With four weeks left in the 2012 Major League Lacrosse regular season, we can officially start talking about the playoffs. Teams are ten games in, one franchise is in, one franchise is done, the new lacrosse order is beginning to settle, and it’s now or never for a big chunk of the league!
The Chesapeake Bayhawks can finish no worse than 8-6, and even if they lost their last four games, which is incredibly unlikely, they could still make the playoffs. Three of their games are against Rochester, Boston and Denver, and all three of those teams are fighting for spots in the top 4. One win in any of those games will pretty much seal the Bayhawks postseason. I can’t see the Bayhawks finishing any lower than 10-4.
Then we get to Denver (7-3), Boston (6-4), Long Island (6-4) and Rochester (5-5), and things get confusing quickly. Denver plays AT Boston, AT Hamilton, AT Rochester and AT Chesapeake. It’s a rough four game road patch to end the year, and against three of the top 5 teams in the league. Boston, Long Island and Rochester have to be hoping Denver drops a couple of these.
Boston and Long Island both seem poised to win some games in the last four weeks, as they play Ohio and Hamilton twice, respectively, but these games are anything but locked up wins. Rochester plays the Hounds twice, and also play Ohio, and if they can finish the season going 3-1, they will be 8-6, and right in the thick of things, should LI, Boston or Denver falter. If Rochester can be beat both expansion teams for a combined three wins AND take down Denver, three or four teams could finish at 9-5 behind the Bayhawks, and that would be tough to sort out!
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve noticed that Charlotte and Hamilton are both sitting at 3-7, but you’ve also noticed that they play a lot of the top teams in the league the rest of the way out. If the Hounds can 4-0, they would finish at 7-7, and if some other games went their way, they could leapfrog the Lizards and the Rattlers. The same goes for the Nationals.
Common sense says there is NO WAY either Charlotte or Hamilton makes the playoffs, but technically, it is still possible.
The only team that is eliminated is Ohio, which sits at 2-8. Even with 4 more wins the Machine aren’t going above 6-8, and that’s just not going to do it in the MLL’s 4-team playoff push. With four weeks to go, 7 of 8 teams are still in the playoff hunt, and the top spot is still up for grabs.
I’m enjoying the parity in the MLL this year, and I’ve been very impressed with the improvements both expansion teams (and second year team Rochester) have made. Teams like Chesapeake and Boston are still the cream of the crop, but their positions are not stable. The playoff push is here, and if you haven’t been paying attention to the MLL, now is a good time to start!
LACROSSE IN OTHER NEWS:
– Deadspin talks about the Iroquois U19 Lacrosse win, has to mention lax bros | Deadspin
– Philadelphia area lacrosse coach fired, then charged in sex-abuse hoax | Philly.com
– Cuse joins ACC, except calls for lacrosse to return to BC to increase | BC Interruption
– Ivy League makes changes to limit concussions in lacrosse and soccer | Bloomberg Businessweek
LACROSSE VIDEO OF THE WEEK:
Gewas Schindler, Ansley Jemison, Warren Hill and Johnny Powless give us the inside look at the World Games experience with the U19 Iroquois Lacrosse Team. I could listen to these guys talk about lacrosse for hours on end. Simply beautiful.
Great work by Indian Country Today on the piece!