The National Lacrosse League has issued playoff clinch scenarios ahead of the Week 18 finale of the 2016 NLL regular season on Friday, April 29 to Sunday, May 1. Entering the final weekend, eight of nine teams are either in the playoffs or remain in contention for the postseason. All four teams that have clinched are still in contention to improve their current divisional or overall seeding while four more teams race for the final two spots to compete for the Champion’s Cup.
– Buffalo Bandits (12-5) have clinched a playoff spot and home playoff game. Buffalo can clinch the top seed in the East Division with a win vs. New England OR a New England loss vs. Rochester. Buffalo can clinch the top seed in the league with a win vs. New England OR with a Saskatchewan loss at Rochester AND a New England loss vs. Rochester.
– Georgia Swarm (7-10) can clinch a playoff spot with a win vs. Vancouver OR one Rochester loss.
– New England Black Wolves (10-6) have clinched a playoff spot and home playoff game. New England can clinch the top seed in the East Division with two wins at Buffalo and vs. Rochester. New England can clinch the top overall seed in the league with two wins and a Saskatchewan loss at Rochester.
– Rochester Knighthawks (6-10) can clinch a playoff spot with two wins vs. Saskatchewan and at New England AND a Georgia loss.
– Calgary Roughnecks (7-10) can clinch a playoff spot with a win vs. Toronto OR one Vancouver loss.
– Colorado Mammoth (11-6) have clinched a playoff spot and home playoff game.
– Saskatchewan Rush (12-5) have clinched a playoff spot, home playoff game and top seed in the West Division. Saskatchewan can clinch the top overall seed in the league with a win at Rochester AND a Buffalo loss vs. New England.
– Vancouver Stealth (5-11) can clinch a playoff spot with two wins at Colorado and at Georgia AND a Calgary loss vs. Toronto.
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).