Going into the final weekend of regular season play in the NLL, six of the eight postseason spots have been claimed, with two more yet to be determined. Moreover, only one team has locked up a home game, so there is still a lot yet to be determined.
Such is life in a league with such parity among the teams.
Here’s what we do know: The Toronto Rock have locked up the East Division with a 10-6 record and will be hosting at least one home game in the playoffs.
The Philadelphia Wings, Edmonton Rush, Calgary Roughnecks, Washington Stealth and Minnesota Swarm have also earned playoff berths.
And from a playoff standpoint, that’s all we know for sure.
The postseason seeding is still entirely dependent on how things play out in this weekend’s games.
If Edmonton beats Calgary, Edmonton will claim the top seed in the playoffs and the first home playoff game in franchise history. If Calgary wins that game, they win the West Division and claim a home postseason appearance.
In the East, if the Rochester Knighthawks beat the Buffalo Bandits, they not only earn a playoff berth, but also a home playoff game. But, if they lose to Buffalo and the Colorado Mammoth beat Minnesota, they are eliminated from the postseason entirely.
Additionally, a Bandits win puts them in the postseason, in spite of a six-game losing streak earlier this year, and, if Philly loses to Washington, they can even pick up a home playoff game.
If Colorado wins, they earn a postseason spot, but if they lose, they still might squeak in if Buffalo gets beat by Rochester.
And there are a few more twists and turns beyond that could juggle things a little further.
But the bottom line is this: all four games this weekend have huge implications, leaving the field wide open. And, as last season’s playoffs demonstrated, anyone who gets to the postseason has a shot at going all the way.
The excitement gets underway Saturday at 7:30 EST when the Bandits host the Knighthawks.