IL Indoor's Brian Shanahan has released his NLL Power Rankings after Week #1 of the 2014 season. (Photo: Jack Dempsey)
With the 2014 National Lacrosse League season underway, Brian Shanahan has released his NLL Power Rankings on IL Indoor after Week #1. As expected, the back-to-back defending champion Rochester Knighthawks sit atop the poll after a hard-earned defensive battle win while the Edmonton Rush find themselves ranked second after earning their first victory in a season opener since 2007.
"The 2014 NLL season is underway as 6 of the NLL’s 9 teams started this past weekend," Shanahan writes. "We enter the 2014 season with a sense of optimism we haven’t seen in a while. Commissioner Daniel’s mantra throughout his regime has been stability over expansion. Last year he told me that the owners needed a CBA that would create a more attractive business model for potential expansion. They got that this past summer and you have to believe that the NLL is in a great position for future expansion."
1) Rochester Knighthawks (1-0)
"The two time defending champs defeated the Minnesota Swarm 8-6 in their home opener. With a reduced number of teams making the playoffs this season the Knighthawks will have to get in playoff mode early. Despite only getting 34 shots at Minnesota the Knighthawks got playoff goaltending from Matt Vinc and 6 points from Dan Dawson. Rochester has next week off and then host Philly on January 11."
2) Edmonton Rush (1-0)
"The Edmonton Rush never got a goal from last year’s rookie of the year Mark Matthews yet were still able to defeat the Mammoth 13-11 in Denver. Curtis Knight led all Edmonton shooters with 3 goals and 3 assists while Zack Greer had 3 and 2. Edmonton has next week off but will get a rematch against the Mammoth in Edmonton on January 11th."
Three more teams begin their season in Week #2 as the Toronto Rock host the Calgary Roughnecks at Air Canada Centre for a matchup of 2013 regular season division champions on Friday, Jan. 3 at 7:30 p.m. ET while the Vancouver Stealth open their 2014 schedule on the road against the Colorado Mammoth at Pepsi Center on Saturday, Jan. 4 at 9 p.m. ET.