The National Lacrosse League has released playoff clinch scenarios for NLL Week 15 with five games on the schedule starting on Friday night. After the Colorado Mammoth and Saskatchewan Rush both locked up at least one home playoff game with wins last weekend, the race is on for the final spot in the West between the Calgary Roughnecks and Vancouver Stealth. In the East, the Buffalo Bandits can punch their ticket with a win vs. the Rochester Knighthawks on Saturday or with losses from both the Georgia Swarm and Toronto Rock while the New England Black Wolves can clinch playoffs with two wins vs. Saskatchewan and the Toronto Rock plus a Georgia or Rochester loss.
- Buffalo Bandits (9-4) can clinch playoff spot with win vs. Rochester OR with Georgia loss AND Toronto loss.
- New England Black Wolves can clinch playoff spot with win vs. Saskatchewan AND win vs. Toronto PLUS Georgia loss OR Rochester loss.
The 2016 NLL regular season concludes in Week 18 with every team in action before the 2016 NLL Playoffs start the weekend of May 6-8.
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).