By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
Before we get to this week’s installment of the National Lacrosse League Power Rankings, it is worth noting some of the deals that were made and not made leading up to Tuesday’s trade deadline.
Two moves — one made and one not made have the most connection to Washington Stealth fans, though neither involved the Stealth. The Toronto Rock acquired goaltender Nick Rose from Calgary for a conditional second-round pick in the 2014 NLL entry draft. That deal led to the release of Rock starting goalkeeper Matt Roik. Roik was acquired from the Stealth this past offseason for Kyle Ross and has started in goal for the Rock all season. Roik was a reserve for the East All-Stars this season, but had lost his last three starts. Roik gave up a season-high 16 goals on 38 shots in Friday’s 21-14 loss to Buffalo, which had lost six straight.
“In this case, I don’t feel our guys were playing well enough in front of Matt,” Toronto general manager Terry Sanderson said in a press release on the NLL’s website. “After I talked it over with the coaches and a few other people, they had a lot of the same feeling that I did and that’s why I made the move.
The defending NLL champs from Toronto have gone from being in a first place battle with Philadelphia to a tie for last place in the East Division in just two weeks time.
The other deal that Stealth fans will know about was a deal that wasn’t made. Transition player Paul Rabil was a former fan favorite in Everett, but was traded last earlier in the season to Edmonton for Athan Iannucci. Rabil has not reported to Edmonton and their has been plently of speculation he would be dealt to a team on the east coast closer to his home, but that trade never materialized before the deadline.
In other trade deadline moves, the Colorado Mammoth traded for Jamie Shewchuk in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2012 entry draft and Rochester picked up the rights to Jamison Koesterer from the Stealth for a conditional third-round pick in the 2013 draft.
Transitioning back to news on the floor, three teams have a chance to lock up a playoff berth this weekend. Colorado gets into the playoffs with one victory over Philadelphia in this weekend’s home-and-home series or two Washington Stealth losses. The Stealth travel to Edmonton on Saturday and are back at home for a game against the Minnesota Swarm on Sunday.
The Philadelphia Wings can clinch a berth with a sweep over Colorado and two Stealth losses and the Calgary Roughnecks can get in with a win over Buffalo and two Stealth losses.
With the playoffs fast approaching, the power rankings continue to change on a weekly basis. Here is the Week 10 installment.
1. Colorado Mammoth (8-2), The Mammoth were idle last weekend, but remain on top of the rankings with the league’s best record.
2. Calgary Roughnecks (7-3), Same story for the Roughnecks. They did not play last weekend, but they remain in second place in both the rankings and the West Division just a game behind the Mammoth.
3. Philadelphia Wings (6-4), The Wings scored a one-goal victory over the Edmonton Rush last weekend and now have a one game lead over Rochester for first place in the East. One of last year’s worst teams can clinch a playoff berth this weekend if things go its way.
4. Rochester Knighthawks (5-5), The Knighthawks continue to lurk quietly in the East. They were idle last weekend, but remain just a game out of first place. They rise a spot with Minnesota’s loss last weekend.
5. Minnesota Swarm (5-4), Minnesota had a great opportunity to make a run at the West Division crown, but suffered a bad loss to Buffalo this past weekend. The Swarm shouldn’t have any problem making the playoffs, but winning the division now appears to be almost entirely out of the question.
6. Buffalo Bandits (4-6), Welcome back to life Buffalo! The Bandits scored two victories last weekend after losing six straight to put themselves right back into the thick of the playoff race. The Bandits make the biggest rise on the rankings this week jumping three spots.
7. Washington Stealth (3-7), The Stealth were idle last weekend, but after the offense came alive in their home victory over Colorado on March 11 there is reason to believe that the Stealth have turned a corner.
8. Toronto Rock (4-6), The Rock appear to be in a bit of disarray. They dropped another game last weekend and now are in a last place tie in the East Division. It is unlikely that the Rock will miss the playoffs, but they are certainly on a slide. Keep an eye on the goaltending situation after the Rock traded for Nick Rose and released Matt Roik.
9. Edmonton Rush (2-7), It’s beginning to look more and more like the Rush will be the team on the outside of the playoffs looking in. They missed a great chance for a victory last weekend with a one-goal loss to Philadelphia.