Finals game 2/3 picks

Overture, curtains, lights. This is it, the night of nights.
And oh, what heights we’ll hit, on with the show, this is it.

Well, since I’m writing this on Friday it’s actually tomorrow night, but this is indeed it. The finale of the longest NLL playoffs ever, following the longest NLL season ever. Here is my pick for the final game of the year.

Final regular season record: 58-23 (.716)
Record: 6-3 (.667)

Game
Comments
Pick
CAL @ ROC Dan Dawson and Geoff Snider are both apparently game-time decisions, but it seemed last week that as important as Snider is to the Roughnecks, Dawson is even more so to the Knighthawks. Their offense looked like it was in need of a quarterback, so having Dawson back would be a huge boost for them. On the other hand, players love to show their former teams that trading them away was a mistake. Shawn Evans has only played one game in Rochester as a member of the Roughnecks, a 6-point performance in a losing cause back in 2012. But he’s had an MVP season since then.

I think Rochester will come out much stronger in this game than in game 1, but I am predicting a game 2 victory for the Roughnecks. However since I will be in attendance at the game, seeing Rochester win and force a mini-game would be damned exciting so I wouldn’t be averse to being wrong in my pick.

Roughnecks
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Finals game 1 pick

Second last pick of the season! I still haven’t decided who I think will win it all, but I’ve made my pick for game 1. I think winning game 1 gives you a huge advantage, so I guess I’ve kind of made my final pick, but we’ll see how this weekend’s game goes first.

Final regular season record: 58-23 (.716)
Record: 5-3 (.625)

Game
Comments
Pick
ROC @ CAL Like I said, I’m not 100% convinced that the Roughnecks are my pick to win it all. But neither are the Knighthawks. It sounds like both teams will be healthy again, with Dan Dawson returning to the Knighthawks and Geoff Snider returning to the Roughnecks. Either goalie can steal a game even if the rest of the team doesn’t play that well. I imagine that between this game and the next, we might see the best lacrosse of the season, though topping last week’s Calgary/Edmonton games might be tough.

I think both the drama and excitement of last weekend’s almost-comeback and mini-game victory and the fact that they’re at home in front of an almost-if-not-complete sellout will push the Roughnecks to a game 1 victory.

Roughnecks

Division Finals picks

Once again, I didn’t write up my picks before game time. Oops. That pesky job got in the way.

If you were to tell me after I made my picks last week that I’d go 1-1, I’d have assumed I got the Edmonton game right and got my Buffalo prediction wrong, since that was the one I was less confident about. Of course, I nailed that one and got Edmonton / Calgary wrong. I guess I’m expecting a couple of mini-games this weekend.

Final regular season record: 58-23 (.716)
Record: 2-2 (.500)

Game
Comments
Pick
CAL @ EDM I think it would really be a shame if Edmonton didn’t win the Championship after the season they’ve had. But I doubt Calgary shares that feeling, and as we’ve seen twice in the past few weeks, the Roughnecks have the ability to beat the Rush. But I haven’t bet against the Rush at all this year, and I’m not starting now.
Note that I announced this pick on Monday’s Addicted to Lacrosse show. The fact that the score is 9-2 Edmonton early in the second quarter as I write this is not related.
Rush
BUF @ ROC Rochester’s offense seemed disoriented or something last weekend while Buffalo’s defense was very strong. I can see the latter continuing this weekend but not the former. The Knighthawks will come out strong and make sure they get to their third straight Championship game/series. Game 2 might be a serious blowout. Knighthawks

Division finals game 1 picks

I usually “announce” my weekly picks on the Addicted to Lacrosse show on Monday nights, but not this week. I had network problems during the show and wasn’t able to re-connect in time, so I never had a chance. I’m quite unsure about my picks this week though, so perhaps that’s for the best.

Final regular season record: 58-23 (.716)
Record: 1-1 (.500)

Game
Comments
Pick
EDM @ CAL The age-old question: which will prevail – a strong offense or a strong defense? This season, the answer is clearly the latter as Edmonton’s D has stifled everyone. The Rush have dominated the Roughnecks this season, though Calgary is one of only two teams to have beaten them. But I’m sticking with the Rush. rush
ROC @ BUF I just have a gut feeling about this game. The Bandits came off of an 8 game losing streak to beat the Rock, and they looked pretty good doing it. I think that renewed confidence along with 19000+ very loud people in Buffalo will push the Bandits to play well again and sneak by the Knighthawks. Not sure that I’m picking the Bandits to win the series though. bandits

Division semi-finals picks

After finishing the season with a 5-0 week I ended up at 58-23, slightly ahead of my Addicted to Lacrosse co-hosts and ahead of everyone from IL Indoor except Bob Chavez, which whom I ended up tied. I like to think I have some insight into the NLL but let’s face it, much of that is luck and the fact that the parity in the league has diminished in the past year. That won’t stop me from bragging about it though!

I went to a local Chinese food place for lunch today and got this fortune in my fortune cookie, which bodes well for the Rock and Roughnecks, not to mention myself:

IMAG1194

Only 8 more games (plus up to 3 mini-games) left. Not sure how the mini-games are going to work – if I pick the same team to win games 1 and 2 then I don’t even think a mini-game will happen so how can I make a pick for it? Alternatively, if I think it will happen and make a pick and it doesn’t happen at all, does that count as an incorrect pick? I’ll probably just fold the mini-games into game 2 and consider it an overtime period. Or something. I’ll have to play that one by ear.

Final regular season record: 58-23 (.716)
Record: 0-0 (.000)

Game
Comments
Pick
COL @ CAL Tough one. Dillon Ward can certainly steal (HA) a game for the Mammoth but when Mike Poulin is on he’s near unbeatable. Both teams have lots of offense – as Ty Pilson pointed out, Colorado’s offense was missing some key players for a number of games, but then again Scott Ranger was missing for half of this season as well. Going with my gut on this one. Roughnecks5
BUF @ TOR I have to say I’m a little nervous about this game as a Rock fan. The Rock have been playing well and I think that will continue but the Bandits have been given a second chance and will be hungry for that elusive win. They have a winning record in Toronto and nobody wants to see John Tavares lose the last NINE games of his career (assuming he retires after this season, and AFAIK that has not yet been decided). Plus it sounds like everyone but Bandit fans (and even some of those) has already given this game to the Rock, and the Bandits won’t like that. I’m still picking the Rock but it’s not the slam dunk that others think it might be. Rock53