The only thing that saved Allen from disaster after being swept by Idaho last week is the other teams in the Mountain Division the Americans are battling for a playoff position also lost. Looking at points earned and record over the last 10 games shows how none of the five teams in the middle battling for three playoff spots have taken charge. Here is the list of points earned out of a maximum of 20 points available:
- 18 points – Idaho (9-1-0-0)
- 12 points – Rapid City (6-4-0-0)
- 10 points – Utah (5-5-0-0)
- 10 points – Wichita (4-4-2-0)
- 10 points – Kansas City (4-4-0-2)
- 9 points – Allen (4-5-0-1)
- 2 points – Tulsa (1-9-0-0)
– It is ironic the Mountain Division has the top team in the league in points percentage, but the teams in second, third and fourth place are the weakest by points percentage of the four divisions. Here is the points percentage range from second to fourth place by division:
- .700 to.563 – Central Division
- .627 to .613 – South Division
- ,619 to .515 – North Division
- .524 to .500 – Mountain Division
– The good news for Allen is the team has lost six of its last eight games but is still in the thick of the battle for a playoff spot with 10 games remaining in the season. This week Allen is in Rapid City for games on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. These teams are one point apart in the standings and it is likely the winner of the series will be in a playoff position and the loser will be out of the playoffs.
– Look for some roster changes this week starting with the likelihood Chad Butcher could be back in the lineup after missing the last three weeks with an injury. The other possibility is the addition of college/junior players after finishing amateur careers and turning professional. There are five or six of these transactions in the ECHL each day.
– The 2022-23 season will go down as a record setter in many respects. Idaho has a .835 points percentage and is well ahead of the all-time record of .806. Toledo had a 18 game winning streak, the second longest in history. Cincinnati and Toledo are currently on 11 game road win streaks which is #2 all-time (record is 13).
– The Eastern Conference doesn’t have a single team that has won more than six games in its last 10. The Western Conference has the hottest teams in the league, three with teams with 8+ wins.
- 9-0-1-0: Cincinnati (on streak of 19-0-1-1)
- 9-1-0-0: Idaho
- 8-1-0-1: Toledo
The Western Conference dominated the ECHL winning the Kelly Cup five straight years from 2014-2018 but the Eastern Conference has won the last two (excluding the 14 team season). The three best teams in the league as the playoffs approach are in the Western Conference. They Kelly Cup could head west this season.
– I have had some questions about playoff rosters so here are the rules from the ECHL for the 2023 Kelly Cup playoffs:
Playoff Rosters consist of a maximum of 24 Players – a 20-man active roster and a four-man reserve list. Upon submission of its Playoff Roster, each Member is required to include:
1. a minimum of 17 active, available (i.e., not injured or on recall) skaters to its Active Roster, and at least two (2) eligible goaltenders to its initial Playoff Roster.
2. a list of all other Players who meet the Playoff Roster Eligibility requirements, but who are unavailable at the time that Playoff Rosters are due to the League Office due to recall to the AHL or NHL. The Playoff Eligible List may only list Players who are unavailable due to recall. All other players (i.e. injured Players) must be listed on a member’s initial Playoff Roster (active roster or reserve list) in order to participate in the Playoffs.
Throughout the Playoffs, but prior to the start of the Kelly Cup Finals, as the recalled Players listed on a Member’s Playoff Eligible List become available (due to assignment, release from PTO or their respective AHL teams’ seasons having ended), Members shall be permitted to supplement their initial Playoff Rosters with Players listed on their Playoff Eligible Lists, up to a maximum of 24 Players total. Once a Member has named a total of 24 Players to its Playoff Roster, or the Kelly Cup Finals have begun (whichever comes first), the Member’s Playoff Roster shall be fixed for the duration of the Playoffs (barring emergency conditions).
A Player who has finished the Regular Season on Injured Reserve may still be named to a member’s 24-man Playoff Roster and will be eligible to participate in the Playoffs once his full IR time has been completed (provided all other playoff eligibility requirements have been satisfied). Once a Player has fully completed his remaining IR time, he may be activated and placed on the Member’s Active Roster.
Emergency conditions shall be established when the playing strength of the Member, by reason of injury, illness, recall or suspension by the League, is reduced below two (2) goalkeepers and sixteen (16) skaters. However, should a member release a Player(s) from its Playoff Roster, its emergency conditions will drop by the same number as the Players they release. Only amateurPlayers may be signed and added to the Active Roster under emergency conditions.
DID YOU KNOW: The ECHL Stats post today is no surprise to Allen Americans fans. The Western Conference and more specifically the Mountain Division has always been characterized by high PIMS teams. When Allen (2015 & 2016) and Colorado (2017 & 2018) both won back to back Kelly Cups they were at or near the top of the ECHL in PIMS. It all changed in 2019 when Newfoundland had the third fewest PIMS in the regular season (786) and won the Kelly Cup. This season the best team in the ECHL, Idaho, is ranked #27 in PIMS (733 minutes).
Does style of play in the ECHL vary by conference? Six teams have over 1000 penalty minutes and they are all in the Western Conference:1234 – Fort Wayne1212 – Utah1158 – Allen1153 – Wichita1099 – Cincinnati1007 – Wheeling