Thursday, February 17, 2011

Crunch Time In Philly

By- Kevin M. Neibauer

Philadelphia, PA.- Entering Week 7 of the 2011 National Lacrosse season, the Philadelphia Wings have found themselves in a bleak position. After two straight bad defeats, Philadelphia travels to Buffalo for what is a "must" win game.
  Philly lost its first two games before rebounding with an impressive three game win streak. All seemed fine, but suddenly the two straight defeats have them last in the division with an uphill battle in front of them.
 The team was nearly completely retooled in the off-season with what would consider as "questionable" moves. Philly brought in Paul Dawson, Brandon Mundorf, and Ryan Boyle. None has made a major impact as yet.
  Many felt that the team lost its "heart and soul" with the trading of Geoff Snider. Along with Snider, former team Captain and long time defensive anchor, Thomas Hajek was not invited back.
  To compound the frustration of the fan base, the team had the opportunity to draft Casey Powell in the dispersal draft and traded the pick away.
 The current edition of the Wings does have talent. The problem is two fold. The team rarely has played a four quarter game. As evidenced in the second victory over Colorado. Philly took off the second half and it nearly cost them the game. Last week against Buffalo, Philly was very much in the game at halftime but came and scored only one second half while being routed by the Bandits.
 The other issue is that the Silver, Red and Black just have not meshed as a team. Not one player has stepped out as a leader. Far too much one on one and long distance shots have made the offense far too predictable.
 The Philadelphia Wings are now on the clock. This team cannot afford to lose more than two more games if they want to take a trip to the post season. Funny, not even half way through the schedule and they are in a serious state.
 New Head Coach John Tucker and New General Manger, Johnny Mouradian need to find a solution and quick. The fan base is beginning to lose interest and quite frankly, with the economy and the performance on the floor, it is hard to blame them.
So, where do we go from here? Another big game against Buffalo on the horizon this weekend. All cliches are in order now. One game at a time, one shift at a time. This once proud franchise is clearly snake bitten and it needs an antidote ASAP.
 After Buffalo, the Philly squad plays the two Division Leaders in the next two games. First, Toronto then Calgary. Toronto always plays the Wings very tough and Calgary figures to be excited for the matchup of Paul Dawson and returning former Wing, Geoff Snider.
  Snider was always a fan favorite and he will be pumped for his return. Philly needs to keep control of both contests and not let either opponent take an early lead and take the fans out of the game.
Time indeed, will tell....

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