By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
1. Toronto Rock (10-5), The Rock have solidified themselves as the team to beat in the East if not the entire league. They have clinched the East crown and can clinch home field throughout the entire playoffs this weekend with a win over Philadelphia.
2. Washington Stealth (8-6), It’s hard to separate the top three teams in the West given that they have the same record, but the Stealth beat Calgary on the road last week and Edmonton lost to Colorado so I give Washington the nod since they were the only team of the three at the top to win last week.
3. Calgary Roughnecks (8-6), I’m not going to downgrade Calgary too much for losing a one-goal game to Washington, especially since the Roughnecks came from behind to beat Washington at Comcast Arena the week before. Although, I remain curious what would have happened in that game if Tyler Richards hadn’t been sent to the penalty box for five minutes in the fourth quarter.
4. Edmonton Rush (8-6), The Rush really blew a golden chance to take control of the West last weekend with a loss to Colorado, though it did set up an interesting finish between them, Calgary and Washington.
5. Rochester Knighthawks (6-7), Matt Vinc is still playing li ke one of the top goaltenders in the league and frankly, that’s why the Knighthawks won the championship last year. This team could be extremely dangerous in the postseason.
6. Colorado Mammoth (6-8), Won a big game against Edmonton last week to put itself in position to make the playoffs with a win over Minnesota.
7. Minnesota Swarm (6-8), Young Swarm have a chance to get into the playoffs this weekend with a win and help.
8. Philadelphia Wings (6-8), My preseason pick to win the NLL championship is looking worse and worse by the week. But all they have to do it get in to have a chance. The Knighthawks and the Rush proved that a season ago.
9. Buffalo Bandits (5-9), All the last place team in the East has to do to make the postseason is not have the overall worst record in the league, but it is beginning to look more and more like the Bandits will. They face a must-win game on the road this weekend against the Stealth.