Playoff picture begins to get clearer

With one month until the start of the 2017 Kelly Cup Playoffs, the postseason picture around the ECHL is starting to come into focus.

In the North Division, just four points separate the top four teams. Reading enters the week on top of the division with 76 points, one point ahead of Brampton. Manchester is in third place with 73 points while Adirondack owns the fourth and final playoff spot with 72 points. Wheeling is in fifth place of the division with 64 points, and faces a crucial two-game series against the Thunder this weekend.

Florida leads the South Division with 83 points, eight points ahead of second-place Greenville. Orlando resides in third place with 69 points with Cincinnati in fourth place, just one point behind with 68. South Carolina has 67 points, one point out of the playoff picture. The Stingrays have played one fewer game than the Cyclones.

The only two teams to secure playoff spots to this point are both in the Central Division. Toledo was the first team to clinch a playoff berth and has an ECHL-leading 89 points as the Walleye look to win the Brabham Cup as regular season champions for the second time in the last three seasons.  Fort Wayne punched its postseason ticket on Sunday and is second in the division with 79 points. Quad City (69) and Kalamazoo (66) are in possession of the final two playoff slots in the Central Division with Tulsa sitting eight points behind the K-Wings in fifth place.

In the Mountain Division, Colorado enjoys a four-point lead over the two-time defending Kelyl Cup champion Allen Americans. Idaho, which has reached the postseason in each of the previous 13 seasons, is in third place with 75 points, followed by Alaska with 69. Utah is in fifth place, four points behind the Aces, while sixth-place Missouri is six points off the pace.