IL Indoor's Brian Shanahan has posted NLL Power Rankings after Week 17 of the NLL regular season. (Photo: Cristan Anderson)
The 2014 National Lacrosse League playoffs are set with just one more week left in the regular season. Following five games this past weekend, IL Indoor's Brian Shanahan has released his NLL Power Rankings after Week 17.
"After 17 weeks of NLL action we now know all the playoff matchups as the Colorado Mammoth were the last team to officially punch their playoff ticket with an 18-12 road win over the Minnesota Swarm this weekend," Shanahan writes. "They’ll be playing the Calgary Roughnecks while first place Edmonton Rush waits. Speaking of Calgary and Edmonton, the Roughnecks finally beat the Rush on Saturday. Calgary defeated the Edmonton 14-13 with Curtis Dickson scoring his 7th of the game in overtime. In the East, we know that the Buffalo Bandits and the Toronto Rock will meet in the playoffs but we still don’t know where. The Bandits have now lost seven straight games as they fell to the Toronto Rock 13-9 on Friday and 8-4 to the Rochester Knighthawks.
"They now have the same 8-9 record as the Toronto Rock but the Bandits hold the tie breaker by beating Toronto 2 out of three times this year. In the only other game of the weekend the Philadelphia Wings came back from a 9-6 third quarter deficit to defeat the Vancouver Stealth 15-11. The game started as a must win-game for Vancouver but the way the Stealth played in the second half it appeared evident that they knew their fate was already sealed."
1) Edmonton Rush (15-2)
In the last two weeks, the Edmonton Rush have lost their only two games of the season, against the two teams (Colorado and Calgary) who will battle for the right to play Edmonton in the West Division final. The Rush lost a 14-13 overtime game to Calgary and even though Edmonton came close to putting the Roughnecks away a number of times they could not stop the hot stick of Curtis Dickson. Calgary’s last minute tying goal came seconds after the referee missed a blatant over and back call on the Roughnecks. Coach Derek Keenan probably doesn’t mind entering the playoffs with a few recent losses in memory but look for the Rush to be sharp in their final game of the season next Friday when they host the Vancouver Stealth.
2) Rochester Knighthawks (13-4)
The Rochester Knighthawks only scored 8 goals but held the Buffalo Bandits to four goals, their worst offensive output in the regular season in team history. These two teams meet again next weekend in Buffalo and the Knighthawks would like nothing better than to extend the Bandits’ losing streak. Don’t think that Rochester will take it easy this game. Cody Jamieson is in a battle with Shawn Evans for the scoring championship and his teammates will want to make sure they pump in enough goals to him a chance to win it.
3) Calgary Roughnecks (11-6)
In the best game of the 2014 Battle of Alberta, the Calgary Roughnecks prevailed for a 14-13 overtime victory. Down by three goals in the fourth quarter, the league’s best offense out dueled the league’s best defence. It helped that Curtis Dickson was almost unstoppable scoring 7 goals on 12 shots. Next week the Roughnecks will play the Vancouver Stealth in the last game of the regular season.