Week 5 of the NLL Lacrosse Season is in the books, and what a week it was! So far, I’m 18 – 10 with my game predictions and last week’s 4 for 4 effort really helped me climb well above .500. I’ll be discussing the NLL (particularly the East) with Marisa Ingemi of InLaxWeTrust.com on our weekly blogtalk radio show so make sure you listen in for more information! The show starts at 6pm tonight (Friday!).
This weekend we have 6 games, with 5 on Saturday, and the first of a double-header between Edmonton and Washington scheduled for Friday. So while Washington has to travel to Edmonton for tonight’s game, I still like Washington. A lot. I think they’ll win comfortably, in fact. Edmonton has only scored more than 10 goals twice this season (both times scoring 11!) and Washington is averaging sround 12 goals a game. The Stealth are looking better and better. Washington by 3+ goals.
On Saturday, Edmonton travels to Washington for the second game of the double header and nothing will change. Washington will win and Edmonton will look pretty discombobulated on offense. Could still be a good game if Edmonton pushes transition AND capitalizes on it, I just can’t see it being enough for them to get their first win of the season. Looking like a really long year for the Rush right now. Of course, KHawkFanVoice is pulling for them. Good luck with that pick, Jewel!
Buffalo is heading to Philadelphia this weekend and I think this is going to be a great game. Philly is coming together (minus a couple bad games) but Buffalo is a very experienced and tough team so I like the Bandits. Tavares will run the show on offense and Steenhuis will push the ball down the floor for odd man rushes. If these two things happen as consistently as they usually do, Buffalo takes this one by a couple goals. If Philly can shut down the Buffalo O and continue to be physical, anything can happen. I still like experience and toughness over youth… and toughness.
Calgary is going to Toronto to take on the Rock and after last week’s loss to Boston, I think Toronto will rebound. Face offs will be tough as Geoff Snider has been tearing it up for the Roughnecks and their O has been clicking nicely. Toronto will play well at home this time though as long as the press out a bit on D and don’t let Watson get shelled from outside. As my friend Derek Blasutti pointed out, Watson often seems to guess from long range more than in close. Weird, but sort of true! I like Toronto to extend on D, put in 12+ goals and take the win.
Colorado heads to Boston, and even though the Blazers will be without the services of Ryan Powell, I still think they’ll win with ease. Colorado has been playing a little up and down this season and it seems like they’re trying to work Connor Martin into the mix. Maybe this is a stunt as some have suggested and maybe he has no business playing in the league. It’s possible. BUT, maybe he’s picking it up faster than you think. He’s only been playing box lacrosse for a couple months now. And Colorado is struggling. One of the commenters last week said it’s a bad sign if Martin takes 6 shots at all. He doesn’t care if they go in. Well, I care. Scoring is scoring, and Colorado needs it. Besides, John Grant Junior took 19 shots a couple weeks ago and only scored on two of them, and I don’t hear people saying he has no business in the league. Different example, sure, but give the kid a chance, I think he’ll surprise you. Doesn’t really matter though because the last time I checked, lax was a team sport, and Boston was still going to win this game.
Finally, Minnesota heads to Rochester where the Knighthawks are 1-2. Minnesota is 2-1 in one goal games and I think this is going to be one of those. Unfortunately Rochester is 2-0 in one goal games, with one of those wins coming against Minnesota in the first week. This week, Minnesota reverses the outcome and takes a close one over Rochester. Offensively, Minnesota has been impressive with new players playing well together. Defensively, Patterson has been excellent in net. Rochester has a lot of talent in Evans, Jamieson, Williams, Point and a host of others and when Vinc is on, he’s a great keeper. On D, they’re physical and have some good speed and toughness. Rochester is a team that can play and beat anyone, but they can lose to anyone to (except maybe Edmonton).