Can\'t lose playoff proposition for Rebel

TODD SAELHOF -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 5:56 AM ET

The blueprint called for a season with playoffs.

At the very least, the Rebel hoped to be heading into this final weekend away from home with a legitimate shot at making the 2003 NLL post-season.

\"Yeah ...\" said Rebel coach Terry Sanderson. \"There\'s nothing you like better than going to the rink hearing that you\'re in the hunt.\"

Sorry, coach. You won\'t hear it heading into tonight\'s game in Vancouver.

Nor is it likely to be the talk regarding the Rebel on Sunday afternoon in Calgary.

It will be, however, for both of the Rebel\'s weekend opponents -- first for the surging Ravens (2 a.m., tape delay, Rogers Sportsnet) and then for the enigmatic Roughnecks (11:30 p.m., tape delay, Rogers Sportsnet). Both are in a prime position to qualify for the playoffs.

\"We\'ve got a chance to play with no pressure -- to play the role of spoilers,\" Sanderson said of his club\'s only western road swing of the season. \"And there\'s a thing called pride even though we\'re out of the playoffs.\"

Not mathematically, but the minuses far outweigh the pluses in the race.

In fact, a Rebel (4-9) loss in either weekend would spell elimination. In addition, Ottawa would have to win its final game of the regular season -- April 12 vs. Columbus at the Civic Centre -- and, in between, get pinpoint results from games involving the Ravens (6-6), Roughnecks (7-6), Landsharks (6-7), Albany (6-7) and Colorado (6-7). Only two of the six teams, including the Rebel, can claim wild-card berths.

\"It\'s an extremely difficult position we\'re in,\" Sanderson said. \"We\'re not happy with our record.\"


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