MLL Week 8 Preview
Atlanta Blaze v. Boston Cannons (Saturday, July 20 @ 5:00 p.m. ET)
The 4-4 Atlanta Blaze are set to take on the league’s second-best team in the Boston Cannons on Saturday night. Atlanta is coming off of two one-goal losses last week in what was a major swing in the Blaze’s season. Boston is coming into this game with a 5-2 record and look to improve their series record to 2-0 over Atlanta.
Shayne Jackson leads Atlanta in scoring with 33 points, with Randy Staats close behind with 32 points on the season. Boston is led in scoring by Mark Cockerton, who has 28 points this year.
Boston back-up goalkeeper Tate Boyce had an incredible stop last weekend against the Blaze to seal the victory for Boston.
Prediction: Boston – 15, Atlanta – 13
New York Lizards v. Chesapeake Bayhawks (Saturday, July 20 @ 7:00 p.m. ET)
The 2-5 New York Lizards have had a bit of a slump since making it to last year’s semifinals. That’s obviously comparing apples and oranges with the rearranging of talent between both the PLL and MLL, but the Lizards still had last year’s league MVP Rob Pannell and other solid talents to help bolster New York’s roster this year.
Chesapeake has fared better, with four wins and two losses, and are only a game-and-a-half back from first-place Denver.
Leading the charge for Chesapeake is none other than Lyle Thompson, who a case can be made for the title of best player in the world. Thompson has a league-leading 37 points on the year, having scored 25 goals and registering 12 assists in just six games. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Lyle should definitely be in the conversation for MVP at the end of the year.
The last time these teams met resulted in a 16-14 win for the Bayhawks as Lyle Thompson had seven points, with Nick Mariano chipping in a hat trick of his own. This should be another high-scoring affair.
Prediction: Chesapeake – 17, New York – 13
Dallas Rattlers v. Denver Outlaws (Sunday, July 21 @ 4:00 p.m. ET)
In what will be a rematch of last year’s MLL Championship game, the Denver Outlaws and Dallas Rattlers find themselves at very different places this year in the league standings.
The Rattlers have dropped to the bottom of the league, as they are currently winless on the year. Denver, however, sits atop the standings with a 6-1 record as their lone loss came at the hands of the Atlanta Blaze during Week 2.
Denver is led in scoring by Brendan Kavanaugh, who has 25 points on the year. The Outlaws actually have four point-scorers over the 20-point mark, a feat that only outmatched by the Atlanta Blaze thus far in the season. And yes, that includes John Grant Jr., who came out of retirement — and broke the league scoring record — to prove that even if you’re over 40, you’ve still got it. Atlanta currently has five point-scorers over the 20-point mark, with three of their players having even already surpassed 30 points on the season. Denver should walk away with the win on Sunday.
Prediction: Denver – 15, Dallas – 8