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Week 2 Power Rankings

The 2022-23 NLL Season got underway this past weekend, and to say that fans across North America were treated to fantastic games and elite player performances would be an understatement.

From decisive blowout victories to nail-biting, down-to-the-wire finishes, teams around the league were tirelessly attempting to prove why their team should be the odds-on favorite to win the NLL Cup, and of course, the hearts of fans worldwide.

Following a highly-competitive set of games, here are your Power Rankings following Week 1

#1 – Toronto Rock (1-0)

Week 1 Result: 19-8 win vs. Vancouver Warriors

Week 2 Opponent: Rochester Knighthawks

Previous Ranking: N/A

Coming into NLL #FaceOffWeekend, the Rock were already a favorite to contend for the NLL Cup. After their impressive performance against the Warriors in which players at every position look in mid-season form, it’s easy to understand why. The new pieces added to this team will only strengthen their chances of champion success. Week 1 proved as much from Nick Rose forward, it would be hard to find a Rock player who underdelivered.

#2 – Halifax Thunderbirds (1-0)

Week 1 Result: 18-8 win vs. Philadelphia Wings

Week 2 Opponent: Bye

Previous Ranking: N/A

From the opening whistle, the Halifax Thunderbirds went after the Wings as though they were still upset at how their championship hopes were dashed in the first round of the NLL Playoffs last season. New and returning stars shined, while the veterans were happy to help facilitate the ball around the floor with precision. Top-notch goaltending and electrifying defense made for a complete effort from the Thunderbirds.

#3 – Saskatchewan Rush (1-0)

Week 1 Result: 18-6 win vs. Colorado Mammoth

Week 2 Opponent: San Diego Seals

Previous Ranking: N/A

The Rush’s 60-minute masterpiece was arguably one of the most impressive wins against a reigning NLL Champion in recent memory. Highlighted by their signature suffocating defense, a very impressive goaltending performance from Alex Buque and a vintage goal-scoring barrage, the Rush managed to secure a signature West Conference win to start the season.

#4 – San Diego Seals (1-0)

Week 1 Result: 15-14 win vs. New York Riptide

Week 2 Opponent: Saskatchewan Rush

Previous Ranking: N/A

The San Diego Seals have constructed one of, if not the most lethal offenses in NLL history. 15 goals against the improved defense and goaltending of the Riptide is just the beginning for this team. As the weeks roll by, there is little doubt that this team will continue to get better offensively. That should translate to improved results all over the floor as the season progresses.

#5 – Buffalo Bandits (0-1)

Week 1 Result: 11-10 loss vs. Albany FireWolves

Week 2 Opponent: Bye

Previous Ranking: N/A

The Bandits have one of the most balanced rosters in the league. With superstar or all-star talents at every position, their season and home-opening loss to a very strong and ambitious club like the FireWolves will only fuel their desire to secure win after win. Backed by the NLL’s 2021-22 MVP Dhane Smith and a legend in Matt Vinc in net, and anyone in between, these Bandits are still looking to avenge last year’s NLL Finals loss.

Next 3 In (in alphabetical order)

Albany FireWolves (1-0)

Week 1 Result: 11-10 win vs. Buffalo Bandits

Week 2 Opponent: Bye

Previous Ranking: N/A

They say defense wins championships. Well, if the FireWolves mostly youthful defense and the former NLL Goaltender of the Year can continue to play like they did in Week 1, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for this team. Off-season adjustments to the offense will require time to get them flowing like the back-end, but this underdog team from Week 1 could be a “sleeper” team to keep a watch on.

Colorado Mammoth (0-1)

Week 1 Result: 18-6 loss vs. Saskatchewan Rush

Week 2 Opponent: Bye

Previous Ranking: N/A

The Colorado Mammoth are the 2021-22 NLL Champions. No one can take that away from them. Still missing Ryan Lee (for now) hurts, but most of the pieces from the championship winning squad are still present and there is no doubt they want to be repeat champions. In the aftermath of their loss, the team acted swiftly and acquired forward Rhys Duch. This shows that the Mammoth mean business and that they will do what they think it takes to win.

New York Riptide (0-1)

Week 1 Result: 15-14 loss vs. San Diego Seals

Week 2 Opponent: Bye

Previous Ranking: N/A

Even though the Riptide didn’t complete what was almost one of the most remarkable fourth quarter comebacks in NLL History, Jeff Teat, Callum Crawford and company showed many glimpses of how dangerous this team can be. With an improved, deeper defense and an older, wiser, more capable Steven Orleman in net paired with a very potent offense, things are looking pretty good on Long Island, even despite the loss.

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