Pick Ems

Week One

in our first week we had our two newest team members, Ross McLoughlin and “Muffler” Mike Kostiuk leading the pack with 5-2 records.

Gary Groob came in at 4-3 with Shawn Slaght putting up a 3-4 record.

Kevin Neibauer pulls up the rear….no pun intended…with a less than stellar 2-5.

Week Two

We start with “Muffler” or, “Picks Guru”, Mike Kostiuk.

Muffler’s Week 2 Pickems

Toronto. Both teams may be in an expanded East Division now, but this game will feel like a 2019-2020 North Division matchup: knock-down, drag-out. Nick Rose stands on his head to send fans in the Nest home unhappy in a low-scoring affair.

New York. The Riptide respond to the pressure of not falling to 0-2 as they navigate the doubleheader the unconventional way with a road win first.

Panther City. Too difficult to ignore how legit the new kids on the block looked last week. The first home game in history adds positive fuel to their efforts to not fall to 0-2.

Buffalo. I think this will be closer than my colleagues do, as it will also feel like a ‘19-20 North Division game. But the Bandits simply have too much offensive firepower for a mostly younger Rochester defense to contain for 60 minutes.

Saskatchewan. As can clearly be seen in my picks, home openers and not falling to 0-2 on the year dominate the discussion. The Rush bounce back quicker, despite heroic individual efforts from Dickson and DelBianco on the Roughnecks’ side.

Colorado. Again, home opener (plus Black Out Night), but the Seals do fall to 0-2, as Colorado maintains higher levels of chemistry and consistency.

Georgia. The bad part of the unconventional doubleheader for NY, as fatigue from a hard-fought road win less than 48 hours before sets in, along with the Swarm…you guessed it: not wanting to fall to 0-2.

Next up. We head out West for Co-leader Ross McLouglin.

Ross has been shining up his Magic 8 Ball and came to the following conclusions.

Toronto vs. Halifax

Winner Halifax

Punishing defense is going to rule this game, and Graeme Hossack is the face you see if you look up punishing defense in the Dictionary. But I think the playmaking difference is Jake Withers, he will set up the Halifax offense. Make no mistake the Halifax offense is good, with Cody Jameson, Chris Boushy and a proven winner in Rhys Duch in the mix. Both Teams are evenly matched with outstanding Goalies. But I don’t think the Rock has the Defensive talent to shut down the Thunderbirds.

New York vs. Philadelphia

Winner Philadelphia

The Riptide are still finding their stride after a major revamp. The Core group of Wings have been together for 3 seasons and know how to play together.

Vancouver vs. Panther City

Winner Panther City

There is no doubt that Mitch Jones is a HUGE threat, but the rest of the Vancouver Warriors didn’t really match up last week and expect more of the same this week. The warriors Defense, although very big and physical, let 50+ shots on goal last week and Alex Buque had the best game of his career. Don’t count on that to happen again Panther City are going to come out swinging wanting that win in the Lonestar State.

Buffalo vs. Rochester

Winner Buffalo

Rochester squeaked by with the victory last week vs the Riptide, But they dont play the Riptide again this week. They face the Offensive juggernaut Bandits. Connor Fields is going to prove AGAIN why he should have been NAMED the Rookie of the year last year and is going to take out that Travesty of Justice on Rochester. Add in Josh Byrne and Dhane Smith and a perspective Rookie of the year Challenger Tehoka Nanicoke and a Seasoned Vet Bucky Buchannan and you have a explosive dynamic offense that I dont think Rochester will have a answer for other than to get Chippy and try and fight with hotheads Shawn Evens and Pawl Dawson leading Rochester with fists rather than scores.

Calgary vs. Saskatchewan

Winner Calgary

Christian Del Bianco doesn’t get enough respect and expect a bounce back after letting in 16 goals last week, the Dickson brothers will push forward and score. The Rush although younger are not better and lack the experience that has helped them in the past.

San Diego vs. Colorado

Winner San Diego

So I am going to be a Homer this week yet again and Say the Seals are going to win. The Seals had 50+ shots on goal, had 6 different players score and only gave up 8 points last week. Seals’ defense is Big, quick, and hungry for a win. Questions remain like can Dogger Clelland win 50% at faceoff and is Frank the Tank going to stay focused for the entire game?
Mammoth are a good team and I am unwilling to slap a GREAT team on them just yet. Dillon Ward is one of the best in the game, but the Mammoth Defense let a TON of shots on goal last week and look for more of the same against the Seals who like to shoot, ALOT.

Georgia vs New York

Winner Georgia

Although New York is revamped I don’t see them playing very well together just yet. The Swarm are going to grind out a win but it’s going to be Ugly. And I think that is just fine for the Swarm. They don’t want to be the Nancy Kerrigan of Lacrosse, they would rather be Tonya Hardings swinging big heavy sticks.

We stayed out West but, cross the border for Shawn Slaght.

Typically, Shawn presents his picks then crosses his fingers.

But, ith a broken digit, he is crossing his toes.

Shawn’s pickem

Toronto vs. Halifax
Pick – Halifax

Another great game. I’m expecting more of the same as the game Halifax played against Saskatchewan. Thunderbirds are the class of the league right now. It’s hard to bet against them.

New York vs. Philadelphia
Pick – Philadelphia

Teat had five points last game and looks like he’s going to be a bonafide star in the league. Unfortunately, one guy doesn’t make a team. I have to go with the Wings.

Vancouver vs. Panther City
Pick – Vancouver

Are the Warriors as good as them seem. They pulled off the upset over the Seals last week. Panther City also looked impressive in their debut even though they took the loss. I just get a hunch the more established team will take this one.

Buffalo vs. Rochester
Pick – Buffalo

I hate to say it, but this game will not be worth the price of admission. Buffalo by a landslide… Moving on.

Calgary vs. Saskatchewan
Pick – Saskatchewan

I have a hard time seeing this game being close. Yes, Calgary has the edge in goaltending, but that’s about it and they are heading into the jungle that is the Sasktel Centre. And you have to believe the OT loss Halifax will not sit well with this Rush team.

San Diego vs. Colorado
Pick – San Diego

Like the Rush, the Seals will be out for revenge after letting one slip away from them against Vancouver. They are a better team than that. Colorado did pick up the W last week, but I’m still not sure what to make of them.

Georgia vs New York
Pick – New York

I’m going to take back my “no respect” line from last week. Looks like Georgia is on the down slide. I wouldn’t be surprised if Teat has a huge game.

Still in Canada and Swami Gary Groob.

Toronto vs. Halifax

Toronto wins

This will be the matchup of the weekend! You extremely potent offenses, with very stingy defenses. The goaltending of Rose vs. Bold will be a treat to watch as well.

The Rock special teams is where I give the edge, and if the Thunderbirds get into penalty trouble, the Rock will make them pay.

New York vs. Philadelphia

Philadelphia Wins

The Ruptide have great offensive players in Teat, Crawford, Dominey on transition. Philadelphia has Crowley, Hickey, Rambo, Small, etc.

Baptiste will control the faceoffs.

I give the goaltending edge to Higgins of Philly as well.

Vancouver vs. Panther City

Panther City wins.

In the inaugural game in Texas, Panther City will find a win to best the Warriors.

Under Dan Teat’s leadership as the Offensive coach, this team of young players will find a way to put it all together in a total team effort.

Buffalo vs. Rochester

Buffalo wins

While Rochester is a much improved team this year, Buffalo is a champion calibre team. Dhane Smith, Tehoka Nanticoke, Chase Fraser, etc. With Steve Priolo leading a big strong defense and Matt Vinc still playing at a top level in net.

Unfortunately, I don’t think this game is close…

Calgary vs. Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan wins

Calgary is still getting over the loss of Dhane Dobbie, while the Rush are still firing on all cylinders. Look for a big game from Robert Church & Mark Matthews.

What holds this game close? The goaltending of Calgary’s Christian Del Bianco.

San Diego vs. Colorado

San Diego wins

Another even matchup! I think the Seals defense will give fits to the Mammoth offense.

Georgia vs New York

New York wins

The Riptide match up very well with the Swarm. Jeff Teat will have a break out game, and the Transition game with Scott Dominey and Damon Edwards will give the Swarm fits…

The moment you have all been waiting for..

Mr.2-5, Kevin Neibauer…

Toronto- Halifax


In what shapes up as the game of the week, a defensive battle that has Halifax picking up a two goal victory.

New York- Philadelphia


Another big night for phenom, Jeff Teat.

However, far too much firepower on the Wings.

This will be closer than most feel.

Vancouver-Panther City

Panther City

Both teams looked good in their season openers.

Panther City will be playing on emotion as its the first NLL in the Lone Star state and the crowd should be in a frenzy.

Buffalo- Rochester


Rochester his improved but, not in the class of the Bandits.

This. Could get out of hand early.

Calgary- Saskatchewan


A Battle in the West. The Rush have the home crowd and cannot afford to fall to 0-2.

Christian Del Bianco can steal a game.Just not this one.

San Diego- Colorado


Another home field advantage.

A raucous crowd the Mammoth will feed off.

The Seals didn’t seem to have their identity in the Vancouver game. Another team that doesn’t want to be staring at an 0-2 record but, they will.

Georgia- New York

New York

The Riptide have the task of taking on two of the best offenses in 48 hours.

Jeff Teat lights the lamp five times and the Riptide use his MOJO to pick up a win.

Gary Groob
Gary Groob

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 in 2010. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob was given 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).

Gary 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.