The Philadelphia Wings are off to a sizzling first half of the season. After dropping their first game, they rattled off three straight big wins, and look to continue their current winning streak to five. In their last contest, Zach Higgins made 51 saves in a dominating 14-6 win over the New York Riptide.
Philadelphia will look to keep their momentum as they look to avenge their season opening loss to Georgia. The Wings and Swarm will meet at Wells Fargo Center for a Friday night prime time matchup. The Swarm will be coming off a huge win, handing the New England Black Wolves their first loss of the season.
Since it is a home game, you can catch the game at 7 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Know Your Enemy:
So far this season, the Swarm are looking like the team most NLL fans expected the Wings to be. They hold a 3-3 record on the season, and have only scored 70 goals on the season. To compare them to the 5-2 Wings, Philly is tied for the league lead with 80 goals for.
Despite their mediocre goal scoring statistics, the Swarm have the best goal scorer in the league right now. Shayne Jackson leads the NLL in goals and points, with 18 and 37 respectively. Randy Staats also leads the NLL in assists, with 27. Philadelphia needs to keep an eye on these two if they want to give their goaltender some help.
As for stats go however, the Swarm have been just like their record: mediocre. The Wings have outscored their opponents by 21 this season, while the Swarm only showcase a plus-eight in the goal differential category. They have been a good ground ball (478) and transition team, but that’s about it for their above-average stats. Their face-off percentage is sitting toward the bottom of the NLL, only winning 35.7% of opportunities. Trevor Baptiste should have a field day for Philly.
Overall, Georgia has been a sound defense team, however. They have surrendered a middle-of-the-pack 62 goals this season, not far off from the Wings’ 62. In fact, goaltender Mike Poulin only allows an average of 10 goals per game, with a .778 save percentage.
The Swarm can be looked at as a trap game for Philly. They dominated the Wings 12-6 back in December, but both teams have trended in different directions since. The Wings, on their home turf, are rallying behind an undefeated home record. As well as the Swarm may match up against the Wings, Philly should still take this one in a lower scoring game.
Scratch up a 4-0 record at Wells Fargo Center with a 12-9 wings win.
Avid Philly fan and future educator
Student at Stockton University