Thursday, December 7, 2017

Playoff Banter, Barracuda Lose 6-0, Best Dangles Video & ECHL Teams With 10 Goal Scorers

The ECHL playoffs are still months away but if you look at the division standings you can already see separation between the haves and have-nots. As a reminder, the first two rounds of the Kelly Cup playoffs will be played entirely within the division, with the division winners playing the fourth place finisher and second place team meeting the third place team in the first round (division semifinals). The winners of each series will meet in the division finals, leading to the conference finals and Kelly Cup finals.

- With about 30% of the season completed only the North Division is competitive from top to bottom. The top three teams in the division all have 26 points and are only seven points ahead of last place Worcester with 19 points. This is in sharp contrast to the other three divisions. In the South Division first place Florida (35 points) has a 24 points lead over last place Jacksonville (11 points). In the Central Division first place Toledo (31 points) has an 18 point lead over last place Indy (13 points). In the Mountain Division first place Wichita (34 points) has a 20 point lead over last place Rapid City (14 points).

- In the Mountain Division the top four teams (Wichita, Colorado, Idaho, Allen) have widened the gap over the bottom three teams (Tulsa, Utah, Rapid City) in the last 10 games. The top four have all won seven of their last 10 games. The bottom three have just one win (Utah), two wins (Tulsa) and three wins (Rapid City) over the last 10 games. There is now a seven point gap between fourth place Allen and fifth place Tulsa. While seven points doesn't sound like much, history says a team that far behind at this point will rarely make the playoffs.  

- Here is the playoff status of the other three divisions:

North Division - This is the toughest division to predict because only seven points separate first and last place. Based on the current standings Wheeling, Reading, Adirondack and Manchester make the playoffs. Brampton and Worcester miss the playoffs.

South Division  -  Florida, South Carolina, Greenville and Atlanta are in good position to make the playoffs even though Greenville and South Carolina have only won four of their last 10 games.  Orlando, Jacksonville and Norfolk are on the outside looking in. Orlando was way out of the playoff picture but has closed to within six points of a playoff spot by winning seven of their last 10 games.

Central Division - Like the Mountain Division the Central Division has a distinct gap between the top four teams and the bottom three. Toledo, Kansas City, Cincinnati and Fort Wayne are battling for the top four spots and will make the playoffs.  The bottom three are seven points behind (Quad City), eight points behind (Kalamazoo) and 11 points behind (Indy) the last playoff spot. Again, history would say the bottom three teams have little chance of making up the deficit to make into the playoffs.

- The San Jose Barracuda got pounded at home last night losing to Stockton by a score of 6-0. The Barracuda's record is 9-9-0-1 which places them in a tie for fifth place in the Pacific Division. Their next three games are against division leading Tucson on Friday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The Barracuda have been playing with a short bench because of injuries. There could be a chance for a call up from Allen over the next week.

- Have had several questions on the status of players and when they might return to the lineup. I will be attending practice today and will have a full report tomorrow.

- Here is a "best dangles" video for your watching pleasure. Even if you have seen it before it will entertain you:

 - Finally, a shootout goal from the Allen Americans all time dangle master, Colton Yellow Horn. Never get tired of watching this 16 second clip when Colton was playing in Ontario in 2012.

DID YOU KNOW: Allen's leading goal scorers are Bryan Moore and Zach Pochiro who have seven goals. The only team in the ECHL whose top scorer has fewer than seven goals is Worcester (six goals). The top goal scorer in the ECHL is Michael Joly from Colorado who has 18 goals. There are 17 teams in the ECHL that have at least one player with 10 or more goals led by Wheeling who has four.  

1 comment:

  1. While I don't like AHL guys being assigned to ECHL teams for the playoffs, if SJ doesn't make the playoffs Allen will get some players and the AHL guys are dominate. ECHL teams get hurt when their AHL teams go to the playoffs. So, bad for SJ, good for Allen.
    Love that Colton goal!