Playoffs still in Rush sights

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:12 PM ET

The Edmonton Rush may be down, but they're definitely not out. Yet.

At 2-9, it's easy for the second-worst team in the NLL to put on the blinders and not focus on what's behind them.

What's more difficult, however, has been finding the path to victory.

"We just have to take the positive out of the Calgary game last weekend," said Rush head coach and GM Derek Keenan, whose squad fell 19-14 in Cowtown and are returning to Rexall Place Friday to face the Minnesota Swarm. "We're going in with the glass half full here and are real positive about our group right now. I like the feel in the dressing room.

"We still have an opportunity to get in the playoffs and at the same time, though, we need to start winning some games and not rely on others to do things for us."

So far, the Rush have been able to stay ahead of the Colorado Mammoth, who have just one win on the season. Their playoff prognosis will come down to a three-game series between the two bottom feeders beginning April 1, which the Rush hope to build a buffer against with a victory Friday.

With that hope alive, the Rush choose to focus on what still could be instead of what could have been.

"I've always had that approach, to be honest. I try to keep things positive at all times," Keenan said.

"It is tough, though, when you've got a 2-9 record so you really look at the good things you do. That's what you want the players to see, and then leave it up to us (coaches) to sort of fix the not-so-good things that we've done and try to move forward."

While the Swarm are second from the top in the division standings and the Rush are second from the bottom, no one is taking anything for granted.

"I can relate to Derek's situation, where things have happened in the fourth quarter to us last year versus maybe our 2008 season where we won four of four in overtime," said Swarm general manager Marty O'Neill. "That's life in the NLL and we'll take what we've got. We're just marching on and just concentrating on Edmonton. A win here makes them not able to catch us."

In fact, Minnesota is one of three teams, along with the Buffalo Bandits and Washington Stealth, that can clinch a playoff berth with a win in Edmonton Friday or at home against Buffalo on Sunday.

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/Gerry_EdmSun


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