NLL: Knighthawks Visit Roughnecks In Critical Contest

The Calgary Roughnecks host the Rochester Knighthawks Saturday night in a game that could seal the fate of either team heading into the postseason.

The Roughnecks have already secured a playoff spot, but their success or failure in their last two games will determine how they get seeded.

The Knighthawks can punch their own ticket to the postseason with a win either in Calgary or on Sunday in Edmonton against the Rush. If they win both games this weekend, they lock up second place in the East Division and earn at least one home playoff game.

The 6-7 Knighthawks have only given up 9 goals per game since their trade deadline moves to bolster their defense. The additions of Scott Self and Jimmy Purves have made what was already an excellent defense even better.

Adding to the defensive strength is goaltender Matt Vinc, who is having an outstanding season between the pipes. His 9.75 goals against average and .813 save percentage are tops in the NLL.

On the offensive side of things, Cody Jamieson is once again leading the way with a team-high 23 goals and 63 points.

Calgary has been averaging almost a goal per game more than every other team in the NLL this year. At 14 goals per game, they can outshoot virtually anybody.

Shawn Evans is leading the way with 92 points, the second most in the NLL, while Curtis Dickson is tied for the league lead in goals scored with 38.

Faceoff savant Geoff Snider has already won 260 draws this year and, facing a team without a quality faceoff man, he will certainly push that total much higher, placing himself once again into the top 10 best faceoff seasons in league history.

Goaltender Mike Poulin’s numbers this year are no better than middle-of the pack (12.80 goals against), but he has been giving up fewer than 12 goals per game in the last three and looking much more like the guy who won the Goaltender of the Year award last season.

Moreover, Calgary has helped Poulin out recently by taking fewer bad penalties, giving their netminder a chance to keep them in games.

Who comes out on top? The best defense or the best offense? We find out tonight at 7:00 MST.