Games of the Week - Week 15
It’s been a hectic season in the NLL. Through 13 games - for most teams - we’ve seen upsets, overtime thrillers, and last-minute comebacks.
Heading into Week 15 of the season, there are some truly exciting matchups for NLL fans to sit down and watch this week.
Every game has playoff implications, with some teams looking to stay alive and others looking to cement their spot in the postseason.
In a new series on Lacrosse Flash, we rank every game of the week based on watchability. There are some juicy showdowns, so let’s get into which games you should be searching out on B/R Live this weekend.
1) San Diego Seals vs. Saskatchewan Rush (Friday)
There are a few big games in the East Division this weekend. However, the battle of the top two teams in the West is the must-watch game of the week.
Saskatchewan lost a heartbreaker in overtime to the Buffalo Bandits last weekend. They also lost their starting goalie, Evan Kirk, after he took a shot below the belt. He went for an MRI and his status going forward is still unknown.
Adam Schute had a shaky start after coming into the game, but he settled down and finished strong.
It’s hard to bet against the Rush, but playing at Pechanga Arena will certainly benefit the Seals.
If San Diego can pull out the win, they’ll extend their lead atop the divison to two games. If Saskatchewan can get the road victory, however, we’ll see a tie for tops in the West.
With seven games remaining for each team, this is a biggie in terms of the standings.
2) Buffalo Bandits vs. Toronto Rock (Saturday)
This is the biggest weekend of the Rock’s season.
They have a road back-to-back weekend against the top two teams in the East Division. While the team will be focused on their Friday matchup with the Georgia Swarm, it’ll be Saturday’s game against the Bandits that’ll be the more intriguing showdown.
This is the first time Toronto and Buffalo have seen each other since the season opener. The Rock went into KeyBank Center back in December and potted 17 goals on Matt Vinc in a massive performance to start the year.
Buffalo finds itself first in the East Division, but the Rock also have three games in hand on the Bandits. Sitting just 1.5 games back of first, the Rock could find themselves atop the division with a good weekend.
3) Georgia Swarm vs. Toronto Rock (Friday)
The Rock will have to take down the Swarm on Friday before facing the Bandits. That’s been easier said than done in the past for Toronto.
Before this year, the Rock were 1-6 all-time against Georgia in the regular season. The teams have split the pair of games this year and could face off for a fourth time in the playoffs - if the standings stay the same.
The Rock would clinch a playoff spot with a win or losses by both the Philadelphia Wings and Rochester Knighthawks.
4/5) Colorado Mammoth vs. Vancouver Warriors (Friday & Saturday)
Talk about a big set of games. Vancouver and Colorado will finish their season series over the weekend with a home-and-home series.
The Warriors won 11-10 in overtime in the first meeting at Rogers Arena. Logan Schuss managed to pot the OT winner after scoring the game-tying goal in the final five minutes of play.
So why is this set of games so big? Both teams are tied for the fourth and final playoff spot in the West. With just five teams in the division, there’s a real possibility that one of these teams will be on the outside looking in when the postseason rolls around.
It’ll be a high-intensity weekend for the pair of foes and a must watch matchup for NLL fans.
5) Calgary Roughnecks vs. Rochester Knighthawks (Saturday)
Calgary could extinguish Rochester’s playoff aspirations this weekend.
The Knighthawks had a positive pair of games a week ago, but they weren’t able to pull out a win.
Chris Boushy had a standout week, earning first star of the week honours from Lacrosse Flash for his nine-goal, 13-point explosion in the pair of games. He’ll get a chance to face the team that traded him this week.
Calgary is holding down the third spot in the West Division. They’ll be paying close attention to the Vancouver/Colorado home-and-home this weekend. Both of those teams sit 1 1/2 games back of the Riggers heading into action. A win against Rochester would give them some breathing room, but the stretch run should produce some great games in the West.
6) New England Black Wolves vs. Philadelphia Wings (Saturday)
This game finds itself in last because of the other matchups and what’s on the line for the other teams in action.
The Wings seem to be finding a new way to lose in heartbreaking fashion every week. It’s definitely hard on the fanbase, but hopefully, trusting the process works out for another Philly team.
New England will find out the fate of Callum Crawford in the next 24 hours. If his suspension is upheld, he’ll be sitting the next five games - he’s already missed one game after his high hit on Brad Kri was upgraded to a match penalty.
They will, however, be getting back another big offensive contributor in Kevin Buchanan. The lefty was moved from the short term hold out list to the active roster on Monday.
Philadelphia has been all but eliminated from the playoff picture. A loss to the Black Wolves would be the final nail in the coffin.