Thursday, January 3, 2013

9 Teams In 9 Days: Philadelphia Wings

By Avry Lewis-McDougall

In the city of brotherly love things are not the greatest for the Philadelphia Wings.

The Wings, dealt both Dawson brothers to the Rochester Knighthawks and in return gained Paul Rabil who had a tumultuous 2012 season, first being traded from Washington to Edmonton and then not refusing to play for the Rush, before being suspended for the rest of the season.

Rabil, is now on a team that he wants to play on and before his suspension for not playing for the Rush he had 8 points in five games for the Washington Stealth early in the season. Rabil, is one of the game's most exciting players when given the open floor but is still seen as a much better field guy than a box player.

It will be very interesting to see how things play out in Pennsylvania as the team still does have Kevin Crowley and Brendan Mundorf to lead the offensive attack. Crowley, had a 71 point season while Mundorf was third in team scoring with 68 points (Dan Dawson led the team in scoring with a 103 point year).

The Wings, did get back in the Dawson trade Jordan Hall, who last season had 31 points last season. It will be interesting to see Hall play a full year with the Wings and will be one of the bright spots for this club.  Hall is a transition player that has great play making ability having before had an 81 point season (25 goals, 56 assists) in 2009 with the New York Titans.

It will be tough for this team to be able to keep up with squads like Toronto and Rochester so trying to keep up in the goal department will be the real challenge for this squad.

Last season, the Wings were dead last in the Eastern division scoring on 176 goals and second to last in all of the NLL, only Edmonton scored less with 167 goals.

It's not all doom and gloom for this franchise as they added Duke Dman Michael Manley in the fifth round of the draft this year. Manley, was 2nd on Duke with 52 loose balls, led the team with 27 forced turnovers and was named to the USILA (United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association) All American second team.

Manley could hopefully turn into a premier shutdown defender for the Wings to replace a guy like Paul Dawson.

Brandon Miller is back in the Philly net this year after a 7-9 season with a save percentage of .742 in 2013 so the team will at least have a solid presence in the crease.

It will be interesting to see if Miller can improve this upcoming season or his job could be in jeopardy.

2013 will be a trying year for Philly after getting into the playoffs last year under new head coach John Mouradian, just how many speed bumps will this team hit? Only time will tell. 

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