Riggers need playoff attitude

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:21 PM ET

A year ago, the Calgary Roughnecks were heading into the playoffs on a roll as the team to beat.

This year, with one game before the post-season, there are several areas where the Riggers want to improve.

They can run their National Lacrosse League record to 10-6 with a victory Friday night over the Colorado Mammoth in Denver (7 p.m.), but this group doesnt have the swagger it did 12 months ago.

At best, they can have the second-best record heading into the playoffs, but can go in with a four-game win streak.

This team could be better, said defender Jeff Shattler. The team is on the same track as last year but we have to pull it together.

We havent peaked yet. Were gradually getting better and better. We have to play Colorado like a playoff game. You only get one shot once the playoffs start. We have to be on top of our game.

In the past few tilts, the powerplay has improved to sixth overall in the NLL but the Riggers still rank 10th in penalty killing.

Although they beat the Mammoth two weeks ago, it was after a four-goal comeback at halftime against a tired group.

Last week against the Edmonton Rush, the Riggers needed an overtime goal to get by their rivals in an intense matchup.

Other things troubling the Riggers are undisciplined penalties and allowing opponents to get out to leads.

In the post-season last year, the champs came out and dominated from the opening faceoff.

This is a different scenario this year and there is much more parity, said defender Scott Carnegie. Its a different year. We have to treat it differently.

Im sure other teams dont think were the team to beat. We know we can beat everyone in our division but they will be tough games.

They are probably going to be one or two-goal games. Were not looking ahead just yet but we know were there. Were a confident group and we just want to put 60 together this weekend.

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca


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