Get ready for a quick run-through of all the games in the National Lacrosse League this weekend. It’s still early in the season, but questions already abound!
Can Philly make the Playoffs?
Can they win a game?
Why does Edmonton play such a different style from most of the other teams out there?
Is Boston the best team in the league?
What is up with Washington losing so early?
Didn’t they win it all last year?
Is Minnesota a team to watch?
And can Rochester pull it together, play some team ball and take advantage of all the talent they have?
Let’s get right to it.
NLL Quick Hitter Previews
Boston @ Toronto: Game of the Week is Boston-Toronto. No question there. 100% truth. Boston and Toronto are both loaded with guys who can play like a team, hence why they have been winning. They’ve both downed Edmonton, who plays a very defensive/transition-minded game, by keeping their guys on the floor longer, slowing it down and letting a couple of star offensive players create havoc. Boston also beat Philly, another defensive team and Toronto beat Rochester 12-9. I thought Toronto looked like the much better team though. I think we’ll see some small holes in Boston’s D tonight and unless Cosmo has a huge game, Toronto will win it by 1 or 2. I’d also expect the highest scoring game of the season out of both teams. Mid teens maybe.
Rochester @ Boston: Boston has to play tomorrow night as well when Rochester comes to town, and if the Blazers loses to the Rock they’ll definitely rebound with a win over Rochester. I just don’t have faith in Rochester yet. That being said, Sid Smith is the most entertaining defender in the entire NLL. His stick is flying 24-7. Love it. Kyle Rubisch has also been outstanding on defense for Boston so this should be a highly enjoyable game no matter what, even if its a defensive struggle! Plus Boston’s Jack Reid is always good for some serious crunch hits out there.
Toronto @ Buffalo: Toronto travels to Buffalo on Saturday and I think they’ll win there. Win or lose to Boston, I still don’t think Buffalo has the ability to stay with the Rock for 4 quarters. This game could be close at half, but eventually Toronto will wear the Bandits down. If Buffalo wants to win, they’ll need to push the ball in transition, tire out the Rock’s shooters in Doyle and Billings and make those guys tired by the 4th quarter. They’ll have a good shot if they can pull that off. If you let those guys operate how they want to, Toronto will pull out the W.
Edmonton @ Minnesota: I actually like Edmonton to take down Minnesota. The Swarm have a lot of talent and they could surprise me and follow up last week’s win over the Stealth with another W, but Edmonton’s bizarre send-everyone-down-the-floor-instead-of-subbing style of offense could pose some problems for Minnesota. Or Benesch, Greer and the rest of the swarm will be more physical than Edmonton and crush them. Could go either way and should be a good game if Minnesota adjusts well to the defensive style of play they may need to take on to win.
Philadelphia @ Colorado: Philly travels to Colorado and I just don’t see Philly winning this game. They do not have enough on O and don’t play the same transition offense style game that Edmonton does. The Wings either need Ianucci to have a HUGE night or they need to refocus their strategy. Right now they’re staying in games but in the end, a loss is a loss, and the score doesn’t matter. Philly has a good D but Junior and Langtry seem to be playing well together and I think they’ll eventually figure the Philly defense out.
Washington @ Calgary: The Washington Stealth travel to Calgary to play a team they already lost to. After getting crushed by Minnesota, they need to rebound and with guys like Hartzell, Rabil and others talking it up earlier this week… I think they’ll be ready to go. Washington avenges their earlier loss, but Calgary keeps it close. Why? Because they have an awesome face off guy in Snider and play like a team. And that’s enough to win any game!
Remember, you can watch all these game LIVE ON THE NLL NETWORK.
[Main photo credit: Steve Moll, courtesy of NLL.com]