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Georgia Swarm New England Black Wolves NLL Media Poll 2017 Photo: New England Black Wolves

NLL Media Poll – Down to the Wire, Playoff Picture

We find out what the playoff picture looks like and how things should wrap up in this week’s NLL Media Poll.

Authors’ Notes: Welcome back to another NLL Media Poll. We got fed up with lacrosse’s lack of polls that tie together multiple media sources, so we made one ourselves. This poll features votes from Inside Lacrosse and Tyson Geick of the NLL, along with our own Mark Donahue and Ryan Conwell.

Three of our teams had the weekend off to prepare for the final push. Only two teams, the Georgia Swarm and Saskatchewan Rush, has locked up a playoff spot. The other four are still open for grabs and no one is ruled out. This weekend, the Bandits are the only team forced to double dip. The back-to-backs might be their last shot at the postseason if they can pull off a pair of wins over East Division foes, Toronto and Georgia.

Playoff scenarios are below, along with our thoughts on how it’s going to go. It’s bout to get funkayyy.

9. Buffalo Bandits (0)

Calgary Roughnecks vs Buffalo Bandits NLL Media Poll 2017 Photo: Candice Ward
Photo: Candice Ward

Record: 5-9
Weekend Result: Loss to Calgary, 8-13
Next Game: vs. Toronto – Friday, April 14th 7:30pm ET & @ Georgia – Saturday, April 15th 7:05pm ET
Goals: Mitch Jones & Mitch Jones – 24 (T-20th)
Assists: Dhane Smith – 44 (10th)
Points: Dhane Smith – 68 (T-12th)

Ryan Conwell

After dropping their game to Calgary, the Bandits have the toughest hole to dig out of in the league. They are tied for last with Rochester, but their four remaining games are all against Toronto and Georgia. If they pull that off, we may be talking about this run for years.

Mark Donahue

It’s not impossible, but damn they needed that win. The  Bandits can be eliminated this weekend with a just a loss to Toronto and a New England win vs Saskatchewan. That’s how close it is to game over. Two wins this weekend and a New England loss would put them neck and neck with the Wolves for the 3rd spot. I’m counting them out. But for you believers out there…

8. Rochester Knighthawks (-1)

New England Black Wolves vs Rochester Knighthawks NLL 2017 Photo Jeff Melnik LaxAllStars.com
Photo: Jeff Melnik / LaxAllStars.com

Record: 5-9
Weekend Result: Didn’t compete.
Next Game: @ Colorado – Saturday, April 15th, 9:00pm ET
Goals: Josh Currier – 23 (T-22nd)
Assists: Kyle Jackson – 31 (T-24th)
Points: Kyle Jackson – 53 (25th)

Ryan Conwell

Did not play, no movement.

Mark Donahue

The Rock could clinch with a win Friday and either: New England losing to Saskatchewan, or Rochester losing to Colorado.

7. Calgary Roughnecks (+1)

Calgary Roughnecks vs Buffalo Bandits NLL Media Poll 2017 Curtis Dickson Photo: Candice Ward
Photo: Candice Ward

Record: 7-9
Weekend Result: Win over Buffalo, 13-8.
Next Game: @ Vancouver – Saturday, April 15th 10:00pm ET
Goals: Curtis Dickson – 46 (1st)
Assists:Curtis Dickson – 50 (8th)
Points: Curtis Dickson – 96 (1st)

Ryan Conwell

The Roughneck’s win over Buffalo was just enough to give them a slight edge over Vancouver for the final playoff spot. I still think this team is drastically under performing, but that also makes them a very dangerous draw in the playoffs.

Mark Donahue

If the Riggers lose this weekend in Vancouver, they hand the playoff spot back to the Stealth. Calgary is on a three game win streak and this series favors the road team. Should they win, they can clinch next weekend with another Stealth loss. I’m taking the Roughnecks this weekend, but I’ll be at the game for myself to witness the action.

6. Vancouver Stealth (0)

Saskatchewan Rush Vancouver Stealth NLL Media Poll 2017 Photo: Calvin So
Photo: Calvin So

Record: 6-9
Weekend Result: Loss to Saskatchewan, 12-16
Next Game: vs. Calgary – Saturday, April 15th 10:00pm ET
Goals: Corey Small – 39 (2nd)
Assists: Corey Small – 53 (4th)
Points: Corey Small – 92 (3rd)

Ryan Conwell

The Stealth took a big hit by losing to the Rush. Not only are they squarely out of playoff contention right now, but the win gave Saskatchewan a spot, meaning there are officially just two left to fight for. On top of that, they host Colorado and Calgary for two of their last three games. They have only won two home games all season long. That will have to change in a big way.

Mark Donahue

In my opinion, this is it for Vancouver. If they beat Calgary, they take a .5 lead in the rankings. The Stealth would also take a 3-1 series lead. Then the last two games REALLY matter. Should they finish tied, the Stealth get the final playoff spot. But they’ve been unable to win the games win it counts and I don’t trust their ability to finish. If they lose, they’ve got to beat Colorado and New England, then pray the Necks lose to the Rush in their season finale. I’m checking the game out for myself on Saturday. You should too (in person of NLLtv.com).

5. New England Black Wolves (0)

Georgia Swarm New England Black Wolves NLL Media Poll 2017 Photo: New England Black Wolves
Photo: New England Black Wolves

Record: 7-8
Weekend Result: Loss to Georgia, 12-21.
Next Game: @ Saskatchewan – Saturday, April 15th 9:30pm ET
Goals: Kevin Crowley – 36 (T-3rd)
Assists: Shawn Evans – 53 (T-4th)
Points: Shawn Evans – 85 (T-5th)

Ryan Conwell

The Black Wolves just had no answer for the Swarm. Each time it seemed like they were going to put a run together, it just did not happen. It was especially surprising to see Evan Kirk pulled so quickly after such a great showing against Toronto. Oddly enough, the Black Wolves are now a little dependent on Georgia for playoff hopes. If the Swarm can hold off Buffalo and Rochester, it may not matter what New England does. They should be in the playoffs with just a win or two.

Mark Donahue

If they couldn’t handle the Swarm, I don’t think the Rush are going to be any easier. Giving up 21 goals is a flood. They have an offense that can score, but they remind me too much of the Stealth. What I mean is that they too often looked to find a rhythm instead of creating it. They don’t play at a constant for 60 minutes and when they do it’s below average. I’m actually in their corner. I think they find their way to get the New Yorkers out of it.

4. Toronto Rock (0)

Toronto Rock Calgary Roughnecks NLL Media Poll 2017 Photo: Graig Abel
Photo: Graig Abel

Record: 8-7
Weekend Result: Didn’t compete.
Next Game: vs. Buffalo – Friday, April 14th 7:30pm ET
Goals: Brett Hickey – 34 (T-5th)
Assists: Tom Schreiber – 52 (6th)
Points: Tom Schreiber – 80 (7th)

Ryan Conwell

Did not play, no movement

Mark Donahue

If the Rock beat the Bandits, then they can clinch the same weekend if the Knighthawks or Black Wolves lose the next day.

3. Colorado Mammoth (0)

NLL Media Poll 2017 Vancouver Stealth vs Colorado Mammoth Photo: Garrett James / Vancouver Stealth
Photo: Garrett James / Vancouver Stealth

Record: 8-7
Weekend Result: Didn’t compete.
Next Game: vs. Rochester – Saturday, April 15th, 9:00pm ET
Goals: Callum Crawford – 31 (T-8th)
Assists: Callum Crawford – 54 (3rd)
Points:  Callum Crawford – 85 (T-5th)

Ryan Conwell

Did not play, no movement.

Mark Donahue

All the Mammoth have to do is beat the Knighthawks this weekend to clinch a playoff spot. I’d say it’s a good bet.

2. Georgia Swarm (0)

Georgia Swarm New England Black Wolves NLL Media Poll 2017 Photo: New England Black Wolves
Photo: New England Black Wolves

Record: 10-4
Weekend Result: Win over New England, 21-12.
Next Game: vs. Buffalo – Saturday, April 15th, 7:05pm ET
Goals: Lyle Thompson – 34 (T-5th)
Assists: Lyle Thompson – 56 (2nd)
Points: Lyle Thompson – 90 (4th)

Ryan Conwell

The Swarm dominated their game in New England from start to finish. They’ve been strong all year, but their ceiling went up a few notches after a few players returned from the IR and other inactive spots. They have now scored 21 goals in two straight games and go into their final stretch with two games each against Buffalo and Rochester. It is not at all unreasonable to think that the Championship will be going through Georgia this year.

Mark Donahue

The Swarm are in. They’ve got the home game. If they win they’re the regular season champs. If Toronto loses they’re the champs. It’s hard for them to not look ahead at this championship run. They’ve buried 42 goals in two games and are scoring at will. I like their chances. It’s Buffalo, for Pete’s sake. I don’t think this is the game the Bandits needed to make a comeback.

1. Saskatchewan Rush (0)

Saskatchewan Rush Vancouver Stealth NLL Media Poll 2017 Photo: Calvin So
Photo: Calvin So

Record: 10-4
Weekend Result: Win over Vancouver, 16-12
Next Game: vs. New England – Saturday, April 15th 9:30pm ET
Goals: Robert Church & Mark Matthews – 31 (T-8th)
Assists: Mark Matthews – 64 (1st)
Points: Mark Matthews – 95 (2nd)

Ryan Conwell

The Rush locked up a playoff spot with their win over Vancouver, and giving them a 2-1 lead over the Stealth on the season. The West is a little more unpredictable right now as you have the Rush, followed by everyone else. That does not mean they have an easy road, though. They still have New England and Toronto at home while they end the season with trips to Calgary and Colorado. That is not a fun way to end the season at all.

Mark Donahue

It’s not a big deal. Like Georgia they can pretty much cruise. If they win a game they will lock up the West regular season title. If the Mammoth lose they also get it. They have that and a home playoff game going for them right now. The Rush are my pick again for the three-peat. Just wait. Four more games.

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NLL Media Poll #11

Rank/Team/Previous

1. Saskatchewan (1)
2. Georgia (2)
3. Colorado (4)
4. Toronto (3)
5. New England (5)
6. Vancouver (6)
7. Calgary (8)
8. Rochester (7)
9. Buffalo (9)

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NLL Media Poll Votes

Voters Ryan Conwell (LAS) Mark Donahue (LAS) Tyson Geick (NLL) Inside Lacrosse
1 Georgia Saskatchewan Saskatchewan Saskatchewan
2 Toronto Georgia Colorado Georgia
3 Saskatchewan Colorado Toronto Colorado
4 Colorado Toronto Georgia Toronto
5 Calgary New England New England Calgary
6 Vancouver Calgary Vancouver Vancouver
7 New England Vancouver Rochester New England
8 Rochester Rochester Buffalo Rochester
9 Buffalo Buffalo Calgary Buffalo
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Agree? Disagree? Feel impartial to our media poll rankings and opinions? Let you voice be heard and sound off in the comments down below!

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