By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
1. Toronto Rock (8-3), The Rock scored an impressive five-goal victory over Philadelphia last Saturday, sending the Wings to their second-straight defeat. With a 2 1/2 game lead over the closest team in the East Division, it’s beginning to look like the road to the NLL championship out East will go through Toronto.
2. Edmonton Rush (6-5), The Rush rebounded from a slow start to the season and now are just a half-game behind Washington for first place in the NLL’s West Division. With two games this weekend the Rush could move into first place with two victories. A team that looked like it might be in for a disappointing season after making the NLL championship game a year ago, now looks like it might be one of the favorites.
3. Calgary Roughnecks (6-5), The Roughnecks were idle last weekend, but could find themselves back in a tie for first place after this weekend. A win, and at least one Edmonton loss this weekend and Calgary will be back a top the division with the Washington Stealth.
4. Washington Stealth (7-5), The Stealth missed a golden opportunity to distance themselves from the division last weekend, instead suffering an embarrassing 12-5 loss to the Minnesota Swarm. Washington can no longer win the division by winning out, the Stealth will need at least a little help to clinch home-field in the West playoffs.
5. Philadelphia Wings (5-5), Just when it looked like the Wings were ready to challenge the Rock for the lead in the East, Philly loses two games in a row and needs to rebound with the Bandits right its tail.
6. Buffalo Bandits (5-6), The Bandits could have gone a long way toward solidifying a playoff spot with a victory over Colorado last weekend. But with a three-goal loss the Bandits remain in a log jam in the middle of the standings and game hope to a Colorado team that looked as if it was on its last legs.
7. Minnesota Swarm (4-7), The Swarm scored a very impressive victory over Washington last Saturday to end a three-game losing streak and get back into the playoff picture. It could be the type of victory that sparks a late-season run.
8. Rochester Knighthawks (4-6), The Knighthawks fell 11-9 in a rematch of last year’s NLL championship game last Saturday. Rochester, Colorado and Minnesota look as though they will be fighting it out to the finish for the final two playoff spots.
9. Colorado Mammoth (4-7), Still last on the list, but no longer ready for last rites after last weekend’s victory over Buffalo.