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Making The Playoffs: It's Now Or Next Season

04/07/2003, 2:24pm EDT
By National Lacrosse League

BUFFALO (12-3)
Buffalo will win the Central Division title and the first overall seed in the playoffs with one win OR one Rochester loss. Should the Bandits not win the division, Buffalo has clinched a playoff spot, a home playoff game and can finish no worse than the fourth seed in the playoffs.
Buffalo plays at Calgary in their season finale next Friday (Apr 11, 9:30 PM ET).

ROCHESTER (11-4)
Rochester can win the Central Division title and the first overall seed in the playoffs with one win AND one Buffalo loss. Rochester has clinched a playoff spot, a home playoff game and can finish no worse than the fourth seed in the playoffs. Rochester hosts Philadelphia in their season finale next Saturday (Apr 12, 7:35 PM).

TORONTO (11-4)
Toronto clinched the Northern Division title and will be the second overall seed in the playoffs. Toronto has clinched a first round bye. Toronto will be hosting a semi-final game on Saturday, April 26th at 4:30 PM.

PHILADELPHIA (8-7)
Philadelphia can win the Eastern Division title and the third overall seed in the playoffs with one win OR one Colorado loss.

If Philadelphia does not win the division, the Wings can still win a wild card playoff berth if Vancouver defeats Albany and Buffalo defeats Calgary.

Philadelphia plays at Rochester in their season finale next Saturday (April 12th, 7:35 PM).

COLORADO (8-7)
Colorado can win the Eastern Division title and the third overall seed in the playoffs with one win AND one Philadelphia loss.

Colorado can clinch a wild card playoff berth with a win at Toronto on Sunday.

If Colorado loses in Toronto, the Mammoth will earn a wild card playoff berth if Ottawa defeats Columbus AND Buffalo defeats Calgary AND Vancouver defeats Albany.

Colorado plays at Toronto in their season finale on Sunday (April 13th, 4:00 PM).

VANCOUVER (8-6)
Vancouver can clinch a wild card playoff berth by winning their final two games. Vancouver plays at Albany (Saturday, April 12th at 7pm) and at New Jersey (Sunday, April 13th at 1pm).

Vancouver can also clinch a wild card playoff berth by winning one game and AND either a Calgary loss OR a Philadelphia loss OR a Colorado loss.

CALGARY (8-7)
Calgary can clinch a wild card playoff berth with a win against Buffalo in their season finale on Friday (April 11th, 7:30 PM MT) AND either a Philadelphia loss OR a Colorado loss OR a Vancouver loss.

If Calgary loses to Buffalo, the Roughnecks can still earn a wild card spot if Vancouver loses twice AND Columbus loses to Ottawa AND a loss by either Colorado or Philadelphia.

ALBANY (7-8)
Albany clinches a wild card berth if they defeat Vancouver (Saturday, April 12th at 7pm), AND Calgary loses to Buffalo, AND Colorado OR Philadelphia loses, AND Columbus either loses or fails to defeat Ottawa by at least 30 goals.

COLUMBUS (7-8)
Columbus can win a wild card playoff berth with a win in their season finale at Ottawa on Saturday (Apr 12, 7:00 PM), AND an Albany loss against Vancouver on Saturday, AND a Calgary loss against Buffalo on Friday AND a Colorado loss against Toronto on Sunday.

NOTE: In any situation where three or more clubs are tied for the fifth seed at either 9-7 or 8-8, the tiebreaker rules shall be applied until the tie is broken. Once the tie is broken for the fifth seed, the tiebreaker rules shall be re-applied from the beginning to break the tie for the sixth seed.

In the event of a five-way tie at 8-8 among Vancouver, Calgary, Columbus, Albany and either Colorado or Philadelphia, the tie shall be broken by total goals for/against during the regular season to determine the fifth seed. In the event two or more clubs are tied for total goals for/against, a coin toss will be held on Sunday evening to determine the fifth seed. Once the fifth seed has been determined, the applicable tiebreaker shall be used for the remaining four clubs.

The following is the format for the NLL post-season:

1. Six teams will be eligible for the playoffs. The three division winners will automatically qualify for the playoffs and will be seeded one through three based on record and overall tie-breakers, if necessary. Teams seeded first and second will receive a first round bye. The remaining three-playoff spots will be awarded to the non-division winners by overall best records, using overall tiebreakers if necessary.
2. In the quarterfinals, the third place finisher will play the sixth, and the fourth place finisher will play the fifth.
3. In the playoff semi-finals, the first place finisher will play the winner of fourth vs. fifth place finisher, and the second place finisher will play the winner of third vs. sixth place finisher.
4. The winners of the playoff semi-final games will play for the world championship (NLL Champion's Cup).

NOTE - The following is the tie-breaking procedure for clubs having identical won-lost records at the conclusion of the regular season to determine the order of finish and seeding:

a) Head-to-head record during the regular season
b) Win-loss record against common opponents played an equal number of
games during the regular season.
c) Goals for/goals against in head-to-head match-ups.
d) Total goals for/goals against for the regular season.
e) Coin toss.

B. Divisional Tiebreakers-

The following is the tiebreaking procedure for clubs having identical won-lost records at the conclusion of the regular season within their division, to determine the order of finish and seeding within the division:

a) Head-to-head record during the regular season
b) Win-loss against divisional opponents
c) Win-loss record against common opponents played an equal number
of times during the regular season.
d) Goals for/goals against in head-to-head match-ups.
e) Total goals for/goals against within Division
f) Total goals for/goals against for the regular season.
g) Coin toss.

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