The Calgary Roughnecks are getting ready to face the Colorado Mammoth in the first round of the NLL postseason on May 3.
The Roughnecks are riding high on a hot streak to wrap up the regular season, winning their last two games—including a victory over the first-place Edmonton Rush—and six of their last seven.
Along the way, Dane Dobbie led the league in goals for and set a new team record (51), Shawn Evans broke the 100-point plateau for the second straight year with 105, and Geoff Snider led the NLL in loose balls (209) and faceoff wins (317).
As a team, Calgary led the NLL in goals for (237) and shorthanded goals (13).
Above and beyond that, starting goaltender Mike Poulin finished the season second in wins (12) and saves (602), and fifth in goals against average (11.45).
At the end of the day, this means Calgary has plenty of positives going into the postseason. It’s not a perfect picture, however.
Special teams could play a major factor in the outcome for Calgary. They had the best power play in the NLL this year, succeeding 55.4 percent of the time, and the best penalty kill unit, killing 66.7 percent of their shorthanded situations to go along with their 13 shorthanded goals.
But they also gave up the second-most penalty kill situations (96), averaging 5.3 per game. Even if you’re good at killing those situations, sooner or later it will cost you goals and, moreover, it will stall out your offense as they’re forced to sit on the bench watching the defense do their thing and that has cost the Roughnecks games this year.
If they can play a disciplined game and stay out of the penalty box, Calgary could be well positioned to win their one game playoff against Colorado and move on to the second round against the Rush. If they can’t, they might find themselves back at the drawing board trying to figure out what to do in 2015.