Saskatchewan Rush New England Black Wolves NLL 2016 Photo: Khoi Ton
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp

NLL Games of the Week: The Biggest Weekend Yet

Editor’s Note: We’re back with another NLL Game of the Week! Thanks to the help of the innovative team at SISU Guard, the Official Mouthguard of the NLL, we are beefing up our National Lacrosse League coverage for 2016! We hope you enjoy our look at the NLL season through a new lens with the aid of our partner SISU!

The biggest weekend of the NLL season is upon us and for the second time this season, we’re choosing all of the games for the NLL Game(s) of the Week! Each and every team plays this weekend and every game has serious implications. Some teams can clinch a berth, others can secure the #1 seed, while a select few can just as easily buy their tickets to couchtown. It’s hard to remember that their college lacrosse going on when the NLL season is this heated!

NLL Game(s) of the Week

NE Black Wolves (9-5) at Georgia Swarm (5-9)

When: 4/15/2016 – 7:30 pm ET
Where: Mohegan Sun Arena – Gwinnett, Georgia
Watch: Fox Sports GO

[mks_col]

[mks_one_half]Standing: 2nd in Eastern Conference

Points Leader: Shawn Evans – 43 goals, 59 assists

[/mks_one_half]

[mks_one_half]Standing: 4th in Eastern Conference

Points Leader: Randy Staats – 28 goals, 39 assists

[/mks_one_half][/mks_col]

The Swarm are only a game behind Rochester in the standings and they play them this weekend. If Georgia loses here and loses to Rochester the following night, it’s likely over for them. If they win here and win against the Knighthawks, they would put themselves in position to lock up the #3 seed.

A win for New England puts even more pressure on the Bandits to perform against the Rock this weekend. They are only a game behind, but Buffalo will get to play two this weekend in an attempt to extend their lead. The Wolves already have guaranteed themselves a home playoff game, but a bye in round one would taste even sweeter.

Buffalo Bandits (10-4) at Toronto Rock (4-10)

When: 4/15/2016 – 8:00 pm ET
Where: Air Canada Centre – Toronto, Ontario
Watch: Fox Sports GO

[mks_col]

[mks_one_half]Standing: 1st in Eastern Conference

Points Leader: Dhane Smith – 58 goals, 58 assists

[/mks_one_half]

[mks_one_half]Standing: 5th in Eastern Conference

Points Leader: Rob Hellyer – 35 goals, 53 assists

[/mks_one_half][/mks_col]

The Rock more or less need to win this game and the following games against the Bandits to stay in the hunt. If Georgia and Rochester go on a losing skid, the Rock could rocket themselves up there. The only thing stopping them is winning all of their remaining games and a little help in the other games.

If there’s any team in the East that Buffalo should be able to stave off it’s the Rock. They’ll meet up twice this weekend and both games will give the Bandits even more of an opportunity to lock up the first round bye. The team is fundamentally sound on all ends of the floor, they should be ready to take on a desperate Toronto squad.

Saskatchewan Rush (10-4) at Colorado Mammoth (10-4)

When: 4/15/2016 – 9:30 pm ET
Where: Pepsi Center Center – Denver, Colorado
Watch: Watch ESPN

[mks_col]

[mks_one_half]Standing: 1st in Western Conference (tied)

Points Leader: Mark Matthews – 32 goals, 55 assists

[/mks_one_half]

[mks_one_half]Standing: 1st in Western Conference (tied)

Points Leader: Callum Crawford – 27 goals, 67 assists

[/mks_one_half][/mks_col]

The battle of the best in the West! Each of them picked up a loss last weekend and both teams have it fairly easy after Saturday, but there is so much riding on Friday’s late game. The Rush won’t get the backing from their impressive home support for the first one when they head into the Pepsi Center. If they can get a road win here, the next night’s matchup in Saskatoon could seal up that coveted top spot.

The same goes for Colorado. If they can get the early jump on Friday and hold on, they can roll into Saturday’s road game with a head of steam to lock up the first round bye. Either way they’ve already guaranteed themselves a home game in the postseason!

Toronto Rock (4-10) at Buffalo Bandits (10-4)

When: 4/16/2016 – 7:30 pm ET
Where: First Niagara Center – Buffalo, New York
Watch: Fox Sports GO

[mks_col]

[mks_one_half]Standing: 5th in Eastern Conference

Points Leader: Rob Hellyer – 35 goals, 53 assists

[/mks_one_half]

[mks_one_half]Standing: 1st in Eastern Conference

Points Leader: Dhane Smith – 58 goals, 58 assists

[/mks_one_half][/mks_col]

It’s pretty much the same story as above. Even if they split the weekend, Buffalo won’t be in bad shape, but losing two would put them behind the Black Wolves. This game still means everything to Toronto is they won on Friday.

Georgia Swarm (5-9) at Rochester Knighthawks (6-8)

When: 4/16/2016 – 7:30 pm ET
Where: Blue Cross Arena – Rochester, New York
Watch: Fox Sports GO

[mks_col]

[mks_one_half]Standing: 2nd in Eastern Conference

Points Leader: Randy Staats – 28 goals, 39 assists

[/mks_one_half]

[mks_one_half]Standing: 3rd in Eastern Conference

Points Leader: Cody Jamieson – 27 goals, 51 assists

[/mks_one_half][/mks_col]

Rochester has it best here since they can clinch a playoff spot with a win, if Georgia loses to New England on Friday and granted that Toronto loses at least one game against Buffalo. They’re a team known for getting off to a slow start before making a late run for the Champion’s Cup, this could be their chance for a fourth ring in four years.

The water Georgia is wading in isn’t as hot as the Rock’s, but it’s pretty close. Lucky for them, the team they need to beat is the second team they face this weekend and if they win out, they slip right into line for the three seed. At that point it becomes win and in, or pray that Rochester doesn’t

Colorado Mammoth (10-4) at Saskatchewan Rush (10-4)

When: 4/16/2016 – 9:30 pm ET
Where: SaskTel Centre – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Watch: Fox Sports GO

[mks_col]

[mks_one_half]Standing: 1st in Western Conference (tied)

Points Leader: Callum Crawford – 27 goals, 67 assists

[/mks_one_half]

[mks_one_half]Standing: 1st in Western Conference (tied)

Points Leader: Mark Matthews – 32 goals, 55 assists

[/mks_one_half][/mks_col]

It’s the same story as above. Two wins for either team means a first round bye, a weekend split sends both teams fighting for wins in the last couple weeks. What a beautiful web we’ve weaved.

Calgary Roughnecks (7-9) at Vancouver Stealth (3-11)

When: 4/16/2016 – 10:00 pm ET
Where: Langley Events Centre – Langley, British Columbia
Watch: Fox Sports GO

[mks_col]

[mks_one_half]Standing: 3rd in Western Conference

Points Leader: Curtis Dickson – 55 goals, 40 assists

[/mks_one_half]

[mks_one_half]Standing: 4th in Western Conference

Points Leader: Rhys Duch – 38 goals, 44 assists

[/mks_one_half]

[/mks_col]
Last, but not least, we’ve got the far-west shootout for the second time in as many weeks. All Calgary has to do to make the postseason is win this weekend on the road, plain and simple. The Stealth have an uphill battle in a hurricane to get through, but the door has shut on them yet.

SISU Guard Official Mouthguard of the NLL

Which game are you looking forward to the most? Make your predictions for this weekend and the remainder of the 2016 NLL season in the comment section below!