As the regular season winds to an end tonight a the Xcel Energy Center, the Swarm already know they are in the playoffs. What they don't know is when or where that first playoff game will take place. With a win over the Philadelphia Wings last week, and the Washington Stealth losing their final game, the stage is set tonight for the Swarm to clinch a home playoff game for only the second time in team history.
Earlier this season, facing the Mammoth for home field advantage would have been most welcome. The last time the Swarm faced the Mammoth, Colorado had just one win and looked to be on their way to a long off-season. Since then, the Mammoth have gone 4-2, clinched the final playoff spot, and are riding high emotionally.
The Swarm certainly recognize this fact. Defenseman John Sullivan is certainly giving them the respect due, saying "They're a hot team right now. We still match up well against them. We have some good scorers and we have to come prepared because they're a team capable of winning on the road."
With all that is riding on this game, the Swarm need to stay in the present and not let past performance make them overconfident. Four straight victories against the Mammoth, a 6-3 record against the West, the league's leading scorer in Ryan Benesch, and an emotional win of their own last week are all on the past for the Swarm. Tonight is tonight, and the Mammoth are not going to simply roll over.
Stay tuned, Swarm fans. This is about as big as it gets to close out the regular season. Check out @SBNMinnesota on Twitter for in game updates, and check back here after the game for a game re-cap.