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Stories/Op-Ed

NLL Week 18: Playoff Scenarios

The National Lacrosse League has released playoff scenarios for Week 18 of the 2017 NLL regular season. In the last week of regular season, this weekend’s lineup features two games on Friday night with the Rochester Knighthawks hosting the Georgia Swarm & Colorado Mammoth hosting the Saskatchewan Rush.  Four games will be played on Saturday night, the New England Black Wolves will host the Vancouver Stealth, Georgia Swarm host Rochester Knighthawks, the Buffalo Bandits will host the Toronto Rock & the Twitter Game of the Week will send the Saskatchewan Rush to the Calgary Roughnecks.

EAST DIVISION

Georgia Swarm (12-4)
Georgia have clinched the East Division title, which includes a home playoff game in Game Two of the East Division Finals.

Georgia will clinch the best overall record in the League with:
1.       One win this weekend vs. Rochester, OR
2.       One loss by Saskatchewan this weekend, either at Colorado or at Calgary.

a.       Georgia won the season series vs. Saskatchewan, 1-0.

New England Black Wolves (8-9)
New England will clinch a playoff berth with:
1.       One loss by Rochester this weekend vs. Georgia.

New England will clinch a playoff berth AND a first round home playoff game with:
1.       A win Saturday vs. Vancouver, OR
2.       A Toronto loss Saturday at Buffalo.

a.      New England won the season series vs. Toronto, 2-0.

b.      In case of a three-way tie between New England, Rochester, and Toronto:

i.      New England is 4-2 (.667) vs ROC & TOR
ii.     Rochester is 3-4 (.429) vs NE & TOR
iii.    Toronto is 2-3 (.400) vs NE & ROC

New England will be eliminated from playoff contention with:
A loss Saturday vs. Vancouver, AND two (2) Rochester wins vs. Georgia, AND a Toronto win Saturday at Buffalo.

Toronto Rock (8-9)
Toronto will clinch a playoff berth with:
1.       A win Saturday at Buffalo, OR

a.       Toronto would be 9-9 and cannot be caught for third place.

2.       One Rochester loss this weekend vs. Georgia, OR

a.       Rochester would have 11 losses and could not catch Toronto.

3.       A New England win Saturday vs. Vancouver.

a.       New England would have 9 wins and finish second.

b.      Toronto and Rochester would finish in a tie at 8-10.

c.       Toronto won the season series, 2-1.

Toronto will clinch a playoff berth AND a first round home playoff game with:
1.       A win Saturday at Buffalo AND a New England loss Saturday vs. Vancouver.

a.       Toronto finishes 9-9 and New England 8-10.

Toronto will be eliminated from playoff contention with:
1.        A loss Saturday at Buffalo, AND two Rochester wins vs Georgia, AND a New England loss Saturday vs. Vancouver

a.        Toronto, New England, and Rochester would finish in a three-way tie at 8-10.  Toronto is eliminated, as outlined in the three-way tiebreaker described above in the New England scenarios.

Rochester Knighthawks (6-10)
Rochester will clinch a playoff berth with:
1.       Two wins this weekend vs. Georgia AND a New England loss Saturday vs. Vancouver.

a.       In the event of a two-way tie at 8-10 with New England, Rochester advances due to head-to-head scoring differential
b.       In the event of a three-way tie at 8-10 with New England and Toronto, Rochester advances due to the three-way tiebreaker described above in the New England scenarios.

Rochester will be eliminated from playoff contention with:
1.       One loss vs Georgia this weekend, OR
2.       A New England win Saturday vs Vancouver

a.        Rochester can only advance in tiebreaker scenarios where New England finishes 8-10, as outlined above.

b.        In the event New England finishes 9-9, Rochester loses the head-to-head tiebreaker vs Toronto (lost season series 1-2).

Buffalo Bandits (6-11)
Buffalo have been ELIMINATED from playoff consideration.

WEST DIVISION

Saskatchewan Rush (11-5)
Saskatchewan have clinched the West Division Regular Season Title, which includes a home playoff game in Game Two of the West Division Finals.

Saskatchewan will clinch the best overall record in the League with:
1.       Two wins this weekend at Colorado and Calgary AND two Georgia losses this weekend vs. Rochester.

a.       Georgia won the season series vs. Saskatchewan, 1-0.

Colorado Mammoth (9-8)
Colorado have clinched a playoff spot.

Colorado will clinch a first round home playoff game with:
1.       A win Friday vs. Saskatchewan, OR
2.       A Vancouver loss Saturday vs. New England.

Vancouver Stealth (8-9)
Vancouver have clinched a playoff spot.

Vancouver will clinch a home playoff game with:
1.       A win Saturday vs. New England AND a Colorado loss Friday vs. Saskatchewan.

a.       Vancouver won the season series vs. Colorado, 3-1.

Calgary Roughnecks (7-10)
Calgary have been ELIMINATED from playoff consideration.

The 2017 NLL regular season concludes in Week 18 with every team in action before the 2017 NLL Playoffs start the weekend of May 5-7.

A total of six NLL teams, the top three clubs in each division’s standings, will qualify for the playoffs. 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. The first two rounds of the playoffs shall remain under the same format as last year with single elimination for both first-round Division Semifinal games along with a two-game series for the Division Finals.

The top seed from each division plays 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 seed hosting the second game of the series. As adopted for 2014, a 10-minute tiebreaker game will be played immediately following Game 2 of the Division Finals should the series be tied, 1-1.

For the second-straight year, the Champion’s Cup Finals expand to a full best-of-three series with the higher-seeded team hosting Game 1 and Game 3 (if necessary).

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