By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
1. Colorado Mammoth, (9-3), Colorado got John Grant Jr. back from injury which is crucial to its playoff hopes, but they did split a home-and-home series with the Philadelphia Wings. Both games the Wings and Mammoth played were one-goal games and if that is a preview of the NLL’s Champion’s Cup what a game we will be in store for.
2. Calgary Roughnecks, (8-3), Colorado has gotten most of the attention this season, but the Roughnecks have quietly crept to within a 1/2 game of Colorado. The Roughnecks destroyed Buffalo 17-6 last weekend and with two games this week could have the best record in the league when it is all said and done.
3. Philadelphia Wings (7-5), The Wings record isn’t as impressive as the top two teams, but after competing with Colorado the way they did last weekend, there is plenty of reason to believe that this team is a championship contender.
4. Minnesota Swarm (5-5), Amazingly, the Swarm are the only other team besides the top three who are at .500 or better. The Swarm got absolutely embarrassed by the Washington Stealth on Sunday, but by virtue of their record they remain in fourth place. The NLL’s fourth through ninth place teams are really all pretty even.
5. Toronto Rock (5-6), The Rock got a much needed win last weekend after three straight losses and they have a chance to improve once again as they face Buffalo, a team that has struggled most of the season.
6. Rochester Knighthawks (5-6), The Knighthawks suffered a loss last weekend and have Colorado and Calgary coming up, things could get ugly for Rochester.
7. Washington Stealth (4-8), Every time you almost give up on the Stealth, they reel you back in. Sunday’s 20-13 victory over the Minnesota Swarm was the most impressive performance the team has had all season. The Stealth could easily find themselves out of the playoffs by season’s end. They could just as easily wind up with the No. 3 seed in the West. It’s a crazy league.
8. Edmonton Rush (3-7), The Rush got a big win over the Stealth in Edmonton last Saturday and could have been helped greatly by a Stealth loss to Minnesota on Sunday, but that didn’t happen. Edmonton has proven they can beat Washington (two of its three wins) but not really anyone else. The advantage the Rush do have is by virtue of winning the season series with the Stealth, Edmonton owns the tiebreaker.
9. Buffalo Bandits (4-7), Of the three teams at the bottom of the standings, I put Buffalo in this spot because they appear to be the most inconsistent. They would be in the playoffs if the playoffs started today, but check back in a few weeks.