With last week’s results, Ross still holds a five game lead over Shawn 45-20 to 40-25.
Gary Groob leap frogged Quizmaster, Kevin Neibauer 38-27 to 37-28.
Mix master Mike pulls in at 32-33.
Off We Go
Another full slate in the National Lacrosse League
Playoff positioning or, lack there of a front and center.
So, let us begin in Philadelphia and The One and Only, Kevin Neibauer.
Hmm…Where to begin?
Ok, I know, just jump in.
Even without Shawn Evans, Halifax is simply, a better team.
Albany is among a few teams who need to find wins.
Unfortunately, not happening in this game.
To me, the Head Scratcher of the Week .
This has the makings of a classic..Patrick Dodds against Ryan Lee.
Dillon Ward will be difference in close game.
Saskatchewan- San Diego.
The Rush playoff hopes are on life support.
A loss in this could signal a fire sale.
The Seals will be barking from beginning to end with a lopsided win.
Before the Evans trade, I was leaning to the Rochester side..
But, simply too many weapons on the Riptide
New York keeps their slim playoff chances alive.
The dreaded two game weekend Georgia is fading but, still right in it.
Lyle Thompson wills a Georgia win. Halifax can afford a loss ..Not so much with Georgia.
The Albany-Philly- Georgia jam up may have one of the three claim the four spot, by themselves.
The Bandits are simply better than the Wings.
The Wings offense was last seen on a milk carton. Chris Cloutier lights up the Philly defense.
Despite a long cross continent trip the Rock are firing on all cylinders. The Philadelphia second half blow out made this team believe in themselves.
The Saskatchewan Guru, Shawn Slaght.
Albany vs Halifax
Pick – Halifax
The Shawn Evans trade made the rich richer. This is an important weekend for the Thunderbirds to keep pace with Buffalo for top spot in the East. Albany on the other hand is too hot-and-cold.
Panther City vs Colorado
Pick – Colorado
I still think Colorado is overachieving. That being said, Panther City’s two-game win streak will come to an end.
Saskatchewan vs San Diego
Pick – San Diego
This will be the proverbial nail in the coffin for the Rush’s season. The Rush’s offence has shown it struggles if they can’t get to a goaltender early, and San Diego has had strong goaltending all year.
New York vs Rochester
Pick – New York
The Riptide have been on the cusp all season. Rochester just can’t put a full game together and this is New York’s chance to get back in the win column.
Halifax vs Georgia
Pick – Halifax
My gut tells me I should go with Georgia because the T-Birds are playing back-to-back night. However, I think Halifax has too much riding on this weekend in order to have a chance at first in the East.
Philadelphia vs Buffalo
Pick – Buffalo
I have no reason to bet against the Bandits at this point. Philly, on the other hand, will be like the Rush, seeing their playoff float away this weekend.
Toronto vs Vancouver
Pick – Toronto
The East is far and away the superior division. Vancouver is improved even though they are missing key pieces, but they aren’t to the point the can keep up with the top dogs in the East. It’ll be a close game, but I think the Rock pull it out in the end.
Staying in Canada and Mr. Everywhere, Gary Groob.
Albany vs. Halifax
This is a perennial contender, and it just got stronger! Shawn Evans is no stranger to a lot of players on this team. Albany is too inconsistent, and the Thunderbirds are a complete team.
Panther City vs. Colorado
Although PCLC has put together a couple of wins, Colorado is a top team in the NLL. Dillon Ward will frustrate the Panther City forwards, and the Mammoth offense will continue to roll in this game.
Saskatchewan vs. San Diego
San Diego wins
Although this is a must win for the Rush, I expect the Seals to have a big game.
Expect the Rush re-tooling to begin not long after the game is over.
NY Riptide vs. Rochester
The Riptide is a good team! They were able to give the Rock all they could handle, and though they fell short in the second game, they showed no quit. Rochester without Shawn Evans lost a lot of their scoring and set up punch.
Halifax vs. Georgia
Halifax playing tired, and a hungry Swarm team vying for a playoff spot are factors in this game. Look for a big game from Shayne Jackson.
Philadelphia vs. Buffalo
Philly still hasn’t beat a team over .500, and the Bandits are the best team in the league…that is all!
Toronto vs. Vancouver
No Mitch Jones, inconsistent goaltending, are all things the Rock will exploit. Toronto’s defense is one of the stingiest in the league, and with an offense firing on all cylinders, Vancouver is in for a long night.
Just to confuse him, I put Ross “The Boss” in the middle.
ALB @ HFX
Winner Albany. Not having any time to gell with his new team Evans is going to struggle. Warren Hill coming back from covid might not be up to full King of the Hill standards. Albany will capitalize on this and move forward with a close victor. Halifax has not really been challenged for possessions they will be this week.
PCLC @ COL
Winner Colorado. Panther City is going to be playing in its 12 game Mammoth in their 10th. Mammoth have hit stride and PC is still struggling with the little things. Look for Joey Cupido to take it to PC for not drafting him when they had the chance.
SASK @ SD
Winner San Diego. Rush have a new goalie, but the same old Defense in front of him. Seals are playing a muti-game homestand, with lots of team building and enjoying the San Diego sun, but make no mistake lots of work is being done San Diego is still trying to fill a faceoff black hole that costs then nearly 10 possessions a game.
NY @ ROC
Winner New York. Riptide have matched up very well better than the 2-8 record suggests, Teat and Kearnan are a great tandem that have scored a LOT of goals. Rochester lost a leader with nothing current to gain from it.
HFX @ GA
Winner Georgia. Halifax is going to keep pace but die off in the second half, or they will come out to a commanding lead in the first, the Magic 8 ball can’t decide. Georgia has put up a lot of scores which is very deceiving with the W/L record, they are a tougher team then you would think.
PHI @ BUF
Winner Buffalo. Lets face it Wings cant find the back of the net, and have not traveled a lot, not that Buffalo is far for them but look for the Wings to keep the game close and still lose. What can I say about Buffalo they are a great team with a high powered offense, and few weak links.
TOR @ VAN
Winner Vancouver. I keep saying Mitch Jones will be back, but I dont think its this week, he really has a bad wheel, but the Warriors have been filling the holes very well in a virtual game of wack a mole. And a lot of players have stepped up big for them, this team is finally shaking off the “STEALTH STINK” and saying we are Warriors. The Rock are making the long flight, something they haven’t had to do much this year. Still the Rock have a less than stellar win/loss record on the road.
Coming back East, Muffler Mike, who insists he is just giving everyone a Head Start
ALB @ HFX
Halifax. The FireWolves have had this team’s number for most of the last few years, but the acquisition of Shawn Evans makes the Thunderbirds even more lethal than they already are.
PCLC @ COL
Colorado. This will be an entertaining game, but the Panthers’ first win streak grinds to a halt at the Loud House.
SASK @ SD
San Diego. Seals keep inevitably rolling towards the West Division title, Rush keep inexplicably rolling towards the West Division basement.
NY @ ROC
New York. The Evans trade looks good in the long run for Rochester, but not so much in the short term. Riptide capitalize as the Knighthawks offense falls into disarray without their points leader.
HFX @ GA
Halifax. The Thunderbirds take advantage of the chance to pull even with Buffalo, with what can only be described as an epic Week 17 home-and-home doubleheader with the Bandits looming.
PHI @ BUF
Buffalo. Sounding like a broken record here, but I can’t bet against the Bandits at home…until maybe Week 17, that is…
TOR @ VAN
Toronto. I kept waiting for the wheels to fall off the Rock’s wagon the last few weeks, but they’ve clearly shown that I should have hopped on it back then. Vancouver keeps it close, and counts their blessings that the teams below them beat each other up or stayed idle.
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.