Monday, May 25, 2015

Huge Upsets by Spinners and Dogfish Jumble Rankings

Two huge upsets this weekend are obviously the main story-line for this week. Philadelphia knocked of D.C for the first time that the Current have called Cardinal Stadium home. For Spinners fans many may not consider it an upset but given home teams records in the MLU this season, especially D.C.'s, this is most in fact an upset. Then in the West the Dogfish kept their postseason dreams alive defeating the previously undefeated Stags. Maybe this could be a turnaround that San Francisco is so desperately searching for. Do not worry though, the other games are covered as well with the Rainmakers thwarting the Nighthawks in Vancouver that displays a Seattle team everyone expected coming into this season. In New York there was another close one as the Whitecaps found themselves victorious over the Rumble but it honestly should have been more handily.

1. Philadelphia Spinners: 4-1

Last Week: 3     Change: +2

Philadelphia Spinners
Defeated DC Current 19-18

Weekend Superstar: Billy Sickles (3 goals, 3 assists)

Review: Impressive win by the Spinners once again over a Kolick-less D.C. team. Nevertheless D.C. still looked as their usual self and Philadelphia just beat them with consistency. This is their second road victory which leads the East (Boston has one) and also puts the team in a prime spot to go to the playoffs. If Philly were to win all three of their remaining home games they would clinch the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference Championship, no matter what happens in other matches.

2. Portland Stags: 5-1

Last Week: 1     Change: -1

Lost to San Francisco Dogfish 17-18

Weekend Superstar: Cody Bjorklund (2 goals, 7 assists, 1 block)

Review: Well you cannot win them all unless you are the 2013 Boston Whitecaps. Each time a West Coast team heads to San Francisco for a game it is going to be a tough match because of travel. Up until the final quarter of play Portland looked like they were going to head home victorious again. However a ferocious 5-2 rally by the Dogfish in the final ten minutes gave the Stags their first loss of 2015. This ends the longest active winning streak in the MLU with five wins and ties them for third in league history with the Dogfish and Nighthawks.

3. DC Current: 3-3 

Last Week: 2     Change: -1

Lost to Philadelphia Spinners 18-19

Weekend Superstar: Delrico Johnson (1 Callahan, 3 blocks)

Review: First home loss for the Current since 2013 as they played without Alan Kolick. Nothing I believe they should be ashamed of however as the game was extremely competitive and just resulted in the Spinners scoring the final point. I would not say D.C. is in trouble at this point but with only one home game remaining, the team has a long uphill climb. With the loss this team earned another top play of the season with Delrico Johnson's Callahan in the 3rd quarter.

4. Seattle Rainmakers: 3-2

Last Week: 5     Change: +1

Defeated Vancouver Nighthawks 26-18

Weekend Superstar: Khalif El-Salaam (4 goals, 3 assists, 1 block)

Review: Seattle came to play this weekend, with a full roster similar to 2014. From top to bottom players lit up the stat sheet and is looking to be the Seattle team we have been looking for. What's most impressive about this victory is how their offense obliterated the Vancouver D-line, and that the defense generated 14 blocks.

5. Boston Whitecaps: 3-3

Last Week: 4     Change: -1

Defeated New York Rumble 14-12

Weekend Superstar: Jeff Graham (1 goals, 3 assists, 1 block)

Review: Normally in these rankings a win will not cause a team to fall in the rankings but this a rare exception. Even with extremely windy conditions it is tough to give the Whitecaps the benefit of a doubt on this one. Both teams struggled in the entire match and could not handle the weather conditions and started with only 1 point in the first quarter. I feel like in windy conditions a pro team should understand to not continuously throw hucks downfield just to result in a turnover.

6. Vancouver Nighthawks: 1-4

Last Week: 6     Change: +0

Lost to Seattle Rainmakers 18-26

Weekend Superstar: Morgan Hibbert (3 goals, 4 assists, 3 blocks)

Review: Vancouver fell behind early this week and never was able to comeback against a determined Rainmakers team. In the first half they were doubled up 16-8 and did all they could to match Seattle the rest of the way. Execution errors lead to 27 turnover by the Nighthawks and for them the veterans were the ones making the mistakes. The O-line is going to need to find their flow once again to match the defense that the team brings every single week.

7. San Francisco Dogfish: 2-4

Last Week: 8     Change: +1

Defeated Portland Stags 18-17

Weekend Superstar: Gabe Saunkeah (2 goals, 5 assists, 3 blocks)

Review: Maybe I was wrong about my previous comment regarding Evan Boucher, because now the team is 1-0 with him officially released from the team. But I rather talk about how they knocked off the top team in the MLU, the Portland Stags. The Dogfish ended the game with a 6-2 with their final two points being breaks against the most consistent team in the league. Saunkeah is more than willing to become the leader on this team, as they have now jumped back into the playoff hunt.

8. New York Rumble: 1-4

Last Week: 7     Change: -1

New York Rumble
Lost to Boston Whitecaps 12-14

Weekend Superstar: Chris Kocher (4 assists, 2 blocks)

Review: This was a game that the Rumble needed badly, especially with them being at home. The brisk wind did not help them but all the momentum this team had was just lost. In the first quarter New York failed to score a single point but still remained competitive allowing their opponents to score only one. On the bright side there was another Callahan this weekend this one by Chris Coofer which allowed New York to eliminate the Whitecaps' lead

Well after this week Philly is clearly in the drivers seat for #1 seed in the East and they will host the Rumble in the week's first matchup on Saturday night. If New York plans on turning their season around this will be the perfect time to do so with the rest of the East so wide-open. The only other match will be Portland traveling to Seattle in what setting up to be a competitive game. Seattle has the chance to prove that they are continuing to rise while Portland hopes to get back to their winning ways. Everyone else is on a bye as last year's respective conference champions, the Current and Nighthawks hope to regroup, and the 2013 conference champions hope to build on their recent victories.

Don't agree? Tell me what I missed in the comments section and who you think 
should be at the top.

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