After seven National Lacrosse League games in NLL Week 7, the contenders are beginning to separate themselves from the pretenders. Check out the updated NLL Power Rankings by Brian Shanahan on IL Indoor after a wild weekend with Week 8 up next with four games on the schedule.
“We headed into Week 7 of the National Lacrosse League with first place up for grabs in both the East and the West divisions,” Shanahan writes. “The schedule makers knew what they were doing as we had a home and home match up between the first-place contenders in both the East and West divisions. In both cases, we got sweeps.”
1) Toronto Rock (6-1): The Toronto Rock could not have had a better weekend. In sweeping the Minnesota Swarm (16-4 on Friday and 14-9 on Saturday) the Rock got solid performances from both goaltenders Brandon Miller and Nick Rose, balanced scoring from the offense, and smothering defense from the back end. Sandy Chapman, who didn’t score a point this weekend, was one of the more valuable Rock players as he flattened a number of Swarm players in the Toronto end. Toronto would be wise not to look past next weekend’s home game against the New England Black Wolves but as fans we can start anticipating their game against the Edmonton Rush in two weeks’ time.
2) Edmonton Rush (4-2) (+1): Edmonton’s poor start to the 2015 season seems like a distant memory now. The Rush have taken over first place by sweeping the Colorado Mammoth with scores of 11-7 and 13-7. Mark Matthews and Zack Greer scored 7 goals each over the weekend but Edmonton’s trademark continues to be its dominant defense as they only allowed 38 shots by Mammoth on Friday and 46 on Sunday. Edmonton has now won 4 games in a row and its next game is against the Toronto Rock in Edmonton in two weeks.
5) Colorado Mammoth (3-3) (-3): Colorado got a wakeup call from the Edmonton Rush as it lost both games to the Rush by scores of 11-7 and 13-7. Special teams played a part in the weekend as Colorado went 1-for-8 on the power play (and allowed a short-handed goal against) on Friday. On Sunday, the Mammoth were 1-for-3 on the power play and Edmonton scored 4-for-6. Colorado has now lost three straight games and it’ll hope to put an end to that losing streak when they travel to New England next Sunday.
9) Calgary Roughnecks (0-6): What can I say about Calgary that hasn’t already been said? They lost again. Next week is a must-win for the Roughnecks as they host the Vancouver Stealth for their third meeting of the season. If Calgary loses seven straight (including three against the Stealth) they could strike off the Stealth as a catchable team in the West standings. Wins have to come now.
Click here for the Shanny’s full rankings and expert analysis on IL Indoor.