The first two weeks of the NLL season have been as unpredictable as ever, making our job very difficult, but where’s the fun when you can predict every game correctly? I guess you could make an argument for winning money in Vegas… but does Vegas even run lines on NLL games? I should look into that.
Photo Credit: Larry Palumbo – Coyote Magic Action Shots
Anyway, I’m getting away from the point. The point is, while we’re struggling to make correct picks, the NLL is off to a great start. I think the league is very well-rounded and The Champion’s Cup is truly up for grabs, which is great for the league and great for lacrosse. My old coach always used to say, “Any team can beat any other team on any given day“. I think that statement is a true testament to the sport of the lacrosse, and the NLL in particular, this season.
Last weekend we saw a surprising Wings squad take down the Bandits. The Wings looked excellent, and looked if they were playing with a bit of a chip on their shoulder. The American-heavy roster is more potent and dangerous than I originally anticipated. Then we saw the Bandits turn around and grease a win away from the young-gun Swarm, largely due to the effort of rookie Dhane Smith.
The Stealth stole another win and upset the heavily-favorited Mammoth. Cliff Smith is leading the charge for the Stealth and putting up monster numbers so far. Teams will now readjust their defensive strategy to keep Smith in check. The Toronto Rock closed out the weekend with back-to-back wins over Calgary and Edmonton.
- Philadelphia Wings @ Toronto Rock
Connor Wilson – Philadelphia Wings “On the road? Yup! I like how Philly is playing this year. It’s a new Wings team!”
Chris Rosenthall – Toronto Rock “Nick Rose is 7-1 since he took over in goal last season, and the Rock should have a big crowd in their favor for the home opener. Philly was impressive last week, but I’m still taking the Rock in this one“.
Ryan Connors – Toronto Rock “Philly looked great at home, but they beat a Bandits team who didn’t put forth a good effort. Big win but I have my doubts“.
- Buffalo Bandits @ Rochester Knighthawks
Connor Wilson – Rochester Knighthawks “The offense gets going for the KHawks. Smith scores 5 goals for Buffalo. Kid is the real deal in my book“.
Chris Rosenthall – Rochester Knighthawks “Casey Powell should be back and Buffalo couldn’t stay out the penalty box against Philly. Plus, the Knighthawks are raising their championship banner: you better show up to play on banner night“.
Ryan Connors – Rochester Knighthawks “Last time all three of us chose the K’Hawks they lost, BUT Rochester’s offense will be too much for a struggling Buffalo defense“.
- Colorado Mammoth @ Calgary Roughnecks
Connor Wilson – Colorado Mammoth “I believe in the Mammoth long term this year. Soon they’ll prove me right“.
Chris Rosenthall – Colorado Mammoth “The Mammoth had some serious defensive problems last week, but their offensive weapons let me feel okay about picking them one more time“.
Ryan Connors – Colorado Mammoth “Two high-powered offenses going at it on Saturday – should be a high-scoring affair. Special teams will play the difference in this game“.
- Edmonton Rush @ Washington Stealth
Connor Wilson – Edmonton Rush “This was a really tough one. I feel like both teams are good but I really like EDM’s left side to step it up soon“.
Chis Rosenthall – Edmonton Rush “No surprise, but the Rush rookies (10 pts from Knight & Matthews) looked legit last week. The Rush defense is strong, and they got a ton of shots offs last week, so maybe a few more of those fall against the Stealth”.
Ryan Connors – Washington Stealth “I’m going to go conventional wisdom and say the Stealth. Edmonton’s offense was surprisingly good, but 4 of their 9 goals came on the power play. You have to score goals in transition and on 5v5 to win in the NLL, you can’t always rely on special teams“.
Connor Wilson (1-5)
Chris Rosenthall (0-6)
Ryan Connors (1-5)
So far the LAS writers aren’t doing so hot. Let us know how you’re doing and let us know your pick this week. Leave a comment or tweet us @connors36