After a very good two weeks, Everett’s playoff position has improved considerably. The Tips have clinched a playoff spot, and they’ve given themselves some breathing room in sixth place in the Western Conference. Here’s an updated look at the situation with two weeks remaining in the regular season:
5. Spokane, 78 points, 7 games remaining
6. Everett, 75, 7
7. Vancouver, 70, 6
8. Tri-City, 64, 7
SPOKANE (7): @Kel, @PG, @PG, @Sea, Evt, TC, @TC.
EVERETT (7): Kel, @TC, @Sea, @Spo, @Vic, Vic, @Por.
VANCOUVER (6): Kam, @Por, @Sea, Vic, Kel, @Kel.
TRI-CITY (7): Por, Evt, @Kel, @Por, @Spo, Spo, Sea.
Everett has a difficult schedule the rest of the way, with just two of the final seven games at home, and that final weekend is brutal with the home-and-home with Victoria followed by that game at Portland. Spokane’s schedule is equally road heavy, but the quality of opposition is a little lower, so it’ll be a challenge for Everett to move into fifth. However, Vancouver’s schedule is equally difficult, so the Giants will have to pull an upset or two to catch the Tips. Tri-City seems pretty much out of the race for sixth.
If the playoffs began today, Everett would face third-seeded Victoria in the first round (what a great opening-weekend trip that would be). If the Tips are able to climb into fifth, it would probably set up the first Everett-Seattle playoff series since the Tips joined the league in 2003. Drop into seventh and Everett is facing the prospect of another first-round series against Portland. So there are multiple major incentives for at least holding onto sixth.