CAUTION: RUSH HOMERISM AHEAD
It has been 715 days (But who's counting) since the Rush were last in the playoffs. Since then, they have missed the playoffs, traded away 2 of the games best players, and once again, overhauled the team. Their first ever playoff game, played against the Calgary Roughnecks in 2010, was won on the backs of Ryan Ward who is still with the team, and Matt Disher, who has since retired.
They moved on to the Western final that year which was played in Washington against the Stealth. The Rush found themselves down for most of the game, but managed to tie it up late and force overtime. There, right off the faceoff, Paul Rabil, who is now Rush property, went in on on Disher and scored. It was over just like that.
My heart was broken, but after many days, (715) another chance has come as the Rush will face their rivaled Roughnecks in the first round of the playoffs. Everything in the regular season that happened; throw it out. It all means nothing. But just to keep you up to date, lets take a look at those useless stats.
The Roughnecks finished the first season with the leagues best record at 12-4. They finished with the second best offense in the league, and the defense with the least amount of goals against. Needless to say, they were pretty good.
The goals came from everywhere. Shawn Evans, who was acquired by Calgary in the offseason from the Rochester Knighthawks, led the team with 42 goals and 79 points. Jeff Shattler was a close second with 72 while Daryl Veltman (62 points), Scott Ranger (61 points), Curtis Dickson (56 points), and Dane Dobbie (50 points) also contributed largely. To compare that to Edmonton, they only had 2 offensive players with more than 50 points: Shawn Williams and Ryan Ward.
The Rush are 4-20 All-time against the 'necks, but 1-0 against them in the playoffs.
So You're Telling Me There's A Chance?
Um, probably not. Did I mention that they have a better goaltender too? Aaron Bold sits second in the league with a .775 Sv%, but Mike Poulin had a .789 SV%. THAT'S .014 BETTER! THE RUSH ARE DOOMED! Although that's mostly due to the whole "Can't score any goals" thing, the goaltending thing, less so.
Their 167 goals puts them last in the league. That's only 10.4 goals a game, compared to the league average of 12.1. in a tight league, that means a lot.
Well ok, if all of the Roughnecks suddenly catch the black plague or the stars align to give Edmonton super powers or, this is the least likely one, they score more than 12 goals, they have a chance.