With one week remaining in the ECHL season, the Colorado Eagles are headed back to the Kelly Cup playoffs for the 15th straight time. The only question remaining is what seed the Eagles will be heading into the postseason.
As of Monday, the Eagles have 96 points and lead the Mountain Division by five points. With three games remaining, the Eagles need to win just one game to clinch the first seed in their division, which would set them up for a first-round matchup with the fourth-place team in the division.
Currently the Allen Americans sit in third place with 76 points, the Wichita Thunder are in fourth with 74 points, and the Tulsa Oilers are in fifth with 73 points but have a game at hand on the two other clubs. This season, the Eagles have split the season series with Allen 3-3, are winning the season series against Wichita, 3-1 — but play them twice more to end the season — and have tied the season series with Tulsa, 4-4.
Any team the Eagles face in the first round will be tough. Unlike many of the other teams in the league, the Eagles have had a more difficult time dominating any of these three potential first-round opponents.
The Eagles have never missed the playoffs, and that experience should bode well for them when facing other teams who don’t have the consistent success this club does. Their history of success in the playoffs will be a huge benefit for the team, but opponents should also be worried because right now the Eagles are one of the hottest teams in the ECHL. In their last ten games, they have a 8-2-0 record with a plus-10 goal differential over the span.
The Eagles have an explosive offense with 248 goals on this season, third in the league, and a strong defensive unit as well, only allowing 207 goals against this season, good for eighth in the league — giving the Eagles a whopping plus-41 goal differential.
The Eagles are led by talented offensive defenseman Matt Register, who has 63 points this season — the most on the Eagles roster and tenth in the league.
Not only do the Eagles have skilled players up and down the roster, they have one of the best goalies in the league, Joe Cannata, who has 20 wins with a 2.26 goals against average and a .930 save percentage.
With talent like Register and Cannata all across the Eagles’ roster, this team will be a tough one to beat. Blessed with a deep and talented roster — plus the 15-season playoff tradition — means that the Eagles will be ready to go come Game One of the 2018 Kelly Cup Playoffs, regardless of who they are playing.
The Colorado Eagles look ready to win back-to-back Kelly Cup Championships for the second time in team history.