This weekend in the NLL should be an interesting one. Eight of the teams in action have not played in two weeks. Needless to say the winners of the games will be those teams who can knock off the rust the quickest.
Friday, March 25, 2011
Minnesota vs. Edmonton
Edmonton has two games at hand over Minny and sit three spots behind them in the western division standings. The Swarm also hold a respectable 2nd lowest GA in the entire league. Much like the other game tonight, goaltending will be the key to victory. Nick Patterson holds his own, but his supporting staff, the defense, are doing a great job in front of him. Edmonton is coming off a devastating loss last week to Calgary. This is not the Rush’s week to bounce back. Win – Minnesota. (Connor picks Minnesota!)
Toronto vs. Calgary
This game will be televised on Canadian television – TSN2 9:30 EST (TSN2 is basically the Canadian equivalent of ESPN2). The Toronto Rock roll into Calgary not having played in two weeks. Last week Calgary man-handled the Edmonton Rush. However, the Rock are probably the best coached team in the league and likely haven’t missed a beat during their layoff. This game will likely come down to goaltending – edge Toronto. Bob Watson (Toronto Goaltender) just announced his retirement at the end of this season. This come during one of his best statistical years. This will be a hard fought game. If Calgary manages to prove me wrong this will be Toronto’s third and final lose of the season. However, I am sticking with the Rock. Win – Toronto. (Connor agrees! Toronto wins!)
Boston vs. Washington
Washington has been on a skid the last two weeks. First losing to a team to be considered in the lower end of the league, Edmonton, who seem to have Washington’s number this year. Most recently, the Stealth lost to the West leading Roughnecks. This hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Boston on the other hand has lost two extremely close games to Buffalo, 9-8 and 12-10, respectively. Agian, both teams are extremely well coached. I think both teams will come out the gates extremely aggressive and you will see the power-play play a big roll in this game. The Stealth boost the best PP in the league at home with 57.1% and overall at a 50% even. The Blazers are also clicking on the PP standing 2th in the league at 42.6% and an astounding 50% away from their own barn. A slight advantage to Washington. I might eat my words here, but. Win – Washington (Connor KNOWS Boston needs a win now. Blazers!)
Saturday, March 26 2011
Philadelphia vs. Rochester
This battle features the bottom two teams fighting for the 4th and last playoff spot in the East. Point production has been the struggle for both of these teams. Each have tremendous fire power but chemistry seems to be lacking on both sides. Mat Vinc has the ability to steal games in net for Rochester. Based on Vinc alone. Win – Rochester (Connor also picks Rochester!)
Boston vs. Colorado
Oh Colorado… They have not won a game at home since 2009. Yet they still manage to draw sell out crowed. Unfortunately, for those fans, they will have to wait another week. If Boston loses a close one to Washington they are going to come into the Tar Pit good and pissed! And if Boston wins, the will be clicking and ready to keep rolling. Either way, Colorado is screwed. I hope they win. I always want home teams to win, GTG right! However… Win – Boston. (Connor has Boston winning both of their games. They need them!)
Sunday, March 27 2011
Buffalo vs. Minnesota – This game will be televised live on Versus at 2pm on Sunday!
The Bandits are on a roll. The past two weeks they have managed to pull out two nail bitters against the preseason favorites, Boston. Buffalo is 4-1 at home and draw on the energy of their amazing fans. Buffalo is running their system to perfection right now. And, John Tavares is ageless! This will be Minny’s second game this weekend. A rough go and it will take its toll on the Swarm after a two week layoff. Win – Buffalo (Connor also like the Bandits!)
Photo courtesy NLL.com and Larry Palumbo!