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End of Season Power Rankings

#1 – San Diego Seals (14-4)

Week 22 Result: 11-8 win vs Colorado

Previous Ranking: 1st

The Seals finished their regular season with a win to give them a West Conference-best record of 14-4. It is only the fourth time in NLL history that a West Conference team has won 14 or more games in a single season – the last time it happened was when the Rush won 14 games in the 2017-18 season. Frank Scigliano has played a significant role in the team’s success, particularly during the second half of the season. It also needs to be said that Wes Berg, Curtis Dickson and Dane Dobbie all had 100+ points this season – it is the second time in NLL history three teammates have had 100+ points (2005 Toronto Rock).

#2 – Buffalo Bandits (14-4)

Week 22 Result: 16-10 win vs Albany

Previous Ranking: 3rd

The Bandits earned the top overall seed for this year’s playoffs and won another East Conference Title. The Bandits are an excellent, well-balanced and dangerous team. They are a championship-quality team that has thrived in close games, goin 4-0 in overtime games this season. Their 16-10 win is a very good way to head into this years playoffs. They are more of a #1b team than a #2 team, but that’s not how these rankings work.

#3 – Toronto Rock (13-5)

Week 22 Result: Bye

Previous Ranking: 2nd

The Rock had a bye this week, so they fall back solely because the Bandits won, and won by six goals, and they didn’t have a chance to make a case for themselves. However, as I’ve said for several weeks now, this team is very dangerous. They arguably have the best goaltender in the NLL in Nick Rose and they have great depth at every position. When healthy, this team is a championship-caliber team and they look ready to make a run at their first NLL Cup since 2011.

#4 – Calgary Roughnecks (13-5)

Week 22 Result: Bye

Previous Ranking: 4th

The Roughnecks exceeded expectations this year. Curtis Dickson, Dane Dobbie and Wes Berg all not on the team for the first time in more than a decade, it was unclear what we’d get from this younger, less experienced team, but they did not disappoint. They ended the season on a three-game win streak and have won 10 of their last 12 games, setting a franchise high with 13 wins. Yes, they have an MVP-worthy goaltender in Christian Del Bianco but they are so much more than a one-man show. They had eight players with 15+ goals during the regular season and six players with 10+ caused turnovers. The Roughnecks are going to make life rough for Panther City in these Quarterfinals.

#5 – Halifax Thunderbirds (10-8)

Week 22 Result: 17-11 win at Georgia

Previous Ranking: 5th

The Thunderbirds are arguably the hottest team heading into the playoffs. They have won five of their last six games and are scoring at will – they scored 14+ goals in each of their five wins. Jake Withers has been spectacular at the face-off X and Graeme Hossack has made a great case for himself to win NLL Defender of the Year. When they’re clicking, the offense is as potent as any other team in the league and Warren Hill has shown that he can be one of the better goaltenders in this league. The hottest teams heading into the playoffs are often the most dangerous, so the Rock better be prepared for a battle in the quarterfinals.

Next 3 In (in alphabetical order)

Colorado Mammoth (9-9)

Week 22 Result: 11-8 loss at San Diego

Previous Ranking: Next 3 In

The Mammoth suffered a tough loss to the Seals to end the regular season, but they’ll get a chance to avenge their loss in the Quarterfinals right back in San Diego. The Mammoth have looked better in the second half of the season compared to the first half, but they won’t want to continue their losing ways this weekend. They are the defending NLL champs, so they know what it takes to get the job done. Will they start the playoffs off right with an upset win over the West’s #1 team?

Panther City Lacrosse Club (10-8)

Week 22 Result: Bye

Previous Ranking: Next 3 In

Panther City is making their first appearance in franchise history – this is only their second season in the league. But just being in the postseason wasn’t this team’s goal. They want to win it all. PCLC has gone 2-2 in their last four games, but they’ve had a week to regroup from their Week 21 loss to the Roughnecks, who they’ll be facing in the Quarterfinals. Callum Crawford is in his 17th NLL season and he still hasn’t won his first NLL championship. He and PCLC will be looking to shake things up once the playoffs begin this weekend.

Philadelphia Wings (9-9)

Week 22 Result: 14-11 win at Rochester

Previous Ranking: N/A

The Wings are not going to be participating in this year’s postseason, but they finished their season off with an emphatic win. The Wings beat the Knighthawks 14-11, but the game really wasn’t that close. The Wings were beating the Knighthawks 9-1 at halftime and they coasted to their second win in a row and their thirf win in four games. Mitch Jones had 91 in 12 games with the team (7.6 points per game). It will be interesting to see what this team looks like by the start of next year.

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