The finish line of the National Lacrosse League’s regular season is finally here. Six games line up the final weekend with two playoff spots in the East Division still to be decided.
New England and Toronto jostle for the second seed and a home date in the first round, while Rochester looks to pull off the Hail Mary to sneak into third. The West may have its post-season representation, but where the Mammoth and Stealth will square off is yet to be decided.
My NLLTV broadcast partner Brian Shanahan delivers his Team Power Rankings on ILIndoor.com every week. We chatted about the risers and fallers coming out of Week 17:
Full credit to the Stealth for persevering through a tough first half of the season. They’ve stepped up when it counted and even got to eliminate rival Calgary in the process. A chance at trying to secure home floor in the opening round awaits them Saturday night.
Black Wolves: 5 (Last Week – 4) and Rock: 6 (Last Week – 5)
The Black Wolves and Rock have a flare for the dramatic as neither one could squeeze out a victory to clinch a berth this past weekend. Both are likely to make the playoffs and this is how.
New England Black Wolves (8-9) will get in with:
- One loss by Rochester this weekend vs. Georgia.
New England will clinch a playoff berth AND a first round home playoff game with:
- A win Saturday vs. Vancouver, OR
- A Toronto loss Saturday at Buffalo.
- New England won the season series vs. Toronto, 2-0.
- In case of a three-way tie between New England, Rochester, and Toronto:
- New England is 4-2 (.667) vs ROC & TOR
- Rochester is 3-4 (.429) vs NE & TOR
iii. Toronto is 2-3 (.400) vs NE & ROC
New England will be eliminated from playoff contention with:
- A loss Saturday vs. Vancouver, AND two (2) Rochester wins vs. Georgia, AND a Toronto win Saturday at Buffalo.
Toronto Rock (8-9) will get in with:
- A win Saturday at Buffalo, OR
- Toronto would be 9-9 and cannot be caught for third place.
- One Rochester loss this weekend vs. Georgia, OR
- Rochester would have 11 losses and could not catch Toronto.
- A New England win Saturday vs. Vancouver.
- New England would have 9 wins and finish second.
- Toronto and Rochester would finish in a tie at 8-10.
- Toronto won the season series, 2-1.
Toronto will clinch a playoff berth AND a first round home playoff game with:
- A win Saturday at Buffalo AND a New England loss Saturday vs. Vancouver.
- Toronto finishes 9-9 and New England 8-10.
Toronto will be eliminated from playoff contention with:
- A loss Saturday at Buffalo, AND two Rochester wins vs Georgia, AND a New England loss Saturday vs. Vancouver
- Toronto, New England, and Rochester would finish in a three-way tie with records of 8-10. Toronto is eliminated, as outlined in the three-way tiebreaker described above in the New England scenarios.
Andy McNamara has been a play-by-play commentator for the NLL on TSN, NLLTV, and world lacrosse tournaments since 2011. He’s also a sports talk host and anchor on TSN 1050 sports radio. Follow Andy on twitter @AndyMc81