All season long the All Lacrosse All The Time Crew will put together their picks for the upcoming week of NLL games.
“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk:
PHI @ HFX
Philadelphia. I don’t think Halifax fully solved whatever caused them to nosedive in the second half of 2022. The Wings, with their new contingent of Peterborough players, pull off what looks like an upset (but isn’t), with their built-in team chemistry being the difference maker.
VAN @ TOR
Toronto. Guaranteeing a win is a ballsy move, especially with the parity in the league. But this Rock team is too potent to let their home fans down in the season opener.
ALB @ BUF
Albany. I should’ve learned my lesson last year about betting against the Bandits at home, but anywho…Albany’s new-look offense comes out firing and steals a win on the road.
SD @ NY
New York. Both teams boast incredible offensive talent. This one goes down to the wire, but the Riptide send their fans home happy.
ROC @ GA
Georgia. After missing the playoffs for the first time in 6 seasons, Georgia will look to get jump started much sooner than they did last year. Rochester’s revamped team keeps it interesting, but falls just short.
COL @ SASK
Saskatchewan. Same situation for the Rush as it is for Georgia in the East. They remind the Mammoth that “Championship Hangovers” can (and do) occur
Philadelphia vs. Halifax
The Wings will surprise a lot of people this year, and this game is the start of it. Fresh off a Mann Cup win, 7 Peterborough Lakers will be on the Wings squad. Look for Joe Resetarits to have a big game in the opener. While Halifax is a solid team, they have gone through a number of changes, and will take a few weeks to get acclimated to each other.
Vancouver vs. Toronto
While having Troy Cordingley and Phil Sanderson’s lacrosse IQ behind the bench, the Warriors will need a few weeks to find their identity in this new picture. Toronto has added more depth to an already very impressive team, and should win this one easily.
Albany vs. Buffalo
Although I don’t think the Bandits are as potent a team as they have been the last few years, they still have one of the most potent offenses in the game. I believe Albany will find their way in the tough East Division, but to beat the Bandits in Buffalo on week one is a tall order.
SD vs. NY
This has all the makings of a game that will be talked about for years to come!
With the firepower of both lineups this very well could be an 18-17 shootout. I give the edge to San Diego because of the veteran players who have won the NLL championship before, and know exactly what it takes to do it again.
Rochester vs. Georgia
Don’t let the retirements fool you. The Swarm have a strong team, and with Craig Wende in net, strong goaltending as well. Any game the Lyle Thompson is involved in, you can’t count his team out. Rochester has made big strides in the off season, but will need some time to gel.
Colorado vs. Saskatchewan
I love the way Derek Keenan has rebuilt this Rush team. They are young, fast, and hungry. Colorado, however, are the Champs! The moves the Mammoth made in the off season enhanced an already strong team, without upsetting the chemistry. Look for Dillon Ward to be very strong in net for the Mammoth.
Philly vs Halifax
Pick – Halifax
An interesting match up to start the season. Halifax will have unfinished business this year and will want to make a statement. The Wings have drastically improved from last season. I think it might take Philly a game or two to gel.
Vancouver vs Toronto
Pick – Toronto
Vancouver will be competitive there is no doubt about it, but the Rock are going to be a juggernaut. Not having Chris Corbeil in the line up is going to hurt, but it’s not going to hamper them that much. Guaranteed win night will be successful.
Saskatchewan vs Colorado
Pick – Saskatchewan
Another interesting match up. Are the Mammoth still championship caliber? Will the Rush prove that last season was just a blip on the radar. Colorado are notoriously slow starters and they are going into a tough barn to win in.
Albany vs Buffalo
Pick – Buffalo
Buffalo may not be as dominant this year, but I don’t see Albany on quite the same level. This will be a good bar to see where the Firewolves are at.
San Diego vs New York
Pick – San Diego
Any other given night I’d give the nod to New York, but how do you compete with the Seals’ star-studded line up. It’ll be interesting to see how quickly Dickson and Dobbie rekindle their chemistry from their days in Calgary.
Rochester vs Georgia
Pick – Rochester
This is a tough one, but I feel that Rochester is trending upwards while Georgia is on the cusp (if they aren’t already) of a rebuild. The wildcard fact once again will be Lyle Thompson, but I’m leaning towards Rochester on this one.
Philly vs Halifax- PICK Philly
Vancouver vs Toronto- PICK Toronto
Saskatchewan vs Colorado-PICK Colorado
Albany vs Buffalo- PICK Albany ( why? Because they got out equipment managed)
San Diego vs New York- PICK San Diego
Rochester vs Georgia- PICK Georgia
Year to Date:
“Muffler” Mike…….0 – 0
Gary……………………0 – 0
Shawn………………..0 – 0
John……………………0 – 0
Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.
An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game 10 years ago. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob had an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.
Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.
In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.
Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).
Mr. Groob also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.
Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.