It’s a situation the Calgary Roughnecks have been in before.
Top spot in the West Division. A home playoff date against the Colorado Mammoth this Saturday. A game against a team they’ve had success with in the regular season.
The same thing happened to the 2012 version of the Roughnecks, and that season ended in the first round in a loss against the Edmonton Rush.
So what needs to be done to ensure that it doesn’t happen again – play the style of lacrosse that got them here in the first place.
“What got us here is what’s going to get us further,” said defender Greg Harnett. “It’s really just going to come down to who wants it more, who does the little things and who’s prepared here to do what it takes to win.”
If they want video tape on what needs to be done for success, they can look no further than last week’s thriller with the Rush.
The Roughnecks would probably want to erase the five-goal first quarter deficit, but from then on, they played some of their best lacrosse all season.
Their offensive players chipped away at the Rush lead all game, eventually tying it up with less than 90 seconds left.
Their defence and goaltending played lights out, keeping the Rush chances to the outside and allowed just two goals in the last 30 minutes of play.
The discipline – something the Roughnecks had worked hard to improve as of late – was the best it’s been all season, giving the Rush only two powerplays all night.
And once overtime rolled around, Calgary had no doubt they would be leaving Rexall Place with the West Division title.
Shawn Evans ensure that would happen 10 minutes into extra time – ending what turned into the fifth-longest game in NLL history.
If the Roughnecks play like that – they should be sitting pretty by the end of the game.
“We’re going to continue to be disciplined,” said head coach Curt Malawsky. “If you’re not disciplined in the playoffs then you will end up on the short end of the stick.
“I think our guys certainly understand that and we’re looking to compete hard this weekend.”
Game time is 7 p.m. down at the Scotiabank Saddledome with tickets still available for the playoff party.