As we open play on Wednesday night, we could be looking at our first playoff eliminations by the end of the night. Meanwhile, the Fort Wayne Komets could be the fourth team to join the 16-team Kelly Cup Playoff field.
Before we start our breakdowns, 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.
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.
Let’s start the breakdowns!
- The top three teams in the division are separated by four points.
- With a win tonight, Reading will move into a tie for second place with Adirondack
- Wheeling is four points back of Reading with 69 points, but the Nailers have an eight-point lead on the Worcester Railers. (Worcester also has three games in-hand on the Nailers, which could come in huge in the coming weeks.)
- With a win Tuesday night, Brampton’s tragic number stays at nine but, there is still an outside shot they could be eliminated from playoff contention this week.
- Florida and South Carolina have already clinched playoff berths
- Orlando’s magic number to clinch a playoff berth is seven, while Atlanta’s is 14. The Solar Bears could clinch a playoff berth this week.
- Norfolk and Jacksonville continue to lurk behind the Gladiators in the race for fourth, both sitting more than six points behind Atlanta.
- Toledo became the first Western Conference team to punch their ticket to the playoffs with an 8-0 win over the Quad City Mallards Friday night. With another perfect week and a regulation loss at any time by the Fort Wayne Komets, the Walleye could win the Central Division title this week.
- Fort Wayne can clinch a playoff berth tonight with a win in regulation or an overtime/shootout loss.
- Kalamazoo could not capitalize on one of their games-in-hand on Kansas City Tuesday night, losing to the Brampton Beast 5-3. Despite having the same number of points and one fewer win than the Kansas City Mavericks, the Kalamazoo Wings hold the fourth spot in the division thanks to having more ROW (non-shootout wins) than the Mavericks. The Wings hold an edge in that department 29-to-27.
- Quad City will be eliminated from playoff contention with a loss to the Toledo Walleye tonight.
- Colorado clinched a playoff berth for the 15th straight year (CHL & ECHL combined) Sunday afternoon with a 6-1 win over the Rapid City Rush. The Eagles’ magic number for clinching the Mountain Division title is at 11.
- Idaho’s magic number is still at eight and there is a slight chance the Steelheads’ can clinch a playoff berth this weekend.
- Wichita’s magic number for clinching a playoff berth is 15
- Allen can cut their deficit to third place Wichita down to two points with a win tonight. It is also one of the Americans’ games-in-hand on Wichita and Tulsa.
- Rapid City will be eliminated from playoff contention with a loss tonight.
Current Playoff Bracket
Here is the bracket for the Kelly Cup Playoffs, if they were to start today: