The first week of the 2021 Premiere Lacrosse League is finally here and I am as excited as anyone else. All eight teams have been at training camp since last Friday and the players have been working hard and competing for a spot on their teams final 25 man roster. Teams had practices throughout the week and 2 scrimmages to prepare for week one. Here I am going to breakdown all five matchups and give you my picks for the week. I am not an expert, just a fan of the sport and this is what I think will happen.
The Cannons return to Boston and take on the Redwoods for Friday Night Lacrosse
This one is tough for me because I am a day 1 Redwoods fan, but if you read my last blog I really think the Cannons will not be a team to sleep on. Lyle Thompson and Shayne Jackson are already back in sync and I can't wait to see this combo tear it up this season. This is the closest thing we will see to a home game in the PLL as the Cannons will be returning to Boston so that might give the boys a little extra juice, and as Coach Quirk said "It's great to fucking win in Boston"
On the other hand the Redwoods have been competitive the past two seasons and the only thing holding them back was a face-off man, which they took care of with the addition of TD Irelan in the College Draft. The Redwoods also added legendary Rob Pannel and the electric Ryan Lee to their attack line who will line up with Garnsey or Kavanagh on the left wing. At midfield we will see the two headed monster that is Myles Jones and Sergio Perkavoic and I am expecting at least one 2 pointer from this duo.
Official Pick: Over 22.5
In their latest scrimmages the Cannons defeated the back to back champ Whipsnakes and the Redwoods lost to the Archers, although they were just scrimmages I think they will have a big impact. Maybe the Cannons come out a little arrogant after the big upset and the Redwoods will come out with a fire under their ass lit by coach St. Laurent. I am hoping for a high scoring battle and expect the 2 pointer to be a big factor in this game and that is why I am taking the Over at 22.5
2020 Championship rematch Whipsnakes vs. Chaos
The rematch of the 2020 PLL Championship game takes place on Saturday June 5th at 5pm on NBCSN. This will be the first nationally televised game of the 2021 season and the fans are in for a good one. The Whipsnakes are the back to back champs and only got better in the offseason with the addition of the walking highlight reel of Ryan Tierney in the College Draft. The Chaos also made some additions in the off season like Mac O'Keefe, Wes Berg, Ian MacKay, and the Pountine Prince himself, Chris Cloutier. The Chaos are known for their Canadian Box style of play and all of these additions help with that. I personally cannot get enough of the Chaos and think they are the most interesting team to watch play, plus they are lead by this guy, more or less.
Official Pick: Chaos ML
The Whipsnakes are the safe choice here because you would have to be an idiot to bet against the team that has dominated the league the past two years, and has former MVP's Matt Rambo and Zed Willams. With all that said, I am betting on the Chaos ML. It may not be the best bet but, and I say this with the upmost respect, FUCKKKKK the Whipsnakes. Yeah they may have a sick color scheme, but these venomous suckers have knocked out the Redwoods the past two years, and I'll be damned if I find myself rooting for the Whips any time soon. I am tired of seeing them win and I would love to see the Chaos come out and make a statement that making it to the Championship last year was no fluke. Chaos ML all the way!
Archers vs Atlas
I do not really follow either team too much, but what I know of the top of my head is that the Atlas are pretty much doing a complete rebuild and the Archers added Connor Fields in the off season via trade with the Chaos. The Archers arsenal was already lethal with Grant Ament, Marcus Holman, and Will Manny and now they added a certified weapon with Connor fields.
Official Pick: Archers ML
I apologize that I cannot go further into details on these teams, but I have a strong feeling that the Archers will win this one easily.
The Battle of the Expansion Teams
The Cannons have their second game of the weekend on Sunday against the Waterdogs. This is the battle of the expansion teams as this is the Cannons inaugural season in the PLL and last year was the Waterdogs first year. The Waterdogs were never really able to establish a team identity in the condensed 2020 season, but they are back in 2021 an on a mission to establish themselves as serious contenders in this league. The Waterdogs made some big addition in the offseason including sharp shooter Ryan Brown, and defensemen Eli Gobrecht as well as adding the sensational Michael Sowers in the College Draft. Everyone is excited to see sowers in his PLL debut and I have a feeling that him and Ryan Brown will have instant chemistry. Depending on how the Cannons play Friday, they can either come into this game buzzing of a win or with a goal of not going down 0-2 on the season in their first year. Either way I still do not think it is wise to bet against the Cannons in Boston with the best player in the world.
Official Pick: Cannons ML
Lyle Thompson and company are being slept on because they are the expansion team, and I am here to capitalize on it. Maybe after a strong outing in week one the oddsmakers will give the Cannons some respect, but until they do I am going to continue riding with the Cannons.
Redwoods vs Chrome
The Redwoods will also have their second game of the weekend on Sunday facing off against the Chrome. Speaking of face offs, this is the matchup of the weekend. We have TD Irelan going up against Connor Farrell, aka The Milk Man. As a Redwoods fan I really hope that TD dominates this matchup and help the Woods control possession. The Chrome have a great attack squad with Justin Guterding, Jordan Wolf, and Matt Gaudet, and they added Colin Heacock in the offseason. But as I said, I think the Chrome will not see the ball that much thanks to TD.
Official Pick: Redwoods -1.5
Even though the Redwoods have a flair for 1 goal games, they will be rolling after already playing on Friday and I expect them to dominate this game on all sides of the field.