Our Pick Ems Challenge has revealed our first 40 game-winner in the person of Shawn Slaght who has gone 9-1 in the last two weeks with a perfect 5-0 last week.
Shawn sits at 40-21. Kevin Neibauer stays close with a 37-24 record. Ross McLoughlin and Steve Holroyd fall in with identical 36-25 marks.
Gary Groob has a rough 1-4 week that dropped him to 35-26 and the previously ailing, Susan Walton posts 31-26.
So, let’s see what the mediums have to say this week.
We start in Sunny San Diego with Ross “Toes in the Sand” McLoughlin
NE @ NY
Pick – Blackwolves
Blackwolves are going to crush this Riptide team.
NY @ ROCH
Pick – riptide
Riptide is going to be beaten up and Rochester is going to come in overconfident.
TOR @ SASK
Pick – Rock
Toronto is going to come out on top in a close game.
HFX @ BUF
Pick – Bandits
In bandit land, Halifax is going to struggle. And Buffalo will come out on top.
PHL @ COL
Pick – Wings
Wings are going to crush Colorado who will struggle to get the offense going and the Mammoth defense will crumble
SD @ CAL
Pick – Seals
Seals are going to come in and win in a close match. It’s going to be LightsOut Nick Damude vs Christian Del Bianco. 2 very young goaltenders showing the league that the kids can play also.
GEORGIA @ VAN
Pick – Warriors
Warriors are going to be fired up at home. Warriors will be looking to take out some revenge. The Thompson’s will have a off day and will lose.
HFX @ NE
Pick – Blackwolves
The Thunderbirds are going to be beat-up, so are the Blackwolves but not like t-birds. Blackwolves will be closing the gap on the Wings this weekend.
Staying in the West, Shawn “Hey!!! It’s a Heatwave!! We heated up to -10!” Slaght.
NE @ NY
Pick – New England
At this point, New York may as well play for the first overall draft pick. New England has been up and down, so playing the Riptide might be what the doctor ordered.
NY @ ROCH
Pick – Rochester
I feel this game of expansion teams is pretty black and white. A tired, not very good New York team versus an improving Rochester squad. The Knighthawks will win by five or six.
TOR @ SASK
Pick – Saskatchewan
This is a tough pick. If this was in Toronto I’d pick the Rush hands down. At home, they have struggled, particularly in goaltending. Kirk, for whatever reason, has a hard time on the home floor. I’m going with the Rush in the hopes they ride the momentum of last weekend in Philly.
HFX @ BUF
Pick – Halifax
In my opinion, this is the game of the week. It’ll be a battle between Warren Hill and Matt Vinc. This will be the game to prove Hill can compete with the best.
PHL @ COL
Pick – Colorado
The Rush solved Zach Higgins and, in turn, exposed the Wings. They go as their goaltending goes. That will get you a few wins, but it’s not sustainable. That and the Mammoth need to keep pace with the top of the West standings.
SD @ CAL
Pick – Calgary
Boy, what a difference one player makes. The Roughnecks are a completely different team now that he’s in the line up again. I just can’t see the Seals keeping up with the firepower.
GEO @ VAN
Pick – Georgia
Poor Vancouver, they are just getting Georgia at the wrong time. The Swarm is stinging after the loss to Calgary. Georgia will be motivated and it doesn’t bode well for the Warriors.
HFX @ NE
Pick – Halifax
Both teams will be tired, but I’m still unsure about New England. They’ve been hot and cold. After cruising to an easy win against New York, I think we will see a lackluster Blackwolves team struggle to keep up with the T-Birds.
We move East to Steve “Wait Until they Get a Load of Me” Holroyd
NE @ NY: Part of me wants to say this is a classic trap game for the Black Wolves…but the other part of me is reminded the Riptide are rubbish. So I’ll go with… WINNER: New England
NY @ ROCH: Unlike the Riptide, the NewHawks steadily improve…although last week against New England was a real stinker. And NY will be tired. And on the road. WINNER: Rochester
TOR @ SASK: With the relatively easy dismantling of Philadelphia last week, the Rush have shown they are every bit the NLL’s defending champions. They also have the best home crowd in the league. WINNER: Saskatchewan
HFX @ BUF: Will the real Warren Hill please stand up? Will the Thunderbirds get last week’s version, or the dead weight from the two games prior? I expect the former–and it will be enough to keep a slightly undermanned Bandits at bay. WINNER: Halifax
PHL @ COL: A real tough one–calling the Wings offense last week “unimaginative” would be charitable, as Saskatchewan kept Matt “I Got One Move” Rambo in check, and Kevin Crowley continues to channel Foreigner with his “Cold As Ice” shooting. Meanwhile, Woolies goalie Dillon Ward has been on fire. This will be a one-goal game. WINNER: Colorado
SD @ CAL: Since Austin Staats’ return, the Seals have looked more like the team that was such a joy to watch last year. As a result, they will give the Riggers a good run. But with Dane Dobbie back–and angry–the home team will be too much to handle. WINNER: Calgary
GEO @ VAN: The Swarm lost a barn-burner to Calgary last week, while the Warriors were anything but in their loss to San Diego. Vancouver has been playing over their heads during their good run…and that run is over. WINNER: Georgia
HFX @ NE: A busy weekend ends with the Pride of the Maritimes heading to that little dump in Connecticut. Two games in two nights will be tough for the ‘Birds, while the Black Wolves will have not been tested by NY on Friday. Alas. WINNER: New England
Back into Canada and we check in on Gary “I got robbed last week, the fix was in” Groob
New England @ New York
New England wins.
The Black Wolves had a small hiccup in their season, but whatever ailed them is fixed now.
New York continues to work towards the number one draft pick.
New York @ Rochester
The Jeff Teat bowl…
With the two expansion teams going head to head, you will see the teams going in opposite directions. Rochester has been fairly consistent, just not getting a full sixty minutes to get wins. New York has a lot of work to do in the off season to make them a viable team.
San Diego @ Calgary
With Dobbie, and Dickson going full out, and with Christian Del Bianco on his game in net, San Diego is in for a long night.
Toronto @ Saskatchewan
Toronto ran into a hot goalie in Halifax, or we would be talking about a four-game win streak. Veteran leadership mixed with young legs, as well as great conditioning will have the Rock outlast the Rush in a close one.
Halifax @ Buffalo
The Bandits are so deep in the offensive category, that even with Dhane Smith and Chase Fraser out, they still have plenty of firepower. The battle of goaltenders, I give the nod to Matt Vinc.
Philadelphia @ Colorado
The Wings bounce back in this one. Dillon Ward will face a lot of Philly shots in this one. Look for Hickey, and Crowley to have big games.
Georgia @ Vancouver
Everything else is secondary…
I don’t think the Warriors will be able to shut down the Thompson Brothers, and if that’s the case, it will be a long night for them.
Halifax @ New England
This will be a close game, but I think the Thunderbirds have a slight edge in offensive threats.
This will be worth the time to watch.
The moment you have all been waiting for! Well… my wife anyway.
Onto the City of Brotherly Shove and Kevin “Eddie Moosh” Neibauer
New England@New York
The Black Wolves have been in a downslide and New York is just what the doctor ordered.
The Riptide seemed locked in as favorites for the Jeff Teat Sweepstakes.
Back to back games can be brutal. The league has some good games lined up this week. This may surprise some people. We may see both sides of Shawn Evans in this one, barring discipline from his fight last week.
With Dobbie back, Calgary is a different team.
An impressive 18 goals against Georgia will kick start the resurgence of Calgary.
After witnessing the Rush dominate Philadelphia, Toronto will have a hard time containing the Rush offense.
No Jones, No Schrieber, the Rock have done a nice job in competition with contributions from all over the line up.
They just won’t be able to pull this one out.
Buffalo is still missing two major parts of the offense in Dhane Smith and Chase Fraser.
Halifax may be the best team in the league.
Was the Rush game just a hiccup? Or has Zach Higgins been figured out?
This looks to be a tight one or two-goal game.
Brett Hickey has a big night and Matt Rambo gets back on track.
The Swarm offense is no match for the Warrior defense and Vancouver cannot outscore Georgia.
Two tired teams, each playing in their second game.
Clarke Petterson has a big game and Halifax goes 2-0 for the weekend.
We wind things up back in Toronto and Susan “The money I made from the tooth fairy went to my damn medical bill” Walton. We are all happy Susan is recovering nicely!
New England vs NY – Pick New England
I feel like NY has thrown in the towel and is already planning for next season. Now halfway through the season really hasn’t made any marked improvement. Trading what I would consider one of their best players for draft choices really sets the tone IMO. New York’s track record 1 win & 9 losses look more like 1 & 10. I am not for a moment saying New England is hands above the other. It depends on which team actually shows up for New England. Inconsistent is how I would describe them this season. Probably what I would rate as the least exciting matchup this weekend.
New York vs Rochester – Pick Rochester
Playing a back to back game for the young team will be a challenge. I am pretty sure that New York will lose steam and won’t be able to play a full 60 minutes. Rochester’s record isn’t much better but will not have to contend with a back to back so they’ll obviously be more rested and ready to play.
San Diego vs Calgary – Pick Calgary
Both teams are coming off a win. Both teams need the respective wins. This should be a more exciting game and I would expect a fairly close game. This rivalry has been good in the past. Calgary has the edge with its strong fan base to show their love for their boys.
Toronto vs Saskatchewan – Pick Toronto
Saskatchewan hasn’t played as well at home as they have been on the road. Having one won one game at home they will absolutely be going after their second win. The usual suspects Matthews, McIntosh, and Church will make their marks. Toronto has been working together with Schreiber, Jones, Harris still on the IR. Hellyer and Dawson and Rogers will also make their marks as well. This is the game of the week and worth watching.
Halifax vs Buffalo – Pick Halifax
Halifax is on a roll and doesn’t see Buffalo getting in their way of taking home another win.
Philadelphia vs Colorado – Pick Wings
The Philly team is having a good year while Colorado is doing OK. Colorado has been lackluster. It will really come down to how each goalie performs. Ward will do anything to prevent the loss but will come up short.
Georgia vs Vancouver – Georgia
Vancouver has been doing better this year overall but I don’t expect them to match Georgia’s potential. The Swarm with leave the Warriors with a welt from their sting
Philadelphia vs Colorado – Pick Philadelphia
Halifax vs New England – Pick Halifax
Both teams are playing two games this weekend. New England will have an extra day between games compared to Halifax but regardless of playing the night before, I still give the advantage to Halifax who seems to be hot, hot, hot. This is one of those picks for Halifax that could bring my already dismal record look even worse…
Have a great weekend everyone! Let’s watch some lax 🥍