The Bandits are back! After I said last week that I wouldn’t be picking the Bandits until they proved they “are worthy of a pick”, they proved just that. Obviously my statement was the straw that broke the camel’s back, the thing that finally kept them going during the games and got them to play as well as we thought they would at the beginning of the year. Similarly, right after I said I wouldn’t pick the Stealth until they started winning, they started winning. Post hoc ergo propter hoc.
So I ended up 0-2 on Bandits games. At least I got the Philly / Edmonton game right, though not by much. Six games this weekend, so let’s get to them.
Record: 17-27 (.386)
|PHI @ COL||Now that the Mammoth don’t suck anymore, the Pepsi Center is a tough place for visitors to win again. John Grant will not be back this weekend, though my prediction of the Mammoth offense not being as good without him didn’t really come true. They really stepped up last weekend in his absence, and I see no reason why they couldn’t do it again, though the Philly defense has been really solid lately.|
|BUF @ CAL||Before last weekend, this would be a no-brainer, but with Buffalo playing so well last weekend, it’s a tougher now. Buffalo may be confident enough now that they can just keep rolling, but this one comes down to goaltending. I think Thompson at his best is better than Poulin at his best, but average Poulin beats average Thompson. If Cosmo plays as he can, he may be the best in the league but he still seems to be shaking off rust.|
|WAS @ EDM||The Stealth have been looking more like the Stealth we expected over the last few weeks. They split with the Mammoth two weeks ago but even in the loss they looked pretty good against a team that was 7-1 at the time. If Paul Rabil announces he will actually suit up for the Rush I may change my pick, but I don’t see that happening.|
|TOR @ ROC||The Rock are 3-17 lifetime in Rochester, but of course one of those thee was the Championship game in 2003. The other two wins came last season, so I think it’s safe to say the home-and-home curse between these two teams is over. The Rock will be breaking in new starting goalie Nick Rose and hoping to end their three-game losing streak, while the Knighthawks are looking to continue both their two-game winning streak and their three-game home winning streak. The Rock are my team and I hate betting against them, but they just haven’t impressed me at all over the last three games.|
|COL @ PHI||This was my toughie of the week. Colorado certainly has the talent to sweep the Wings, but Philly has been getting better and better as the season has progressed. Philly’s first in the east though they’re not having the dominant season the Mammoth are having. The fact that John Grant is missing will help the Wings, but as I said above the Mammoth offense managed just fine without him two weeks ago. If one team sweeps this series, they will undoubtedly be the #1 team in the league, but I foresee a split.|
|MIN @ WAS||The Swarm are impressing me more and more, and they’ll be fresh while the Stealth will have played the night before and travelled from Edmonton. Certainly not a guarantee (both Colorado and Calgary have won the second game of back-to-back games this year), but I’ll go with the Swarm’s young legs on this one.|