing 66 games to Cincinnati’s 62.
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 20 days of the ECHL regular season. We will be here to break it all down for you as it happens! Enjoy the weekend of hockey!