7/27/10 2:13 PM
As the Major League Lacrosse (MLL) regular season inches closer to its Aug. 7 finale, two teams can already look ahead to Championship Weekend presented by Warrior. Who will join them there could be decided this weekend.
The Boston Cannons (7-3) clinched a postseason berth with their 18-10 win over the Toronto Nationals last weekend. With a win this weekend over the Denver Outlaws, the Cannons can clinch the No. 1 seed in the league.
The only other team to have clinched a spot in the playoffs is the Denver Outlaws (7-3). The Outlaws clinched with a 15-11 victory over the Chicago Machine. Because Denver is 0-2 against Boston this season, the Outlaws cannot clinch the No. 1 seed this weekend even if they defeat the Cannons on Saturday.
Boston and Denver will be the top two seeds at Championship Weekend. Spots three and four are still up in the air.
At 5-5 the Long Island Lizards control their own destiny heading into week 11. They are in the playoffs with a win this week. With a victory the Lizards could finish the season no worse than 6-6. Toronto already has seven loses, and either Chesapeake or Chicago will fall to seven losses after this weekend, thus opening the way for Long Island.
The game with the most on the line this weekend will be in Annapolis where the Chicago Machine will take on the Chesapeake Bayhawks in what is basically a playoff game for both teams. The two teams are currently tied for fourth place at 4-6 but Chicago owns the tiebreaker by virtue of their week 3 win over the Bayhawks.
The scenario for Chicago is simple, win and they are in the playoffs for the first time in team history. They are not necessarily eliminated with a loss but could be depending on what happens elsewhere.
The Bayhawks can also get in with a win, but only if they defeat Chicago by four or more goals. Even if Chesapeake were to finish the season with a 5-7 record the Bayhawks own tiebreakers over every other team that could finish 5-7, Toronto, Chicago and Long Island. However, if the Bayhawks lose then they are eliminated from playoff contention, regardless of whether they finish at 5-7 because they would not hold the required tiebreakers.
The Toronto Nationals (3-7) are still not out of playoff contention yet, but a loss this weekend would officially eliminate them. No team with eight losses can make the playoffs this season. The Nationals play Long Island in back to back weeks and with two wins they could still get into the post-season with some help.
It is possible that by then end of play on Saturday the teams and seedings for MLL Championship Weekend presented by Warrior will be set, but it is just as likely that everything will come down to the final week of the regular season on August 7th.
2010 Major League Lacrosse Championship Weekend presented by Warrior
August 21-22, Annapolis, MD
For information and tickets go to www.majorleaguelacrosse.com