The New England Black Wolves clinched a playoff berth during Week 15 with a pair of wins over Saskatchewan and Toronto. Those results, combined with Rochester’s loss to Buffalo, secured a spot in the postseason for New England.
“Following each weekend’s games, we look at how the results have affected all of the potential tie-breakers between teams, including three-way and even potential four-way team tie-breakers,” NLL Vice President of Broadcast Services & Communications Doug Fritts said. “The results of the games played, plus consideration of the games still remaining on the schedule occasionally lead to an additional path to a playoff berth that we did not anticipate heading into the weekend’s action.”
By virtue of Rochester’s loss to Buffalo on Saturday night, Rochester fell to 6-8, and will play Georgia (5-9) this upcoming Saturday. The Rochester loss has now created a scenario where the worst case for the Black Wolves (9-5) is a 3-way tie at 9-9 with Georgia and Rochester for the final two playoff spots in the East (second and third place). In the case of a three-way 9-9 tie-breaker between these teams for the last two playoff spots, Georgia finishes second, as they would have the best combined head-to-head record against the other two teams (4-3 vs Roc & NE combined). New England would finish third as they would have gone 4-4 against Roc & GA. Rochester would have a combined 3-4 record vs NE & GA and finish fourth. New England can finish no worse than third place.
The NLL has released playoff clinch scenarios for NLL Week 16 with seven games on the schedule including three games on Friday night and four more on Saturday. Only two spots in the Champion’s Cup Playoffs, one in each division, remain as teams look to improve their seeding, clinch their postseason berth, or stay alive in the race this weekend with just three weeks left in the regular season.
- Buffalo Bandits (10-4) have clinched playoff spot and a home playoff game.
- New England Black Wolves (9-5) have clinched playoff spot and can clinch a home playoff game with win vs. Georgia.
- Rochester Knighthawks (6-8) can clinch playoff spot with win vs. Georgia AND Georgia loss vs. New England AND one Toronto loss vs. Buffalo.
- Calgary Roughnecks (7-9) can clinch playoff spot with win vs. Vancouver.
- Colorado Mammoth (10-4) have clinched playoff spot and a home playoff game and can clinch division title with two wins vs. Saskatchewan.
- Saskatchewan Rush (10-4) have clinched playoff spot and at least one home playoff game and can clinch division title with two wins vs. Colorado.
The 2016 NLL regular season concludes in Week 18 with every team in action before the 2016 NLL Playoffs start the weekend of May 6-8.
A total of six NLL teams, the top three clubs in each division’s standings, will qualify for the playoffs. The two regular season division champions will earn a first-round bye as top seeds. The second seed will host the third seed in their respective division for the single-game elimination Division Semifinal in the first round. The first two rounds of the playoffs shall remain under the same format as last year with single elimination for both first-round Division Semifinal games along with a two-game series for the Division Finals.
The top seed from each division plays the winner of the Division Semifinal game between the second and third seeds, with the lower-seeded team hosting the first game and the higher seed hosting the second game of the series. As adopted for 2014, a 10-minute tiebreaker game will be played immediately following Game 2 of the Division Finals should the series be tied, 1-1.
For the second-straight year, the Champion’s Cup Finals expand to a full best-of-three series with the higher-seeded team hosting Game 1 and Game 3 (if necessary).