Going through playoff scenarios is one of the most entertaining pastimes in sports. It’s no different when it comes to the AUDL. The playoff picture in the East became a bit clearer after the Toronto Rush defeated the Montreal Royal 28-20 in Toronto Saturday evening to secure their spot in the postseason, but first, second and third place are all still up for grabs with only two weeks remaining.
Here is What We Know:
The East playoff teams are not changing. The DC Breeze clinched their third spot in the post-season (second straight) by beating Philadelphia two weeks ago. The Royal secured their second ever playoff berth after beating the New York Empire last weekend. And the Rush finally clinched their fifth straight playoff berth with the victory over the Royal Saturday. Here are the current AUDL East Standings:
- Toronto Rush: 9-3
- DC Breeze: 9-4
- Montreal Royal: 8-5
Toronto owns the head-to-head series over Montreal (2-1). DC owns the head-to-head series over Toronto (2-1). Montreal owns the head-to-head series over DC (1-1, +1 goal differential).
With the head-to-head series all decided, it makes the situations pretty straightforward, even if there is a three-way-tie.
Toronto Rush at Ottawa Outlaws (July 16)
DC Breeze at Philadelphia Phoenix (July 22)
Montreal Royal at Ottawa Outlaws (July 23)
New York Empire at Toronto Rush (July 23)
Scenarios for Breeze to Claim No. 1 seed
1. DC beats Philadelphia AND Toronto loses to Ottawa OR New York
2. Toronto loses to Ottawa AND New York
Scenarios for Rush to Claim No. 1 seed
1. Toronto beats Ottawa AND New York
2. Toronto beats Ottawa OR New York AND DC loses to Philadelphia
Montreal cannot claim the No. 1 seed for the Eastern Division playoffs due to AUDL tie-breaking procedures. If all three teams finished with the same record (9-5) the division would be decided by head-to-head records and head-to-head point differential. That would be shown below and will not change in the next two weeks:
DC Breeze: 3-2 (+12)
Toronto Rush: 3-3 (-1)
Montreal Royal: 2-3 (-11)
Because of this, it is also impossible for the Rush to fall outside of the top two seeds, guaranteeing them one more game at home. That means D.C. is still battling with Montreal for a home game.
Possible Scenarios for Breeze to Clinch at least a No. 2 seed
1. DC beats Philadelphia
2. Montreal loses to Ottawa
3. Toronto loses to Ottawa AND New York
Possible Scenarios for Royal to Clinch the No. 2 seed
1. Montreal beats Ottawa AND DC loses to Philadelphia AND Toronto beats Ottawa OR New York.
Basically if you are a Breeze fan you want to win your final road game in Philadelphia to clinch at least a no. 2 seed and hope that Toronto loses at least one of their two remaining games. It cannot be taken for granted, though, that D.C. will beat the Philadelphia Phoenix, because after all the Phoenix got the upset earlier in the year. Also, the Ottawa Outlaws have a huge hand in how the field will be shaped. The squad plays both of their Canadian rivals and could throw a big wrench into the mix.
Essentially everything remains up for grabs, and every team has something to play for. One thing we know for certain is that very little will be decided until July 23, the final day of the regular season.