The Kelly Cup playoff field could grow by two more teams tonight, with the Florida Everblades and Kalamazoo Wings potentially clinching berths. We could also see our first division title-clinching this weekend, as well.

Here is a look at what’s going down with the playoff races.

Eastern Conference:

  • The Florida Everblades can become the first Eastern Conference team to clinch a playoff berth with a win, loss in OT or shootout or if Orlando loses to Brampton.
  • Florida’s magic number for clinching the South Division title is 4 (Greenville).
  • Positions 2-5 in the South are only separated by four points. Here is a look at the standings, the games remaining and schedule for the weekend for the teams involved:
    2 Greenville Swamp Rabbits 35-24-4-1 (75 pts) 8 (6H, 2A) Hm v. INDY Fri/Sat
    3 Cincinnati Cyclones 35-26-4-0 (74 pts) 7 (3H, 4A) @FW Sat
    4 Orlando Solar Bears 32-23-6-3 (73 pts) 8 (2H, 6A) @BRM Fri/Sun
    5 South Carolina Stingrays 34-26-3-1 (71 pts) 9 (8H, 1A) Hm v. ATL Fri/Sat, Hm v. INDY Sun
  • Greenville & South Carolina have the schedule advantage, with most of their remaining schedule (6 games & 8 games respectively) played at home.
  • Orlando plays Florida three more times the rest of the season. The Solar Bears have a 3-7-1-0 record against the Everblades this season.
  • Cincinnati plays just two games (at Greenville) in the south division the rest of the year.
  • In the North Division, four teams are separated by three points. The Wheeling Nailers sit four points behind Reading for the fourth and final playoff spot.
1 Brampton Beast 36-21-3-4 (79 pts) 8 (5H, 3A) Hm v. ORL Fri/Sun
2 Adirondack Thunder 34-20-6-4 (78 pts) 8 (4H, 4A) @REA Fri/Sat
3 Manchester Monarchs 33-20-7-4 (77 pts) 8 (2H, 6A) @ELM Fri, Sat, Sun
4 Reading Royals 36-24-2-2 (76 pts) 8 (5H, 3A) Hm v. REA Fri/Sat
5 Wheeling Nailers 32-25-8-0 (72 pts) 7 (5H, 2A) Hm v. IDA Fri/Sat
  • This is a huge opportunity for the Wheeling Nailers to climb back into a playoff position, with playing two huge games out of division while Reading and Adirondack face-off this weekend.
  • Brampton’s magic number to clinch their first-ever Kelly Cup playoff berth is 7.
  • Adirondack’s magic number to clinch a playoff berth is 8.
  • Manchester’s magic number currently stands at 9.
  • Norfolk, Elmira and Atlanta have been eliminated from playoff contention.

Western Conference:

  • Colorado, Allen, Toledo, Fort Wayne, and Quad City have all clinched playoff berths.
  • Toledo’s magic number for clinching the Central Division title is 8 (Fort Wayne).
  • Kalamazoo’s magic number to clinch the final spot in the Central Division is 1 after their win over the Florida Everblades Wednesday night. They can clinch a playoff spot with a win or an OT/SO loss to the Norfolk Admirals or a Tulsa loss.
  • In the Mountain Division, Colorado’s magic number for clinching their second straight division title is 9 (Allen).
  • Allen now appears to be destined for the second seed in the Mountain Division, their magic number for clinching the #2 seed is 7.
  • Idaho’s magic number for clinching a playoff berth sits at 5. The Steelheads can still clinch a playoff berth this week, but will need some help.
  • Alaska’s magic number sits at 14. The Aces hold a four-point lead on Missouri and a five-point lead on the Utah Grizzlies for the final playoff spot in the Mountain Division.
  • Rapid City and Tulsa’s “Tragic Number” for being eliminated sits at 1.
  • Indy, and Wichita have been eliminated from playoff contention.

Here is how the bracket shakes out if the playoffs started today. Teams who have clinched berths are represented by an “X” next to their seeding.

The Race for the Brabham Cup:

The race for the ECHL regular season championship is tight between the Colorado Eagles and Toledo Walleye. Here is a look at the standings entering action on Thursday:

Toledo Walleye 46-14-2-1 (95 pts) 9 (6H, 3A)
Colorado Eagles 45-15-2-3 (95 pts) 7 (2H, 5A)
Allen Americans 41-17-4-2 (88 pts) 8 (6H, 2A)
Florida Everblades 41-17-2-3 (87 pts) 9 (4H, 5A)

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 ??? ???

Stay with as we update you on all the playoff races across minor pro hockey!

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