Playoffs within reach for Rush

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:33 AM ET

It's not over.

It's close to being over - the fat lady is warming up.

But there's still hope for the Edmonton Rush, fleeting as it may be.

Despite their 1-8 record, the Rush find themselves two wins out of a playoff spot in the National Lacrosse League's West Division.

As fate would have it, they play two games this weekend.

Tomorrow, the Rush are in Arizona to take on the Sting, while Saturday they travel to San Jose to face the Stealth.

"We need wins," said Rush forward Kevin Howard. "They have been few and far between right now, but we're only two wins back of a playoff spot. If we can go on a little bit of a run and put some wins together, we're right in the race."

Both San Jose and Portland have each posted just three wins this season.

If the stars align properly, the Rush could conceivably find themselves in a tie for third place in the division by Sunday, although San Jose would have three games in hand. Portland would have two.

"We had some positives last weekend," said Rush head coach Paul Day. "Even though we lost two games last weekend we're no further out of the playoff hunt than we were before. We're still in it."

In order to stay in it, the Rush need to knock off the Sting tomorrow.

The two teams met last Saturday at Rexall Place, with Arizona coming away with a 15-11 win. Four of the Sting's goals came on the power play. They also added a short-handed goal.

"We have to make sure we play five-on-five and good transition against them," Day said. "They're a tough team to match special teams that's for sure.

"Our key to success is staying out of the penalty box, win the transition game and use our speed to get some goals. We didn't do a very good job of that on Saturday night in Edmonton."

For the most part, the Rush have been in every contest they have played in this season. Having already seen the Sting this year, the Rush are confident they can pick up their second win of the year and set themselves up for a big weekend.

"Every game this year we knew we could win and every team in this league is beatable," said Howard. "But it is nice to know some of their defenders' tendencies and I'm sure our defence is a little more comfortable knowing what their offence is going to be doing."

In San Jose, the Rush are facing the team which they opened their inaugural NLL campaign against. The Stealth won that opener 10-9 in overtime.


Videos

Photos