In leiu of making a meaningful update to this blog, I'm going to take the easy(!?) way out and predict the matchups for tonight.
Carloina Cobras vs. Queens Pioneers
Stripunsky must be busy this week because the undefeated Pioneers come with a much weaker lineup than normal. Lenderman is on fire, but Dima will have his hands full with Black against Milman. The lower boards swing Carolina's way. Carolina Cobras 2.5 - Queens Pioneers 1.5
New Jersey Knockouts vs. Baltimore Kingfisher
Both teams bring powerful lineups to the table. The top two boards look like a wash to me, but I like Jersey's chances with young guns Mack Molner and Victor Shen manning the bottom two boards.
New Jersey Knockouts 3 - Baltimore Kingfishers 1
Boston Blitz vs. Philadelphia Inventors
Several interesting matchups in this one. I like the solid Kudrin to finally stop the Jorge express, though a draw seems fair. Vigorito - Bartell could produce some fireworks while Shmelov should score the full point against Costigan. Bengston has gotta get the slight nod with White against Krasik. I'm still going to call this match in Boston's favor.
Boston 2.5 - Philadelphia Inventors 1.5
Chicago Blaze vs. Miami Sharks
This is probably the most evenly contested match of the night. Mitkov vs. Becerra will be a draw while anything can happen on board two. The ratings point to a Blaze edge on boards three and four, but having seen both Galofre and (especially)Rodriguez play recently I can't say that they are underdogs. Drawn match! Chicago Blaze 2 - Miami Sharks 2
Tennessee Tempo vs. Dallas Destiny
No predictions for this one. I like our chances, though.