NLL Week 6 Staff Picks

Can the Rush remain undefeated? Edmonton hosts the Rochester Knighthwks Saturday night. (Photo: Bill Wippert)
Can the Rush remain undefeated? Edmonton hosts the Rochester Knighthwks Saturday night. (Photo: Bill Wippert)

We’re back to a fairly regular schedule for week six in the NLL. All teams but the Calgary Roughnecks will see action this weekend with the Toronto Rock and Vancouver Stealth playing twice.

In the only game on Friday night, the Vancouver Stealth (2-3) start their eastern road trip in Toronto (1-2) before heading to Philly to play the Wings (2-3) on Saturday night. The Rock and Stealth haven’t played each other since April 2012. In their second game of the weekend, the Rock make the short cross-border trip to Buffalo – can they end the Bandits (4-1) win streak? Both teams looking to rebound, the Colorado Mammoth (2-5) are hosts to the Minnesota Swarm (1-3). The last game of the weekend, the Edmonton Rush (4-0) look to extend their streak as they host their 2012 Champions Cup opponents, the Rochester Knighthawks (3-1).

Do the win streaks continue for the Rush and Bandits? I think no, but the ILIndoor team is pretty split. What do you think? Fans can vote for the winners up to 30 minutes before the start of each game.

Fun Fact: The Buffalo Bandits’ four game win streak is nowhere close to their franchise high. The Bandits won 22 consecutive games from February 8, 1992 – February 5, 1994.

Here’s how we see it playing out this weekend:

Vancouver at Toronto
The Rock are hungry and haven’t played in a while so they’ll get out of the gate in a hurry, because they know they have to. – Chavez

We’ll see whether the bye week has benefitted the Rock and they come out ready to play, or if the Stealth learn from last week’s loss to Edmonton and they’re ready to play a full 60 minutes. Should be a great game. – Stamp

Toronto at Buffalo
The Bandits are playing very well and getting some great goaltending from Anthony Cosmo. They’re on a bit of a roll that will continue. – Chavez

Very tough to call, but I just see a split as more likely than one team sweeping the pair of games these teams will have played in the last few weeks. The Bandits, save for the final five minutes against Rochester when they let their foot off the gas, have looked awfully good, though. – Stamp

Vancouver at Philadelphia
The offensive organization is a bit more complete for the Stealth and they’ll be able to find the space they need to find against the Wings. – Chavez

The Wings, probably more than any team because they have so many new players this year, should have benefitted from the early-season bye week to build some chemistry. But what really builds chemistry is going to battle together. Philly will be a handful for the Stealth, but I see Vancouver pulling this one out. – Stamp

Minnesota at Colorado
The Mammoth get some key offensive pieces back this weekend and combined with the momentum from last week’s big win, they’ll pull this one off against the Swarm. – Chavez

Another team coming off a bye week that I’m unsure how it will affect. My guess is the practice time will help the Swarm pull together and start to play more the way we’ve all expected them to, with transition scoring chances helping to supplement the offensive set and an athletic defence limiting what Colorado can do in the offensive zone. On the other hand, Casey Powell is back for the Mammoth. Again, very tough to call. – Stamp

Rochester at Edmonton
Toughest call of the season because both teams are so good at every spot on the floor. Rochester has a bit more experience out the front door and that’ll be the difference. – Chavez

Two outstanding teams, but with the Rush playing well at home and looking right now like the most complete team in the league, I’ve gotta go with Edmonton. – Stamp

Week 6 Picks

Chavez
12-9
Stamp
11-10
Shanny
13-8
Bridgman
12-9
Jenner
7-14
O’Neill
10-11
Pilson
10-11
Vock
10-11
Friday
VAN @ TOR
Saturday
TOR @ BUF
VAN @ PHI
MIN @ COL
ROC @ EDM

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