Monday, August 30, 2010

NLL Preview: Philadelphia Wings

The NLL Draft will be soon upon us. The NLL season is now only a few months away, and it's time to preview them.

The Wings have already had an active offseason, to be expected after one of the worst years in the storied franchise's history. With more championships than any other NLL team, the Wings always draw high expectations. Last season their final game drew less than 10,000 fans, which is unheard of in Wings lacrosse.
The first shakeup of the season for the Wings was trading one of the franchise's faces in Geoff Snider. Snider, a fan favorite, was shipped out to Calgary for a pick in the Titans dispersal draft. The Wings drafted well, selecting MLL superstar Brenden Mundorf and Ryan Boyle. The Wings also fired their head coach, Dave Huntley, and hired John Tucker, a former Wings great.
The Wings by no stretch of the imagination will be Champions Cup favorites. But they will be an improved team in 2010, and may compete with Buffalo and Rochester for the last playoff spot.
They will need a better year from their goaltender Brandon Miller. Miller ranked near the bottom of the league in goals against average, ahead of only Matt Disher and Andrew Leyshon. Miller gave up 183 goals on the season, more than any other goalie, the next highest being Disher at 174. Elite teams have elite goaltending, and the Wings will need him to be that to get back to where they want to be.
Last year's highest Wings scorer was 18th in the league, Drew Westervelt. In the rankings ahead of him were four Toronto Rock players. The next highest in the top scorers for the Wings were Kyle Wieles (27th) and Geoff Snider (46). The Wings will need more out of players like Max Seibald this season. Seibald was 114th in the league with only 11 points over only 12 games played. Seibald, however, did produce on the loose balls. But I think the Wings would like to see a little more point production out of Seibald, one of the better players in the MLL.
The Wings will not have a first round pick and do not pick until 20th overall. Boston acquired their pick in the Mat Giles trade. It is unclear who the Wings will select, though it is speculated it could be Kyle Dixon or Ned Crotty.
The Wings look to improve on a 5-11 year, tied for the worst year in Wings history.

1 comment:

  1. goals against average don't mean anything, its the number of saves vs the number of shots taken. further, the quality of those shots taken is the most important aspect. philly's defense lost nadalen to injury, wray had coaching committments, and sweeney had a tepid season. philly had no half-floor offense and lived but more often died off transition. you go full titlt, you expose your back if you can't get your players off. alot of philly's forwards - crosbie, teat, giles, huntley, wailes - were slow. so a missed shot turned into a counter breal left philly under-manned with miller facing numerous 2-on-1, 3-on-1 and the famous 3-on-none save.