The Rabbits punched their ticket to the 2023 Kelly Cup Playoffs last weekend but still have one final weekend of the regular season that carries massive postseason implications.
Two games. Four points. Three possibilities.
THIS WEEKEND AT THE WELL
Fans have just two more chances to watch the Rabbits before the regular season comes to an end, and both of those games come within the friendly confines of The Well.
The Rabbits get a crack at redemption on Thursday night against the Savannah Ghost Pirates, who won 5-3 in their last trip to Greenville. While Savannah will see their season come to an end with the regular season’s conclusion, the Ghost Pirates have relished the idea of being a party spoiler, causing headaches for the four playoff teams in the South.
Friday night gives fans a potential first round preview as the Rabbits conclude the regular season with their in-state rivals, the South Carolina Stingrays. The Rays are atop the South, entering the final weekend, with 91 points and three games left to play. The two sides could meet in the postseason as a 1-4 or a 2-3 matchup in the opening round.
SO, WHERE DO WE STAND?
If you’ve been following the standing for the last two months, you are well aware that this answer can change with each passing day.
In one of the tightest divisional races the ECHL has ever seen, a win has lifted teams from fourth to first, while a loss has done to complete inverse.
In the final week of the season, a win, even a pair of them this weekend, isn’t enough to propel the Rabbits into the top spot in the South. South Carolina, who controls its own destiny, and Jacksonville are the only two teams that can still capture the division crown.
The best finish the Rabbits can achieve is 89 points, if they sweep this weekend at home. While Jacksonville, who has four games left, can finish with 94 points, Greenville still has a chance to overtake the Icemen for the second-highest seed.
While the Rabbits are locked in on what’s in front of them, they can’t forget about the team behind them, the Florida Everblades. The defending Kelly Cup Champions enter the final week with 83 points, two points back of the third place Rabbits. If both teams win out, the Everblades will take the edge when the dust settles, having 35 regulation wins to Greenville’s 29. Adding in a Jacksonville sweep of Orlando in its final two games, the Rabbits could still, despite winning out, find themselves in the fourth spot.
RABBITS VS THE…WELL, WHO KNOWS
Based on how everything could play out, the Rabbits could be booking travel to any one of the three other playoff cities.
If the Rabbits finish in second, they will have home ice advantage heading into a first round series with either Jacksonville or Florida.
If the Rabbits remain in third place, they will start their first round series on the road to Jacksonville, South Carolina, or Florida. If Florida loses to Jacksonville on Wednesday night, the Rabbits will see only the Icemen or the Stingrays in a 2-3 matchup.
If the Rabbits finish in the final playoff spot, they square off with the winner of the race between the Stingrays and the Icemen for the top spot, starting the series on the road.
WHEN DO THE PLAYOFFS START?
It’s a great question, and it’s one that we don’t have an answer for… yet. The first round will begin next week, but the exact dates are still to be determined based on the shakedown of the final week in the standings.
CAN I GET MY PLAYOFF TICKETS YET?
Of course, you can! Playoff tickets for the first round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs are on sale now! Call the Swamp Rabbits office at (864) 674-7825 to reserve your seats for the postseason or to inquire more information.
HOW CAN I WATCH/LISTEN TO THE PLAYOFFS
All Swamp Rabbits games are broadcast on FloHockey.tv (video) and Mixlr.com (audio) on the Bon Secours Rabbits Radio Network.