Thursday, December 7

[NLL] YumYumLax Presents: EASTERN CONFERENCE PREVIEW

The NATIONAL LACROSSE LEAGUE season is fast approaching.  Let's take a look at the Eastern Conference.  Who will come out on top?  Can the Georgia Swarm defend their title?  



1. Georgia SWARM
 
Can Lyle Thompson match what he did last year?  He was  MVP of both the regular season and the playoffs.  He has an amazing supporting cast as well.  Staats, Jackson, Powless etc., etc.  

Watch out for rookies Zed Williams and Frank Brown.  They will add transition and athleticism from the defensive end.  Both should get an opportunity to see some action with the retirement of Mitch Belise and Joel White who like last season, will miss some early action due to work commitments.


2. Toronto ROCK
 
Coming off a playoff appearance in 2017 is Adam Jones, who has been added to the left side, and will complement Stephan LeBlanc and Kieran McArdle.

The righties Schreiber, Hickey and Hellyer look to be strong as well.

Nick Rose is solid in the cage and Latrell Harris looks to improve on his outstanding rookie season.  Brodie Merrill is still there as well.  I want to pick them to win the east, but I have to stay with Georgia.  Without question, The Rock look to be a legit contender.


3. New England BLACK WOLVES
 
Shawn Evans and Kevin Crowley are one of the leagues best duos on the right side. I Have questions about their lefties.  Mark Cockerton is back after a career year with the Ohio Machine of MLL.  He has not played in the NLL in a couple of seasons though.  The Wolves will be counting on Reilly O'Connor to have a big year on the left side of the floor after notching 18g / 33a for 51 Pts in 2017.

Aaron Bold takes over in net for Evan Kirk.  That was a trade that took me by surprise, but Bold is a solid keeper in his own right, who has Championship pedigree.

I have concerns about about depth on the offensive side, especially the lefties.  If Evans and Crowley remain healthy, I think the playoffs will be in their future.


4. Buffalo BANDITS

Lots of questions here, but they may prove to have some answers.  Their left side has been revamped with #1 pick Josh Byrne and a trade for Jordan Durston.  The Bandits have also added Callum Crawford for the right side in the Ryan Benesch trade.

Will Dhane Smith bounce back after a subpar 2017 season?  How will the goalie situation play out with the retirement of Cosmo? If they can answer these questions, they will challenge for a playoff spot.



5. Rochester KNIGHTHAWKS
 

The only team to score less than 200 goals (only having scored 175) in 2017.   So they go and draft a FO man with the 2nd pick in the draft?  Jake Withers is a good player, but won't provide much offense.  

Cody Jamieson starts the season on the injured list.  They still have Dangerous Dan Dawson though.  That said, many of the players on the roster have 3 Championships with Rochester.  I wouldn't sell them short, but I don't think they will have the firepower to keep up with the others in the East.

Where am I right?  Where am I wrong?  Look out for our WESTERN CONFERENCE preview tomorrow.

Thanks for the time.

 

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