Don’t look now, but after a 0-7 start to the season, the Georgia Swarm is one of the hottest teams in the league currently on a 7-1 run. Because of their current hot streak, they are currently sitting 4th in the East and hold the last playoff spot. Let’s take a look at the incredible turn around the Swarm have had.
The Swarm had the least efficient offense in the league earlier in the season, at one point they were averaging just under 10 goals per game. According to Lacrosse Flash’s Tyler Merrow, they struggled in their even strength efficiency, scoring at an 8.4% clip, yet leading the league in 5 on 5 possessions at 67.6%. When you have one of the best players in the world, it’s hard to fathom an offense struggling as much as Georgia did.
Things have changed now as Georgia is averaging 14 goals per game over the last 8 games and have a scoring differential of +41. They also lead the league in power play conversion, scoring on 58% of their power play opportunities, which is a stark contrast from where they were the first half of the year.
Defensively Georgia wasn’t terrible, but having unproven starters at goalie didn’t make things easier. With Georgia investing a high draft pick in Brett Dobson, there were hopes that he could come in and be successful right away, but there were definitely some growing pains to begin the season. He had a 76% save percentage during the first 6 games he played in, giving up over 9 goals per game.
Dobson has definitely found his footing and is a huge part of Georgia’s recent success, having a save percentage above 83% in 7 of their last 8 games and giving up a 8.75 goals per game. The most impressive stat is he’s stopped 304 shots during the last 8 games compared to 155 in his first 6. He’s not only in the running for Rookie of the Year, but he’s also making a case to be in the conversation as one of the best goalies in the NLL with his recent play.
If Georgia continues their hot streak and makes the playoffs, they would be playing their best at the perfect time. As we saw last year with Colorado, anything can happen once you get into the playoffs.
The Georgia Swarm have proven that it ain’t over until you have been mathematically eliminated, going from dead last in the league to controlling their own playoff destiny. It’s been amazing to see the turnaround the Swarm have had this season. If they do end up making the playoffs, it would be one of the greatest in-season turnarounds in NLL history.