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NLL Week 16 playoff scenarios

04/07/2014, 6:00pm EDT
By NLL.com

Teams lay it on the line this weekend as postseason race hits homestretch


Minnesota Swarm (3-12) are looking up at the standings facing possible playoff elimination in NLL Week 16. (Photo: Scott Pierson)

The National Lacrosse League has announced playoff scenarios entering Week 16 of the 2014 NLL regular season. With just three weeks left on the schedule, the postseason race boils over this weekend as top teams look to strengthen their position in the standings. After four teams already punched their tickets, others will just try to stay alive in their quest for the sport's most coveted prize, the Champion's Cup.

EAST DIVISION

Rochester Knighthawks (11-4)
-Have clinched a playoff berth and at least one home playoff game.
-Can clinch East Division title with:
Win Saturday vs. Vancouver
AND
Buffalo loss Saturday at Minnesota.

Buffalo Bandits (8-6)
-Have clinched a playoff berth.
-Can clinch at least one home playoff game with:
Win Saturday at Minnesota
OR
Toronto loss Saturday at Philadelphia.

Toronto Rock (6-9)
-Can clinch playoff berth with:
Win Saturday vs. Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Wings (5-10)
-Can be eliminated from playoff contention with:
Loss Saturday at Toronto.

Minnesota Swarm (3-12)
-Can be eliminated from playoff contention with:
Loss Saturday vs. Buffalo
OR
Toronto win Saturday vs. Philadelphia.

WEST DIVISION

Edmonton Rush (14-1)
-Have clinched West Division title and top overall seed with home field advantage throughout playoffs.

Calgary Roughnecks (10-5)
-Have clinched playoff berth and at least one home playoff game.

Colorado Mammoth (6-10)
-Remain in playoff contention.

Vancouver Stealth (4-10)
-Remain in playoff contention.

NLL Week 16 starts with the undefeated Edmonton Rush at Colorado Mammoth on Friday as Edmonton looks to go to 15-0 while Colorado tries to hold on to the third and final playoff spot in the West Division standings.

On Saturday, the action gets going with four games, starting with the Philadelphia Wings visiting the Toronto Rock for a crucial East matchup with playoff implications. The Rochester Knighthawks host the Vancouver Stealth for a rematch of the 2013 NLL Championship. Later on, the Buffalo Bandits look to clinch a home playoff game when they visit the Minnesota Swarm while the Swarm hope to stay alive in the race. To cap it off, the Edmonton Rush visit the Calgary Roughnecks for round three of the Battle of Alberta.

Before the start of the season, the league reduced the number of teams who qualify for the playoffs from eight to six teams, featuring the top three clubs in each division's standings. The crossover rule no longer applies. The two regular season division champions will earn a first-round bye as top seeds. The second seed will host the third seed in their respective division for the single-game elimination Division Semifinal in the first round.

Also new to the postseason format, the Division Finals and Championship both expand to a two-game series from the previous single-game elimination setup. The top seed from each division will play the winner of the Division Semifinal game between the second and third seeds, with the lower-seeded team hosting the first game and the higher (best) seed hosting the second game of the series.

Teams who win both games shall win the two-game series. In the event of a series split with both teams winning one game, a 10-minute tiebreaker game will be played immediately following the conclusion of the second contest to determine the winner of the playoff series.

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