MLL Power Rankings: Cannons Rise

Mitch Belisle

After a light Week 3 schedule, Week 4 saw the normal allotment of games and as a result, a lot of movement in the power rankings. The Cannons rose up the rankings after recording a two win week while the Lizards dropped the furthest after an embarrassing loss to the Machine. Who retains the top spot in Week 5? Check it out:

Week 4 MLL Top 9

1- Charlotte (3-0) The Hounds remain in the top spot as they are the lone undefeated team left in the MLL with the Bayhawks and Lizards both losing in Week 4. Charlotte’s defense continues to be tough as nails as they allowed 10 goals this week in their victory over the Launch. They are allowing a league best 10.3 goals per game. It will be interesting to see how this offense looks once Ryan Brown, Dylan Donahue, Pat Young and some of their other draftees team up with Joey Sankey, Kevin Cunningham, Mike Chanenchuk and John Haus.

2- Boston (3-1) Boston makes the biggest move up the rankings after completing a 2-0 week during Week 4. They started off the week by knocking off the Chesapeake Bayhawks from the ranks of the unbeaten and then turned around on Saturday and stunned the Rochester Rattlers 15-14 in overtime. Of course, Brodie Merrill’s long range hail mary two point goal helped but the Cannons are playing well in the early stages of the season. Will Manny is also making a strong case for league MVP as he recorded 15 points in their two victories in Week 4 and leads the league with 27 points on the season.

3- Ohio (3-1) The Machine continue to pour in the goals as they lead the league with 16.25 goals per game. In Week 4 they obliterated the defending champion New York Lizards in a 22-10 victory. The Machine’s offense will carry this team as they have the most balanced unit with 4 players having recorded 10-plus points thus far. If the defense can play like they did against the Lizards for the rest of the season, no one will beat the Machine in 2016.

4- Chesapeake (2-1) The Bayhawks fall down the list a couple spots as they lost their first game of the season to the Cannons. While the defense is a stout unit, the offense is struggling. They have 39 goals so far this season, which ranks as the worst unit in the league. While seven players have at least five points, no one has emerged as their go to guy so far. Hopefully, the Bayhawks can add John Maloney soon to get a little younger between the lines and add another threat at the midfield position. Their matchup against the Outlaws will be a close one and one of the better games on the schedule.

5- New York (2-1) The Lizards looked like a hot mess against the Machine. The defense was man down eight times in Week 4! More specifically, an offense that scored 39 goals in two games, all of a sudden looked lost to one of the worst defenses in the MLL! It doesn’t get any easier for the offense and the Lizards as a team as they take on the undefeated Charlotte Hounds this weekend. Could it be a playoff preview?

6- Denver (1-2) The Outlaws fall far after a humiliating loss to the Blaze. Being blown out by 12 is ridiculous for a team with that type of offensive talent. However, maybe they need to make a move via trade for some defensive help as the defenses is fourth worst in the league in goals allowed at 51 and that’s through three games. The bottom three teams in that category have played four games. Week 5 doesn’t get any easier as they play Chesapeake who has the second best defense in the league.

7- Atlanta (1-2) The Blaze got the franchise’s first victory in Week 4 with a 23-12 annihilation of the Denver Outlaws. To be fair, the Blaze lost to two of the top teams in the MLL, the Bayhawks and Cannons, by a combined four goals so they were due for a win. Kevin Rice got the help that he needed as Randy Staats exploded for nine points in the victory. The two team up once again after spending their collegiate years together at Syracuse. For an expansion team, the Blaze could be a dark horse for a playoff spot.    

8- Rochester (0-3) Honestly, the Rattlers should be 1-2 right now but that loss to the Cannons could be a real back breaker for them. You know things are going bad when you give up a game tying two point goal from the opposite endline with 3 seconds left and then proceed to lose in overtime. They were up 11-7 going into the final quarter and blew it. They need to find some help at the faceoff ‘X’ as they went 10-30 combined in that loss. It is a real possibility that they don’t make the playoffs which is shocking for a team that made it to the title game last year.

9- Florida (0-4) When you keep losing, you are going to find yourself at the bottom of the rankings. The Launch lost a tight one to the undefeated Hounds. Something that shouldn’t be overlooked is the fact that they have lost to the Hounds, Bayhawks and Machine by a combined eight goals. A couple bounces go their way and they could easily be 2-2. Once the draft picks, most notably Myles Jones comes to the Launch, the offense should be scary with Casey Powell, Kieran McArdle and Connor Buczek will make a really nice foursome. This week, they Launch face the Blaze who are fresh off a 12 goal victory over the Outlaws.