Friday, December 8


Yesterday we previewed the National Lacrosse League's Eastern Conference, picking the Georgia Swarm to repeat.  Today we're forecasting a rematch for the CHAMPIONS CUP with the Saskatchewan Rush.  The Rush are looking for their 3rd title in 4 years.  Here is how we see the West in 2018.

1. Saskatchewan RUSH
When talking about the Rush you have start with Mark Matthews, quite simply the best lefty in the game. They are far from a one man Team however.  Jeff Shattler has joined the Rush from Calgary. He will replace Adam Jones who departed for Toronto.
I love the balance on the right side as well with McIntosh, Knight and Church.

However the strength of the team may be the defense.  Names like Rubisch, Dilks Corbeil are an intimidating unit.  Evan Kirk takes over in goal.  There won't be much of drop off from Aaron Bold who was traded to New England.  This team could be a juggernaut in 2018.

2. Vancouver STEALTH
Corey Small may be the most underrated player in the NLL.  He finished the 2017 season with 111 points.  Anthony Malcom was acquired from Buffalo and will enhance their right side alongside Rhys Duch.  In goal Brodie MacDonald or Tye Belanger will battle it out for PT. 

The 'Necks got he biggest gift in the off season when Rochester passed on Zack Currier on draft night. He can play both ends of the floor. Also look for another rookie Tyler Pace to make some some noise as well.  He should get quality time with Wes Berg holding out.   

Curtis Dickson is one of the best players in the league figures to score 50 plus. 

The Necks will look for stability in net, Frank Scigliano and Christian Del Bianco will battle for that spot.

4. Colorado MAMMOUTH
Dillon Ward is probably the best goalie in the league.  It's a good thing because I think it will be a challenge to score goals for the Mammoth. Ryan Benesch  has been brought in.  He no doubt will improve the left side, but Zack Greer starts the season on the PUP list. 

Their defense has been hit hard by injuries in the pre-season. Cam Holding and Dan Coates figure to be out for the season.

I am going to go out on a limb and pick the Saskatchewan Rush to take home the title.

As far post season honors I will go with:

MVP:  Mark Matthews (Sask)
Goalie of the Year:  Nick Rose (Tor)
Rookie of the Year: Zack Currier (Cal)
Transition player of the year: Brad Self (Col)
Defensive Player of the Year:  Ryan Dilks (Sask)
Coach of the Year: Matt Sawyer (Tor)

Thanks for the time.




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