This past week was exciting on all fronts. Trade deadling was on Tuesday and a number of teams made some moves to help them in the playoffs this season and the future. Then we had some huge games on the floor with two more teams clinching playoff spots, and another record being made, but not in a good way. This week will be just as exciting as things heat up with only four weeks to go in the regular season.
* Clinched Playoff
NLL Power Rankings Week 14
(1)….1—Toronto Rock* (11-4) After starting 9-1 the Rock have lost three of the last five games including Friday nights defeat to Rochester 11-7. Toronto obtained Kevin Crowley from New England for Garrett Billings at the trade deadline to bolster the offense in the absence of injured Rob Hellyer. Rock still hold the best record overall, but the cushion they once had is almost gone. Rock host Vancouver Friday 7:30pm
(3)….2—Edmonton Rush* (9-4) A weekend sweep of the Stealth, Friday 15-14 in OT and 17-10 on Saturday extends the Rush win streak to five in a row. The sweep also put the Rush into the playoffs. Rush acquired Matthew Dinsdale from Calgary and they are starting to pick up more steam. Another home and home weekend for the Rush, this time they start in Calgary Friday night 9:30pm before returning home for the rematch Saturday 9pm.
(2)….3—Rochester Knighthawks (9-4) After a 16-3 thrashing the week before the Knighthawks come up huge with a weekend sweep. Friday they defeat Toronto 11-7, then Saturday almost a perfect performance as they swat the Swarm 10-2. Weekend sweep pulls the Hawks within a game of first with two games in hand. Rochester acquired Joe Resetarits for Jamie Batson and it has already paid off in a big way. Rochester hosts Colorado Saturday 7:30pm.
(5)….4—Colorado Mammoth* (8-6) A weekend split with Calgary. Friday night a 9-8 OT victory, then falling on Saturday 14-9. Mammoth. Colorado is now 1.5 games out of first with four games left in the regular season. Rookie Alex Boque has started the last three games going 2-1 and playing very well. Mammoth visit Rochester for a Saturday night match up 7:30pm.
(4)….5—Buffalo Bandits (7-7) Back to a .500 record after a 12-11 loss to the Black Wolves. Bandits played from behind the entire game, Buffalo was trailing 12-8 before a final three goal run just fell short as they couldn’t push the tying goal past Evan Kirk in the final 4:30. Buffalo holds the final playoff spot in the east. A loss and the Bandits will have only a 1 game lead on that last playoff spot. A win, and the Swarm will be eliminated. Bandits invade the Swarm Saturday night 8pm.
(6)….6—Minnesota Swarm (5-9) A weekend split for the Swarm. 12-8 win over New England, then a 10-2 swatting by the Knighthawks. Swarm traded fan favorite Andrew Suitor to New England for Joel White, and sent Logan Schuss to Vancouver for Johnny Powless. Swarm will host Buffalo Saturday night 8pm.
(7)….7—Vancouver Stealth (4-9) This is a weekend they like to forget. A pair of losses to Edmonton has now put the losing streak at five. A 15-14 OT loss on Friday night after controlling the first half, then a 17-10 loss on Saturday. Vancouver’s lead for the final playoff spot is only a half a game. Vancouver acquired Logan Schuss at the trade deadline for Johnny Powless. Another big set of games this weekend. Friday night in Toronto 7:30pm, then a game Sunday afternoon as they face the Black Wolves Sunday 1pm.
(8)….8—Calgary Roughnecks (4-10) Once down and considered out of the playoff race. A split this past weekend with Colorado, a 9-8 OT loss then a big 14-9 win now has Calgary only a half game out of the playoffs. Calgary now has another tough home and home weekend. This time its division leading Edmonton. Friday night they host the Rush at 9:30pm before heading to Edmonton for a 9pm Saturday night game. By weeks end, Calgary could be in the third spot in the west, eliminated or still in contention.
(9)….9—New England Black Wolves (4-8) A weekend split puts New England two games behind the Bandits for the final playoff spot in east. 12-8 losses to Minnesota, followed by a big 12-11 win over the Bandits. Big game this weekend as the Stealth come to town. Every win is a must if they want to have any hope of the playoffs, but they also need help. Black Wolves acquired Garrett Billings from Toronto for Kevin Crowley just moments before the trade deadline ended. New England faces Vancouver Sunday 1pm.