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.
- The top four teams are separated by six points, with Manchester & Adirondack separated by just one point.
- Worcester sits eight points back of Wheeling but has two games in-hand on the Nailers.
- Florida and South Carolina have already clinched playoff berths
- Orlando’s magic number to clinch a playoff berth is 16, while Atlanta’s is 19. Neither team can sew up their playoff fate this weekend.
- Toledo’s magic number to clinch a playoff berth is three & that can be done tonight with either a win and a Kansas City loss in regulation or a win in regulation/overtime and any loss by Kansas City.
- Fort Wayne’s magic number to clinch a playoff berth is at seven. They can clinch a playoff berth this weekend by with two wins & a regulation loss by Kansas City or two wins and an overtime/shootout loss by the Mavericks.
- Cincinnati’s magic number to clinch a playoff berth is at 20.
- Quad City’s tragic number (playoff elimination) is at eight and they could be eliminated this weekend.
- Colorado’s magic number for clinching a playoff berth is at seven. While the Eagles cannot clinch tonight, they can clinch with a combination of the following: two wins & two regulation losses by Tulsa, three wins & two overtime/shootout losses by Tulsa.
- Idaho’s magic number is 14 and they cannot clinch a playoff berth this weekend.
- Wichita’s magic number is 19
- Rapid City’s tragic number (playoff elimination) is at nine.
Here is the playoff bracket, if it were to start today:
Best Record in Last 10 Games:
Utah Grizzlies: 8-1-0-1
Adirondack Thunder: 7-1-1-1
South Carolina Stingrays: 7-1-2-0
Toledo Walleye: 7-2-1-0
Fort Wayne Komets: 7-2-0-1
Does Clinching a Playoff Berth First Mean a Long Playoff Run?
Florida was the first ECHL team to clinch a playoff berth on February 27 with a 6-3 win over the Jacksonville Icemen. As we have seen in the last several years, clinching first does not equate to a deep playoff run, with only one team 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|
Race for the Brabham Cup
Stop me if you’ve read this before. The race for the Brabham Cup is between the Florida Everblades and Toledo Walleye, who are separated by one mere point in the standings (Florida 84, Toledo 85).
If you’re handicapping this race, look no further than the number of games played. Florida has two games in-hand, with Toledo playing 59 games to Florida’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|
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!