Playoff spots, division titles up for grabs in final week

Three playoff spots in the Eastern Conference are up for grabs as the ECHL enters the final week of the 2011-12 regular season.


Wheeling currently sits in sixth place of the conference with 79 points. The Nailers travel to Reading on Wednesday and Trenton on Friday before ending the season with a home game against Elmira on Saturday.


South Carolina is in the seventh spot with 77 points. The Stingrays, who have qualified for the postseason in 17 of their 18 seasons in the ECHL, visit Greenville on Tuesday and Friday before hosting the Road Warriors in the season finale on Saturday.


Reading, Cincinnati and Chicago are tied for the eighth and final playoff spot entering the final week, with Reading owning the final playoff spot based on tiebreakers. The Royals, who have three straight and seven of their last 10 games, host Wheeling on Wednesday, visit Elmira on Friday and host Trenton on Saturday.


The Cyclones and Express have two head-to-head meetings in the final week of the season, meeting in Chicago on Wednesday and in Cincinnati in the season finale on Saturday. On Friday, the Cyclones host Toledo while Chicago entertains Kalamazoo.


In addition to the final four playoff spots in the Eastern Conference being up for grabs, three division titles remain unresolved heading into the week.


In the South Division, Gwinnett has a five-point lead over Greenville, and a magic number of two points to claim its first division title since the 2005-06 season when the Gladiators advanced to the Kelly Cup Finals.


Kalamazoo has a five-point lead over both Cincinnati and Chicago as the K-Wings look to capture their third consecutive division title.


In the Pacific Division, Ontario has a magic number of four points to claim the team’s second division title in the past four seasons.


The 2012 Kelly Cup Playoffs begin next week. The conference quarterfinals in both the Eastern and Western Conferences are a best-of-five series with each subsequent round being a best-of-seven series.