Road to the Postseason: Colorado Mammoth

*A version of this story appears in the July issue of Mile High Sports Magazine. Subscribe here!

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The Colorado Mammoth have stood on the doorstep of the playoffs for the past eight years. desperate to push deeper into the playoffs entering the 2017-18 regular season, the Mammoth made an electric offseason addition that, in theory, could push them over the hump in the postseason.

In a trade, Colorado added Ryan Benesch, a nifty scoring forward, a move designed to improve the team’s postseason fortunes. The addition of Benesch proved successful – from a production standpoint – as he finished as the team leader in goals (36), tied for the team lead in assists with Jeremy Noble (57) and finished fifth in the NLL in total points. But the hurdle of losing in the division semifinal in six of the last seven seasons still loomed over Colorado as the campaign came to a close.

After leading 7-2 in their divisional semi-final game against the Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado collapsed, allowing eight of the next nine goals. The result was another early playoff exit, making it an unwelcome seven of eight division semifinal losses. It was a disappointing finish for Colorado to say the least, who closed 2018 with the second best record in the NLL. Ironically, Calgary finished behind the Mammoth in the Western Division.

Adding more offense will continue to be a premium as the Mammoth ranked in the bottom half in goals scored this year. Colorado is still a premiere team in the NLL, they’ve just built a nasty habit of exiting the postseason earlier than they should. Expect a hungry, fueled Mammoth team in the 2018-19 season with more offensive firepower. Colorado will need it in order to run with divisional foe Saskatchewan, who claimed the NLL title this year and scored 40 more goals than the Mammoth this season. Another year of experience and health should do wonders for Colorado.

Expectation for next season: ​A deep playoff run.

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