Things are very close in the Pick Ems Race. Everybody went 3-3 except for Ross McLoughlin who led the pack at 4-2 and Kevin Neibauer who was stellar? 2-4.
Five games on tap this weekend and the leader board is: Kevin 32-23, Gary, Ross, Steve, Shawn all a game behind at 31-24. Sue comes in with a 28-24 mark.
This week we start in sunny San Diego and Ross, “I got my magic 8 ball serviced and inspected” McLoughlin.
TOR @ HFX
Pick – Rock
Halifax has shown a chink in the armor, and I think the Rock exploits it. Look for a close game, Nick Rose will have a gem.
SASK @ PHL
Pick – Wings
Last week Wings proved they were for real, This week they prove the Rush isn’t as good as everyone thinks they are.
ROC @ NE
Pick – Knighthawks
Blackwolves want to come and crush the knighthawks. If Rylan Hartley starts in goal for the Knighthawks, expect Rochester to hold them to below 9 and give them a loss.
VAN @ SD
Pick – Seals
Vancouver is a poor team with some decent players. San Diego has a goalie situation, expect to see Nick Damude to start in goal if San Diego has a chance.
CAL @ GEORGIA
Winner – Swarm
Dane Dobbie is going to try hard and has too much rust, expect the Swarm to be very chippy with him trying to draw a foul.
Shawn “it’s getting close to Spring… it’s only twenty below” Slaght.
TOR @ HFX
Pick – Halifax
Two really great teams. After an emotional rollercoaster last weekend, I’m expecting a motived Halifax squad.
SASK @ PHL
Pick – Saskatchewan
Even though they won, I can’t imagine blowing a 9-goal lead is sitting well with the Rush. Philly is a much-improved team, but they are catching Saskatchewan at the wrong time. You also have to factor in Saskatchewan’s perfect record on the road.
ROC @ NE
Pick – New England
Rochester isn’t a bad team, it’s just missing a few pieces here and there. New England has all the pieces despite their struggles lately.
VAN @ SD
Pick – San Diego
There are lots of question marks for San Diego that need to be answered starting in the back end at goaltending. Luckily they are up against the Vancouver team that is wildly inconsistent.
CAL @ GEO
Winner – Calgary
With Dane Dobbie back, it completely changes the ball game. Calgary is a different team without him. I think this one will stay close as Dane knocks off some rust.
Back East and Steve “Is it soccer season yet?” Holroyd.
TOR @ HFX: Despite two straight losses, the T-Birds have shown they can simply take over a game…when they choose to. This is a battle for first place, at The Nest–which is approaching sellout levels for attendance. While Warren Hill may remain average, Halifax will ride the home field advantage and avenge the loss from a few weeks back. WINNER: Halifax
SASK @ PHL: I still think the Wings’ record favors them, and that the Rush is still an elite team. But I’m tired of going to games and rooting against Philly because of these damn Pick ‘Ems. So Baptiste gets a sock trick in a Philly rout. Whatever. WINNER: Philadelphia
ROC @ NE: I think NE is soft AF…shockingly bland for a team near the top of the division. And the NewHawks improve every week. But they ain’t there, yet…not in that youth rink at MohSun, anyway. WINNER: New England
VAN @ SD: The Seals are still inconsistent, and can’t really rely on home support. The Warriors have been rolling along. WINNER: Vancouver
CAL @ GEO: Although the Swarm still has the most creative offense in the NLL, and have home floor advantage, I think a desperate Roughnecks side buoyed by the return of captain Dane Dobbie upend the inconsistent Georgia side. WINNER: Calgary
Heading North and across the border and Gary “Mr. Everywhere” Groob.
Toronto @ Halifax
Nobody expected the production from the Rock’s offense with all their injuries. Well, it has kept improving each week. They will test Warren Hill, and keep the defense unsettled with the transition game. Halifax will counter with a strong offense. This will be an epic matchup.
Vancouver @ San Diego
Look for big games from Mitch Jones and Keegan Bal, really testing Nick Damude in net for the Seals.
Eric Penney had a rough outing last week in Toronto after a few exceptional weeks, look for him to bounce back this week.
Saskatchewan @ Philadelphia
The Rush found their scoring last week, and if that stays true, this will be the first real test for Zach Higgins.
Philadelphia has been rolling, but a Rush team that has transition, and offense working will give them a tough time.
Rochester @ New England
Rochester looks better each time out, and New England has fallen back to earth. As long as the defense holds strong, the Knighthawks offense can keep up with the Black Wolves.
Calgary @ Georgia
Dane Dobbie is back, but he will need a week or two to get acclimated. Georgia is a powerful team, with exceptional goaltending…this should lead them to victory.
To the City of Brotherly Shove and a Kevin “, Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while” Neibauer… who leads the pack…. stop snickering Ross!!!
Gotta go Halifax in this one. This has all the makings of being the game of the season… this will be a one-goal contest.
The Rush are finding the mojo. Robert Church and Ben MacIntosh with a semi “homecoming” having played at Drexel.
Philadelphia passed a major test last weekend and Zach Higgins is laying claim for Goaltender of the Year and Matt Rambo as MVP…
Another taut struggle that the Wings eke out.
Another close game. New England has come back to the pack but Rochester, the best 1-7 team I have seen, can’t keep up in this one.
The home floor makes a difference in this. The Seals dropped a heart breaker, but, wins are crucial in the West.
The Seals survive a close one.
Calgary gets Dobbie back… they use that as an impetus to jump to an early lead and hold on to keep the West, Wild
Susan “President of the Women’s Auxiliary of LaxPhilly… is a bit back up in work but gave us her prediction for the Friday contest and will post the others when she is available.
Not having seen the Toronto injury/scratched list… going with the Rock in this one.
Kevin has followed and promoted the game of lacrosse since May 19, 1974.
The same day the Philadelphia Flyers won the Cup, the Philadelphia Wings were introduced to Neibauer and Philadelphia.
Kevin has covered many sports, including baseball, football, basketball, and.. lacrosse. A former licensed football referee and baseball umpire, Kevin brings a unique insight to his game coverage.
A published writer in JustHockey Magazine, Kevin covered the American Hockey League as well as a monthly story on a pugilist where Kevin used the pen name, The Rink Rat. Neibauer turned his attentions to lacrosse for a few years and does his part, whether podcasting or writing to grow the game. Kevin branched out to his roots and currently provides insight for all Philadelphia teams for Edge of Philly as well as his full-time duties with LaxPhilly.