Lacrosse Editorial – The NLL Playoff Picture Is Becoming Clear As Mud

As the NLL is coming to the end of it’s regular season, the playoffs are on the horizon.  This week we look at who has clinched a playoff spot, as well as possibilities for those who haven’t.

How The Playoffs Work:

The East Division will have the top four teams qualify for the playoffs.  The one seed will play the four seed, while two will play three, in a one game elimination.  Round two (division finals) and round three (Championship) will be best two out of three.

The West Division is a bit different because they only have seven teams in it.  The top three teams qualify, but the fourth team will have the best record of the remaining teams in the league (east and west) who haven’t clinched a playoff spot, and could involve an East division crossover.

The East Division:

With still a couple of weeks left in the season, the Buffalo Bandits and Toronto Rock have already clinched playoff spots.  Toronto plays Buffalo at the KeyBank Center this weekend with first place in the East on the line.

Where it gets a bit messy is for third and fourth spot, with no possibility of a crossover to the West division’s playoff picture. Rochester (9-7), Georgia (8-8), Halifax (8-8), and Philadelphia (7-9) are all vying for the third and fourth spots. 

Georgia’s story has been nothing short of remarkable.  They started the season 0-7, and have won 8 of their last 9 games to be at .500 heading into the last two weeks of the season.  Rochester started the season 5-0 before losing their first game.  Since then they have fallen on hard times and are currently in a four game losing streak.

Both Philadelphia and Halifax have shown signs of brilliance, and signs of mediocrity this season.  Inconsistency has hampered both teams.  Although the scenarios don’t favor these teams from making the playoffs, mathematically they are still very much alive.

The West Division:

This division is set with San Diego (12-4), Calgary (12-5), Panther City (10-7), and Colorado (9-7) all clinching playoff spots.  The only thing still to be determined is what place will everyone finish, and who will face who?

This is Panther City’s first time to clinch a playoff spot in their club’s history.  Kudos to Bob Hamley, Tracey Kelusky and company.  They were very close last year, and this year were able to achieve that goal.  Although Colorado hasn’t had the best of seasons, they are peaking at the right time, and will cause problems for the other teams during the playoffs. 

San Diego and Calgary have been the class of the division this season, but if they aren’t careful could easily be upset by these two challengers.  The Seals have been touted as the best, but age may play a factor this far into the season.  Calgary wasn’t expected to be this strong, but great goaltending as well as a tremendous transition game has this team sailing along briskly.

Stay tuned!  The best is yet to come!

Don’t forget to check us out every Sunday night at 9pm (ET)

Gary Groob
Gary Groob

Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.

An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game in 2010. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob was given an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.

Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.

In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.

Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).

Gary also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.

Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.