By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
1. Toronto Rock (4-1), The Rock had a 2-0 weekend to improve to 4-1 and take over first place in the East from Philadelphia. Toronto gets a test in its next game from Buffalo, which has been playing very good lacrosse to start the season.
2. Buffalo Bandits (3-1), The Bandits have the second-best record in the NLL and just this last weekend got revenge on the Philadelphia Wings for their only loss of the season. A team that I had near the bottom of the rankings at the beginning of the season now appears to be one of the better teams in the league.
3. Washington Stealth (3-2), A 1-1 road trip for the Stealth. They avenged their first loss of the season to Edmonton with an impressive 12-10 road victory over the Rush, but went into Minnesota the next night and gave the Swarm their first win of the season. There is no question the Stealth are much-improved, but consistency moving forward will be key.
4. Calgary Roughnecks (2-2), After opening the season 0-2, the Roughnecks put it together last weekend with two straight victories. Really this is no surprise. Calgary is loaded with talent and it was only a matter of time until they righted the ship.
5. Philadelphia Wings (2-2), Last week’s No. 1 team in the rankings fell to fifth after going 0-2 last weekend. Panic is not necessary for this team, Philadelphia is a team that will be there at the end of the season, but they are also young and spurts of bad play every once in a while shouldn’t be too surprising. Not backing off my pick of the Wings to win the whole thing.
6. Edmonton Rush (1-2), Rush proved what they can be two weekends ago with their 18-10 dismantling of Washington, but then missed a golden opportunity to put themselves near the top of the West Division by falling to that same Stealth team just five days later. A lot of changes on the offensive end for the Rush, when they have developed total chemistry with each other this team could be scary good.
7. Minnesota Swarm (1-2), The record doesn’t look that impressive, but they beat the Stealth and had a commanding lead against Toronto before coughing it up. This is a young team too, but they have a lot of talent. Minnesota should improve throughout the season and lookout if they peak late like they did a year ago.
8. Colorado Mammoth (1-2), The Mammoth got spanked this past weekend by a Calgary team that looked very good. Both losses this season have been at home and the Mammoth have looked very bad in both games.
9. Rochester Knighthawks (0-3), This team is way too talented to be last and way too good to be winless. For Stealth fans, you better hope the Knighthawks don’t wake up this weekend.