Wednesday, March 07, 2012

NLL Game Balls and Power Poll- Week 9

The second half of the National Lacrosse League season is underway as team begin the final push for the playoffs. After a short break for the All-Star game, the Power Poll is back and once again we have a lot of movement. First, lets hand out some game balls from the weekend.


Mike Accursi, Rochester- The veteran had two goals and an assist in the fourth quarter including the game-winner against Philadelphia. He finished with three goals, four assists and five ground balls.

Kevin Croswell, Washington- Croswell was peppered with 50 shots against the Rock on the road and turned away 41 of those. He held Toronto to just four goals in the first half as the Stealth were able to build a three-goal halftime advantage.

John Grant, Jr., Colorado- Junior has assumed his weekly spot here again this week. Grant had nine points on four goals and five assists including his 500th career goal. He became only the third player in NLL history to score 500 career goals, joining Bandits forward John Tavares and NLL legend Gary Gait.

Ryan Benesch, Minnesota- Benesch netted two second half power play goals en route to a seven point night leading the Swarm over Calgary.


1- Colorado Mammoth 7-1(Last Week 1). Colorado just continues to stream roll the league. They did have the one hiccup against Calgary, but there is no stopping John Grant, Jr. who may be having the best season of his career which is saying a lot seen as he has been on top of the league for the last decade.

2- Calgary Roughnecks 5-3 (3). Calgary's three game win streak was halted by Minnesota over the weekend. I was tempted to drop them behind the Swarm, but Calgary is still a better overall team.

3- Minnesota Swarm 5-3 (4). The Swarm have made an impressive rise up the Power Poll this season. Through the first half of the season, no team has been more surprising than Minnesota.

4- Rochester Knighthawks 4-5 (9). No one in the East is playing well right now, but the Knighthawks are 2-1 over the last couple of weeks. Their one loss came to Toronto, but they have struggled as well. Toronto has lost Philadelphia who just lost to Rochester so any of these three teams can take this spot.

5- Philadelphia Wings 4-4 (5). Still can not get a good read on the Wings. They had a big win over Toronto, but followed it up with a loss at home to Rochester. Unfortunately, week in and week out, bad Philly can show up just as much as good Philly.

6- Toronto Rock 4-4 (2). The Rock got hammered by Washington who has not been that great this season so Toronto gets slotted behind Rochester and Philadelphia. At this point, the East is a three-team race, but not sure which team is ready to step up.

7- Edmonton Rush 2-4 (6). The Rush haven't played since Feb. 24 with a home win over Philadelphia so we will dub them the best of the rest. Out of the bottom three, they look to be the team most likely to make a run in the second half.

8- Washington Stealth 2-6 (7). Washington snapped a three-game losing streak with a win over Toronto on Saturday. The Stealth had a lot of potential to start the season, but just don't look like a complete team.

9- Buffalo Bandits 2-5 (8). Things are just ugly in Banditland. They have lost five straight and as I mentioned in the preseason, it looks like age is catching up to Buffalo. They did trade for Anthony Cosmo although they already had an All-Star goalie in Mike Thompson. Unless they plan to deal Thompson for some help on offense, the season may be done for the Bandits.

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