Kevin M. Neibauer
LaxPhilly- A Division of the Edge of Philly Sports Network.
Heading into the slate of National Lacrosse League last weekend, all appearances were easy wins for the favorites .
Upsets were the story. Buffalo did what Buffalo does, a solid win.
Now, things go a bit askew. Halifax, while not a surprising win, had eyebrows raised.
Not due to their defeat of Philadelphia but, rather the offensive incapability of the heralded Wings offense.
While one of the most explosive offensive teams, Philadelphia has dropped three straight…not due to goaltending- or defense but, lack of scoring.
A to B passing with little movement or effort to get to the net and create havoc has doomed this team to 16 goals against Halifax in two games.
Granted, Halifax has only 20 but, came away with two crucial wins.
More in the East
With Buffalo and Halifax posting convincing wins, we get to Toronto.
The Rock came in firing on all cylinders.
The New York Riptide, in time will be a powerhouse but, for now, needs to find their identity.
The time may be now, taking Buffalo to overtime and getting the better of Toronto throws the East into a dog fight.
The top three are safe in their spots, for now.
Suddenly, Albany caught a few eyes with their upset of the San Diego Seals…
Albany, recently located from Uncasville, have gone from looking like world beaters to a team that can’t get out of their own way.
The loss of Callum Crawford was a serious blow to the offense.
Showing no panic, Jacob Ruest with Joe Resetarits, who is worthy of MVP talk and Ryan Benesch are finding their groove.
Benesch and Resetarits put up a combined 15 points against one of the best defenses in the league in San Diego.
That win changes the complexion of the East as Albany, holding the tie breaker, leap frogs Philadelphia into the fourth spot.
As noted, San Diego was defeated, unlike the East, it has no impact on the current standings as Colorado got stung in Overtime by the Saskatchewan Rush who went out and acquired Eric Penney to fill the nets.
Three wins for the Rush…3 or 30, this team can do damage when and if the offense gels.
Colorado, victims of the OT loss…this far, a solid squad that will be there at the end.
We move to Vancouver…the little engine that not only could, but, has.
The Warriors make history as being the first team the Panther City Lacrosse Club defeated in their home building.
The Roughnecks we’re sucking wind and reeling from the loss of Dane Dobbie and doing without Superman, Curtis Dickson, struggled out of the gate.
While not quite back to Championship form, Calgary has steadily gotten stronger and, as a team who barely made the playoffs only to win it all, can never be counted out
Panther City…the win over Vancouver produced a legitimate budding superstar in Patrick Dodds.
PCLC is slowly getting the kinks worked out. This, team among a few others, is not to be overlooked…
New York…I already mentioned this team. Their management team is among the best in the sport. While not a contender this season, they are quite capable of doing to any opponent what they did to Toronto.
Rochester…they can compete will most teams but, Buffalo has their number. Shawn Evans can score with anyone…the short handed situations have been this team’s Achilles heel.
What’s My Point
The so called “also rans” put the NLL on notice..as usual, every team has be prepared for a Battle every game.
It figures to be a fun ride the remainder of the way and let’s be happy we can see each and every game in the comfort of our homes.
If we cannot attend in person.
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.