Quite possibly the best sports playoffs begin this week (sorry NCAA Lacrosse Tournament) with the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. Here's my prediction for the entire thing:
16 teams will vie for one of the best trophies in all of sports, while the other 14 teams will probably do the following:
- Watch the Stanley Cup Playoffs
- Golf a ton (but don't quadruple bogey on a Par 3 12 please!)
- Watch the NBA Playoffs (I might)
- Watch some baseball (I might)
- Watch college lacrosse (I WILL)
- A combo of the first five choices/do all five
The Philadelphia Flyers are in the playoffs, so odds are they'll be focused on the Washington Capitals for now. But some players on the Drexel, Penn, St. Joe's, and Villanova lacrosse teams will probably root for the Flyers while they're trying to get into their postseason. And would you look at that, another nice transition to talk about all four Philly lacrosse teams!
Welcome to this week's edition of the Philly Phour Phocus, which is properly spelled for the occasion. In case you're just hopping on the bandwagon (again), we're following all four Philly teams as the season goes on and updating their chances of repping the great city in this year's Final Four. Did I mentioned that it's going to be in Philly? Well, the Final Four is in Philly this year!
Last week, three of the four Philly teams had a case of the Mondays, while St. Joe's clobbered another bad NEC team in Wagner. What happened this week? To the Big Board we go! This week's Philly Phour Phocus Big Board is sponsored by the South Philadelphia Sports Complex. The South Philadelphia Sports Complex: it's a real neighborhood with a lot of sports nearby!
|Team||2016 Overall Record||2016 Conference Record||Last Week's Results||This Week's Schedule|
|Drexel||4-7||0-2||L @ Fairfield 8-7||Sat. vs. Hofstra|
|Penn||5-5||2-2||L vs. Brown 17-6||Sat. vs. Harvard; Tues. @ UMBC|
|St. Joe's||8-2||3-0||W vs. Sacred Heart 16-6||Sat vs. Bryant|
|Villanova||6-4||0-2||L vs. Denver 12-11||Sat. vs. Georgetown|
The Dragons led the Stags 6-4 after three quarters, but Fairfield started what would be a five goal run in the second half to eventually top Drexel 8-7 last Saturday. Joseph Rainoldi and Frank Fusco each had a pair of goals. The Drexel defense forced five turnovers in the first half, and Nabil Akl won 11-of-17 faceoffs on the day. Jimmy Joe Granito made eight saves in the game. Drexel hosts Hofstra next week, and two of their final three regular season games are at home.
Current Big Dance Chance: 3%. It's down from 4% last week, and it's very bleak at this point. Drexel has to win their next three games (Hofstra, Delaware, UMass) in order to make the CAA Tournament. Hofstra and UMass are fighting for spots to get in the conference tournament, so it won't be easy. Drexel played tough in both of their conference games, but it wasn't enough. Hofstra at home could be their last chance at possible postseason play.
The Quakers fought Yale two weeks ago to a tough overtime loss. And we thought that we'd see a similar game when they played Brown. Well, Brown lost to Bryant last week in overtime, and Bruno was an angry bear. It didn't help that the weather was cold and windy and snowy, and that Brown practiced in the pouring rain a couple of days before the game. But Reilly Hupfeldt scored the opening goal! And it looked like Penn would put up a fight!
But Brown scored 11 straight goals and it looked something (maybe not) like this:
I was there to witness the brutal destruction on Penn, and it looked BAD. The Quakers eventually lost 17-6, but all hope was lost at the end of the half. Tyler Dunn did have two goals, but that's 15 less than Brown's team total. The Quakers have Harvard at home on Saturday, and are also at UMBC on Tuesday.
Current Big Dance Chance: 10%. It's down from 12% from last week. Penn has scheduled great this year, but unfortunately, they're not that good talent wise. They've only won one big game (Penn State), and they've lost the rest, including to Virginia, Villanova, and Maryland. At this point, Penn needs to win the Ivy League Tournament. They're currently in 4th place in the Ivy, and they play Harvard, who's 3rd, this week. That's a must-win right there for Penn.
The Hawks are breezing by the NEC, as they torched Sacred Heart 16-6 last week. The Hawks scored 10 goals in the second half to pull away from Sacred Heart late in the game. Pat Swanick led the way with four goals, while Mike Rastivo had a hat-trick on the day. Davis Stoner and Hayes McGinley each had a pair of goals. T.J. Jones made 15 saves in the win. The Hawks have a pivotal test ahead, which is a home game against Bryant on Saturday. Both teams are undefeated in NEC play, but Bryant has a much better RPI, and the Bulldogs are winners of three straight, including that overtime upset of Brown last Tuesday.
Current Big Dance Chance: 65%. It stays the same yet again. It will change with a win or loss to Bryant this weekend, and it'll also possibly decide on home field advantage for the NEC Tournament in the process. Bryant has two impressive wins this year and St. Joe's has none. But it won't matter when the two teams play each other on Saturday.
The Wildcats had a wild last week. They won a National Championship in basketball. They had a parade in the city on Friday. And they lost to Denver by a goal. It's their third straight loss, and second straight to a Big East opponent. Nova had a one goal lead late, but Zach Miller and Connor Cannizzaro scored to give the Pioneers the close victory. Jake Froccaro returned to form with a hat-trick and two assists, while Jack Curran had a goal and three assists. Christian Cuccinello and Danny Seibel both had a pair of goals in the tough loss. Joey Froccaro went 8-of-15 on the faceoff against stud Trevor Baptiste, while Nick Testa and Dan Willis split time in goal, with Testa getting the start. Testa gave up seven goals in 30 minutes of play. Nova has Georgetown on Saturday.
Current Big Dance Chance: 30%. It's down from 35% last week. The Denver loss isn't good, and Marquette went the distance and then some with Notre Dame on Wednesday. In my bracketology post that I posted on Monday, I said that Nova was a #8 seed and the Golden Eagles would face #3 Denver in the first round. The Marquette game helped the Golden Eagles, but not so much with the Wildcats. But the Syracuse loss to Cornell on Tuesday may have helped Nova get some breathing room. For the Cats, their focus is on the next game, and that's Georgetown.
And now, let's dance: