National Lacrosse League Power Rankings: Week 8

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Week 8 was the weekend of blowouts as the five games were all decided by margins of 5 goals or more. Aside from the big scores there were also very little in terms of surprises as the NLL’s top three teams Edmonton, Buffalo and Rochester each won their games with authority. In Buffalo the Bandits avenged their season opening night loss against the Wings by defeating them 13-7. In Toronto the Rochester Knighthawks took almost half a game to get into high gear and turned a 7-5 deficit into a 17-9 victory. Edmonton won their 7th straight game to open the season as they defeated the Minnesota Swarm 14-9. Their next game, which will be televised on TSN2, will give them a chance to tie the 1993 Buffalo Bandits record of 8 straight wins. The Vancouver Stealth were on both ends of blowouts as they defeated the Colorado Mammoth 19-9 and then lost in Calgary by a similar 20-9 score 24 hours later. Let’s check out the Power Rankings.

1(1)

Edmonton Rush
7-0
The Rush were actually more dominant against the Minnesota Swarm than the 14-9 score indicates. They were leading 12-4 after three periods before the Swarm made it look closer in the final quarter. Edmonton has next weekend off but will play the Toronto Rock on Friday February 28th when they attempt to equal the 1993 Buffalo Bandits record of 8 straight victories to open the season.

2(2)

Buffalo Bandits
6-2
From Anthony Cosmo’s goaltending to defence and offence the Buffalo Bandits were good from start to finish in all aspects of their 13-7 win over the Philadelphia Wings on Saturday. The Bandits now have two weeks off and then meet the Minnesota Swarm on March 8th.

3(3)

Rochester Knighthawks
5-2
It took half a game before the Knighthawks asserted themselves as they fell behind the Toronto Rock 7-5 but from that point on Rochester outscored the Rock 12-2 on route to an easy 17-9 victory. Cody Jamison and Dan Dawson each scored 10 points and Matt Vinc made 45 saves on 54 shots. Next week the Knighthawks are in Calgary to face the Roughnecks.

4(5)

Calgary Roughnecks
4-3
Calgary’s offence was in high gear as they spanked the Vancouver Stealth 20-9 in Calgary on Saturday. Shawn Evans led the way with 4 goals and 7 assists and his 11 point night puts him back among the NLL’s top scorers. Next week’s game against the Rochester Knighthawks will be a measuring stick for the Roughnecks as they have yet to beat a team with a winning record.

5(4)

Toronto Rock
3-4
The Toronto Rock must have been having flashbacks of last year’s embarrassing 20-11 playoff exit at the hands of the Minnesota Swarm when Rochester defeated them 17-9 on Saturday. As bad as the final score looks, it doesn’t tell you that Rochester scored 11 straight goals against the Rock. Toronto will need a big bounce back next Saturday when they play against the aforementioned Minnesota Swarm.

6(6)

Colorado Mammoth
4-7
The Colorado Mammoth were another team that were on the wrong end of a wipeout on the weekend. Many of us expected the Vancouver Stealth to have a strong pushback after losing 5 in a row but the Mammoth felt the full brunt of Vancouver’s frustration as the Stealth outscored Colorado19-9. Colorado, the NLL’s busiest team, will finally get some time off as they don’t play until they meet Rochester on March 1st.

7(7)

Philadelphia Wings
3-6
The Philadelphia Wings lost their third game in a row as they were defeated by the Buffalo Bandits 13-7 in Buffalo on Saturday. Kevin Crowley continues to struggle offensively and only had 1 goal and 1 assist for the Wings. Next Sunday the Wings will welcome the Minnesota Swarm one night after they play in Toronto.

8(8)

Vancouver Stealth
3-7
The Vancouver Stealth’s weekend started off great as they beat up the Mammoth 19-9 but ended on a losing note as they suffered a similar defeat the next night in Calgary when they lost 20-9 in Calgary. Looking on the bright side the Stealth have to be pleased with the offence they got in Colorado, especially the contribution from Brett Bucktooth who scored 6 goals and 6 assists. Coach Hall will likely cut his team some slack for Saturday due to fatigue and he’ll have 2 weeks to prepare for his next Vancouver’s next game in Edmonton on March 8th.

9(9)

Minnesota Swarm
1-6
Minnesota lost their fourth game in a row as they were defeated 14-9 by the red hot Edmonton Rush. Next weekend will be a huge make or break weekend for the Swarm as they travel to Toronto on Saturday and then Philadelphia on Sunday to meet the two teams they must catch if they hope to make a run for a playoff spot.
A longtime TV analyst for lacrosse, Shanny calls games for TSN. Shanny won five Mann Cups as a player and is the voice of boxla in Canada. Email him at brian.shanahan@nllinsider.com or follow him at @sbdshanny.

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