In the penultimate week of the regular season, I went 3-2 – extending my .500-or-better streak to 6 weeks. I can’t hit .500 overall this year – 4-for-4 this weekend will put me at 35-37, or .486. On the upside, the worst I can do this year is 31-41 or .431, which is what my prediction record was last year.
People have worried that eight of nine teams making the playoffs means there are fewer “meaningful games”, but nothing could be further from the truth this weekend. All the games have playoff implications for all the teams – even the Rock, who aren’t playing.
Buffalo is fighting for their playoff lives, as are Rochester and Colorado. In fact, Buffalo and Rochester are fighting each other for their playoff lives. If Rochester wins, Buffalo’s out. If Buffalo wins, Rochester’s fate depends on the Mammoth-Swarm game. The Mammoth can clinch with a win, but also if Rochester wins.
The rest of the teams are playing for their playoff seedings – I think the Swarm and Mammoth are the only teams who can’t host a playoff game. I won’t go over all the possibilities in the west since they’re complicated. They’re all listed on nll.com anyway. Suffice it to say that all the remaining games are crucial and nobody’s going to be mailing it in this weekend.
If I get my picks right, we’ll have Colorado crossing over to play the Rock and the Wings playing in Rochester. In the west, Edmonton will host Minnesota (with the Swarm ready for some payback for last year’s embarrassing playoff loss) and Calgary will play in Washington.
Record: 31-37 (.456)