(Photo: Richard Olson, calgaryroughnecks.com)
The battle of the Snider brothers begins Saturday night in Washington when the Stealth host the Calgary Roughnecks.
Bob Snider of the Stealth and Geoff of the Roughnecks are far and away the top two faceoff men in the NLL. Last year, Bob set a new NLL record for most faceoff wins in a season with 319. Geoff has three of the top 10 seasons for most faceoffs, including a tie for second most (318).
This year, not surprisingly, they're once again the top two in the NLL; Geoff has won 158 draws already while Bob has won 143.
Also not surprisingly, the Sniders are the top two in the league in loose balls; Geoff has 128 and Bob has 94.
So when these two guys match up against each other, it is truly a clash of the titans. Will the game's results rest on which brother can win this battle? It's a possibility.
Of course, it's also a possibility that Geoff will get himself in penalty trouble and leave Bob to his own devices in the faceoff circle. Last week, Geoff got thrown out of back-to-back games as a result of fighting an unwilling opponent in one game and earning two major penalties in the other.
I love watching Geoff Snider throw punches as much as the next guy, but he has to make better decisions against the Stealth because the Roughnecks are much better with him than without him.
Penalties and undisciplined play were the story for Calgary last weekend.
Toronto scored nine power-play goals against the Roughnecks en route to an easy win and, although they held Minnesota to just four power-play goals the next night, if it hadn't been for Curtis Dickson scoring three short-handed goals, the Swarm probably would have taken the win in that game.
Washington were set back by the Edmonton Rush last weekend, losing 15-10, and were outplayed in virtually every aspect of the game. The Rush had almost twice as many shots on goal, collected 23 more loose balls and forced 12 more turnovers.
Although the Stealth are second in the West, they need to pick their game up across the board if they hope to get past the Roughnecks.
I'm still going to go with the Roughnecks in this game. They're still the team to beat in the West and should be able to find their way to a 13-12 win.