It took until the final week of the National Lacrosse League’s 18-game schedule to solidify the playoff picture. Now the hunt for the Champion’s Cup begins!
The division semi-finals roll on Saturday night in a one-game, winner take all battle with a trip to the East or West final on the line. Toronto hosts the Black Wolves and Vancouver welcomes in the Mammoth, while both Saskatchewan and Georgia kick back after earning a first round bye.
A team’s record and seeding only tells part of the story. Quite often it’s a club’s momentum, or lack thereof, entering the post-season that can help predict the likelihood of success.
I broke down the recent performance of each playoff bound franchise to see whose stock was rising and falling at the conclusion of Week 18. My NLLTV broadcast partner Brian Shanahan and I began by discussing the East.
The focus will definitely need to be on defense for whoever faces the historically dominant scoring Georgia Swarm in the division final.
Stephen Stamp of ILIndoor.com and NLL.com helped me analyze the West.
It will be interesting to see if the Stealth’s late season surge can carryover at home.
Enjoy the action this weekend NLL fans!
Andy McNamara has been a play-by-play commentator for the NLL on TSN, NLLTV, and world lacrosse tournaments since 2011. He’s also a sports talk host and anchor on TSN 1050 sports radio. Follow Andy on twitter @AndyMc81