NLL Week 16 Staff Picks

Both still vying for a playoff berth, the Buffalo Bandits host the Rochester Knighthawks Saturday at 7:30pm EST (Photo: Bill Wippert)
Both still vying for a playoff berth, the Buffalo Bandits host the Rochester Knighthawks Saturday at 7:30pm EST (Photo: Bill Wippert)

The final weekend of regular season National Lacrosse League action features eight of the nine teams in four games all on Saturday evening.

Kicking off the night, the Buffalo Bandits (6-9) host New York rivals the Rochester Knighthawks (7-8), both of which are still vying a spot in the playoffs.  Also hoping for a playoff berth, the Colorado Mammoth (6-9) head to Minnesota to face the Swarm (7-8).  In the last of four Battles of Alberta, the Calgary Roughnecks (8-7) head north to face the Edmonton Rush (9-6).  In the final game of the weekend and the final game of the regular season, the Stealth (8-7) welcome in the Philadelphia Wings (7-8) to Washington.

The Toronto Rock and Philadelphia Wings have secured playoff berths in the East Division and are joined by the Edmonton Rush, Calgary Roughnecks, Washington Stealth, and Minnesota Swarm from the West Division.   Who are the final two teams going to be? Nothing like leaving it to the last games of the season to determine playoff teams.

This still has the potential to go wrong, but, not only have I made my .500 mark, I’ve surpassed it (and yes, I danced a little in my living room when it happened), and, AND, I’m not last anymore.  I bet this is what Marty had felt like for weeks! Have you noticed? He’s rocking in the picks department.  Sitting at 30-32-6 going into week 16, fans can cast their vote in our fan poll until the start of each game.

Still stuck on who to pick this week? Bob and Stephen break down their picks for you:

Rochester @ Buffalo

There’s a lot on the line for this, but I like the veteran defense of Rochester to put the clamps on the Buffalo youngsters, who played a key role in Buffalo’s season-saving win last weekend. – Chavez

I know, I know. The Bandits have lost six of seven and look like a team in disarray. But they just seem to step up their play for big games and it will help that there are 19,000+ expected to be on hand for this one. It’ll be vintage Banditland atmosphere and may just help Buffalo squeak this one out. – Stamp

Colorado @ Minnesota

Both are playing great ball, although the Mammoth had the wind taken out of their sails a bit last weekend. It’s just too tough to pick against the Swarm and the way they, well, swarm, opponents. Very impressive, and it makes the Swarm my darkhorse for an NLL title run. – Chavez

The Swarm seem to be hitting on all cylinders, but Tye Belanger is a resilient goalie and I expect him to have a big-time bounceback game against Minnesota this weekend. – Stamp

Calgary @ Edmonton

The Rush got the Riggers, finally, in their last meeting. But the Roughnecks are fueled by the desire to snap their 2-game losing streak. They won’t let this one get away. – Chavez

Every game this weekend is very difficult to pick, but this may be the most difficult. The Rush look like the most complete team in the league right now and Calgary is probably missing Dane Dobbie, who leads the league in goals per game. That all seems to point in favour of Edmonton, but I just have a feeling the Roughnecks will pull this one out. My feelings have been pretty good most of the year, although a little shaky lately. – Stamp

Philadelphia @ Washington

It didn’t work last week for the Stealth against Buffalo, but I like their home-floor advantage to work this week against Philly. – Chavez

I’ve officially flopped back and forth on every pick this week. I’m landing on Philly here because Brendan Mundorf seems to be making an impact now that he’s back close to full strength and Brandon Miller has been getting better down the stretch rather than fading. The motivation for the Wings is getting a home playoff game for the first time in ages. – Stamp

Week 16 Picks

Chavez
35-33
Stamp
38-30
Shanny
36-32
Bridgman
35-33
Jenner
35-33
O’Neill
41-27
Pilson
34-34
Vock
35-32
Saturday
ROC @ BUF

COL @ MIN
CAL @ EDM
PHI @ WAS

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