MLL Weekend Preview: Week 15; Last Two Playoff Spot Up For Grabs

(Photo Credit: Lax Sports Network)

I can't believe we are already here. We are in the last week of the season and there are still two playoff spots up for grabs and three teams are capable of taking either of those spots. As far as the first two spots go, Dallas and Chesapeake have already clinched first and second seed in the MLL Playoffs. 

This weekend will be interesting because we have three teams that are trying to get into the playoffs, two teams that have already clinched a playoff birth, and teams that have been out of the playoff race for a while. It will be interesting to see how each team comes out and plays. Will the teams that have already clinched play a little slower and maybe even rest some guys? Will the teams that are out of the playoffs not really give it 100%? I know the one sure fire thing this weekend is that New York, Denver, and Atlanta will be playing the hardest to try and get a playoff birth. 

Saturday, August 4th

Boston Cannons (4-9) vs Ohio Machine (3-10) - 5PM ET

In the grand scheme of things this game doesn't mean much at all as both squads are out of the playoff race. However, this game does have some significance, especially for Boston. The Cannons have two guys playing in their last MLL game. Max Seibald and Mitch Belisle will be hanging up the cleats and retiring at the end of the 2018 season, which is Saturday for them. They both have had tremendous careers and it will be different with out either of them playing in the MLL next year. 

In terms of on the field play many just want to see these two teams go all out for their last game of 2018, myself included. Even though these teams can't make the playoffs I still think that we should see a great game. Boston has finally been clicking as of late, can they do it again? The Machine have Tom Schreiber back and man has he played good. Both of these teams are finally gelling, but too late. 

New York Lizards (7-7) vs Chesapeake (9-4) - 7PM ET

This might just be the game of the week right here. New York is one of those teams currently tied for third so they need a big win here. The playoff scenario here is if New York wins they are in and if they lose but Denver wins then they are still in as well. They were able to comeback and defeat Dallas last week on the road to keep their playoff hopes alive. Can they build upon that this weekend? With guys like Paul Rabil and Rob Pannell fully recovered from the World Championships we should see a full game from New York. 

Chesapeake has already clinched the two seed in the playoffs, so they have nothing to lose. The one thing that they would like to do is defeat the Lizards and potentially do the league a favor by knocking them out of the playoffs. With guy's like Matt Abbott, Ian MacKay, and Myles Jones playing well all season long I don't think that would be too hard to do. The big question here is if they will rest or limit some guys to keep them healthy for the playoffs.

Atlanta Blaze (7-6) vs Denver Outlaws (7-6) - 7PM ET

This game has huge playoff implications as Atlanta needs a win to make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. With a win Denver would clinch a playoff birth and New York would if they won as well. This game has huge implications so we should see both squads playing their hearts out on the field. The Blaze have been looking very good over the past few weeks. Their offense has been clicking with guys like Sergio Salcido, Tommy Palasek, and others playing very well. If the whole team can click again this week I see no reason as to why they can't win.

Denver is one of the most complete teams in the league. They seem to have everyone on the same page for pretty much the whole season. That offense led by Eric Law, Chris Cloutier when he is healthy among others. They also have a great defense that will be anchored by Dillon ward in cage as Jack Kelly is out for the season with a knee injury. No matter what this should be a great game and could end up being one of the best games of the week.

Dallas Rattlers (10-3) vs Florida Launch (5-8) - 7PM ET

Will Dallas rest some of their stars? Does Dallas play just as hard as usual for consistency reasons? Those are the questions that all fans have coming into this game. The Rattlers have already clinched the top seed in the playoffs. This game doesn't mean much to them but they still would like to win. Mostly, they just don't want to repeat last weeks performance where they let New York comeback and get the win.

Florida is another team that is out of the playoff race. In essence this game means nothing to the Launch besides trying to end the season on a high note. The Launch have looked pretty good on offense and defense so if they can repeat that kind of play they could get a big win to end the season, if that even matters to them. 

Current Standings & Bracket

Standings

1. Dallas (10-3)*
2. Chesapeake (9-4)*
3. Denver (7-6)
4. Atlanta (7-6)
5. New York (7-6)
6. Charlotte (7-7)
7. Florida (5-8)
8. Boston (4-9)
9. Ohio (3-10)

(*) = Clinched playoff spot

Bracket


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