I’m loathe to call anything after three games a “power” ranking, especially in MLL where the embryonic team of Week 1 tends to metamorphose dramatically by season’s end. With that caveat in place let’s take a look what happened over MLL’s opening weekend.
- New York Lizards: It’s hard to argue against New York at this point in the season. The Lizards are likely the team to undergo the least amount of roster churn this season as they already have most of their contributors in the lineup. Bringing Matt Gibson back to the Green and Black is already playing dividends.
- Boston Cannons: Everyone, it seems, had Boston pegged as a work in progress this year after all the off-season shuffling the team did. This isn’t a solar system club where complementary players orbit around the team’s stars. It’s worth paying attention to the on-field dynamic and how that evolves over the course of the season. The Cannons could surprise a lot of people it they can stay the course.
- Denver Outlaws: Yes, they dropped their opener to the Cannons, but Boston had to have been pumped to open the season at Gillette Stadium. Some early season bumps were to be expected from the Outlaws, and there is no need for radical expectation adjustments after one game. For a team that has a third of its roster in the NLL right now the Outlaws looked solid.
- Rochester Rattlers: Hey, winning should get you in the top of the table, right? Are last year’s runners up the 4th best team in the league right now? As of today, the Lizards are at the top by themselves, but Boston, Denver, and Rochester seem to be the next tier teams. Jordan Wolf is a predator that can only be satiated when a little sphere sits in the back of a 6×6, twine-draped portal.
- Charlotte Hounds: Despite huffing and puffing, the Hounds couldn’t knock down the big bad Wolf. They are not the first nor will they be the last team to experience that situation. For all intents and purposes Rochester and Charlotte are 4a and 4b after week 1. Still the Hounds were leading up until the Rattlers scored with six seconds remaining in regulation. Some teams have to learn to win close games – will that be Charlotte’s fate this year?
- Ohio Machine: To paraphrase the great Robert Hunter, “whoa-oh what I want to know, where did the goals go?” The highest scoring offense from last year scored the fewest number of goals out of all six teams that played this weekend. Yes, Drew Adams had 13 saves, but combine that with poor faceoff performance and when you don’t have the ball you can’t score.
NR: Chesapeake and Florida: Hey, if you don’t play then you don’t get ranked. It’s nothing personal, just the way the schedule shook out.