The Toronto Rock (10-6) reclaimed the top spot in IL Indoor's final NLL Power Rankings following the 2013 regular season finale. (Photo: Larry Palumbo).
IL Indoor's Brian Shanahan has released his final National Lacrosse League Power Rankings following the dramatic conclusion of Week #16 and the 2013 NLL regular season.
The Toronto Rock (10-6) had a bye this past weekend but clinched the top overall seed and reclaimed the top spot in the ranks that they had held for a majority of the year. Meanwhile, the Calgary Roughnecks (9-7) spoiled the regular season title hopes of the Edmonton Rush (9-7) with a thrilling overtime win to move atop the West Division standings and jump them in the poll.
"We headed into the last weekend of the regular season with many questions," Shanahan writes. "Would the Edmonton Rush finish first overall and win the right to host their first playoff games or would they drop to third in the West? Would the Buffalo Bandits salvage a disastrous season to make the playoffs or would we have a West Division team earn the right to cross over to the East? On Saturday night, we got our answers."
1) Toronto Rock (10-6) (+1)
"The Rock sat back this weekend while everyone else jostled for final positions. The good news for Toronto is that Edmonton’s loss gave Toronto home floor throughout the playoffs. However in 2012, Toronto’s season ended abruptly at home to the Rochester Knighthawks, a team they had owned all season. That memory will likely ensure that Toronto enters the playoffs with a healthy dose of respect for any opponent. Toronto will open the playoffs against the Minnesota Swarm on Sunday."
2) Calgary Roughnecks (9-7) (+2)
"When I spoke Calgary coach Curt Malawsky before the 2013 season started, he said that regular season dominance was less important to him than having the team playoff ready. Calgary’s play throughout the 2013 season ranged from dominant to sloppy but last night they played a playoff-type game as they defeated their provincial rival Edmonton Rush by a score of 12-11 in overtime. Shawn Evans finished the game with 10 points, the fifth time this season he got 10 or more points, and he definitely gets my vote as regular season MVP. The only question mark for the Roughnecks as they prepare for next week’s battle against the Colorado Mammoth would be the status of injured players Dane Dobbie and Scott Ranger (who went down with an apparent upper body injury Saturday)."
Check out the rest of the rankings along with Shanny's expert analysis here as teams get ready to start the the single-elimination postseason this weekend.