Games of The Week - Week 16
1) Calgary vs. San Diego
You can’t go wrong by watching a game featuring the San Diego Seals these days.
They picked up the biggest win in franchise history last week, beating the defending champion Saskatchewan Rush at Pechanga Arena. Their second straight win gave them a two-game lead atop the West Division standings.
Saturday’s game against the Roughnecks could be a possible playoff matchup, with seeding still up in the air. Calgary managed to jump into the second spot in the West with a victory over Rochester last week.
This will be the rubber match between the two West Division foes. The Riggers took the first game of the year 9-5, while the Seals managed to take the second showdown 15-9.
Curtis Dickson and Garrett Billings are two of the hottest players in the league, and they’ll go head to head in this game. This matchup should also offer a solid head-to-head in between the pipes as Christian Del Bianco and Frank Scigliano should start for their respective teams.
This game has massive implications on the standings. A San Diego win would see them gain a three-game lead in the West, while a Calgary victory would put them just a game back of the top spot.
2) Toronto vs. Philadelphia
This game has added importance after last week, when the Wings jumped out of the basement of the East Division with a 13-8 victory over the New England Black Wolves on home floor.
The Rock will return home after a disastrous double-header weekend that saw them drop games to Georgia and Buffalo - while scoring just 11 goals in the process.
Philly and Toronto have already met twice this season. It was the Rock taking each game in nail biting fashion - each game was decided by a single goal, with the first matchup ending in overtime.
Philadelphia has had a miserable season at times, but some of their best lacrosse this season has come against Toronto.
If the Rock pull out a victory at home - where they’ve gone 5-1 on the year - they’ll clinch a playoff spot. They can also make their way into the postseason if Rochester loses to New England.
There’s a lot on the line at Scotiabank Arena on Saturday night. It should be another solid game in what has become a renewed rivalry in the East.
3) New England vs. Rochester
There’s no other way to say it: This game is do or die for the Knighthawks.
The Wings leapfrogged the Hawks in the standings last weekend with their win over the same Black Wolves. Rochester needs to win out and get a lot of help along the way to have any shot at the NLL Cup in 2019.
Rochester gets the unfortunate task of welcoming MVP candidate Callum Crawford back. The forward missed a pair of games for elbowing the Rock’s Brad Kri back in February. An independent arbitrator reduced his original five-game ban to one-game after an appeal. He sat out last week’s game and will be available to return to the lineup on
The last two spots in the East playoff picture could be locked up this weekend. The Black Wolves would clinch with a win or a Philadelphia loss to Toronto.
4) Saskatchewan vs. Vancouver
Last week, Saskatchewan found themselves at the top of this list for their showdown with the Seals. This week, however, is a different story.
The Rush haven’t been their usual dominant selves this season. Evan Kirk missed the team’s last game and there has been no update regarding his status going forward.
Vancouver put up a valiant effort in their first half of a home-and-home series against the Colorado Mammoth last weekend, but they scored just four times in the second game at the Pepsi Center. It doesn’t get easier for the Warriors, as they have to match up with the defending NLL Cup champions on Saturday.
These teams have faced off twice already this season, with the Rush taking each of the games at Rogers Arena. Now, the action shifts to the rowdy SaskTel Centre.
Vancouver has dropped three of its last four games. This is a must-win game with their playoff hopes on the line. However, it’s hard to bet against the Rush in any game, especially when they’re on home floor.