Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spreadsheet Fun: Looking At The Leagues Best and Worst Shooters

Looking at a team's or player's shooting percentage tells you a lot, but not what most may think. As much as one's skill can influence their S%, luck can influence it greatly in a short sample size, so its hard to judge players with little experience by this stat. Looking at shooting percentage also factors in goal-tending numbers, complicating things further and adding even more luck into the equation. There are only so many goals in a season, but there are a lot of shots, allowing us to use those to get better data. Because any shot on goal could end up as a goal, it allows shots to be used to grade a shooter. We just have to look at the percentage of the player's or team's shots that actually hit the net. If a team has a pile of shot attempts, but doesn't hit the net, they won't do much good.

TEAM                  G                    S            SOG             SOFF        OnNet%
Edmonton Rush 134 740 562 178 75.95%
Calgary Roughnecks 154 781 578 203 74.01%
Toronto Rock 161 932 687 245 73.71%
Rochester Knighthawks 138 744 545 199 73.25%
Minnesota Swarm 118 851 623 228 73.21%
Vancouver Stealth 129 766 556 210 72.58%
Buffalo Bandits 133 789 570 219 72.24%
Philadelphia Wings 143 906 651 255 71.85%
Colorado Mammoth 137 857 607 250 70.83%

The chart above shows OnNet% for each team, evaluated by dividing the number of shots on goal by the team's total shots. It isn't very surprising to see Edmonton at the top of the list, as they have been a the top of the standings all year. The only real outlier is the Buffalo Bandits, who have been the teams luckiest team this year, getting great goaltending from Anthony Cosmo.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

10-0 Meets 0-10

by Avry Lewis-McDougall

The Edmonton Rush are re-writing the NLL record books with every new win. The now 10-0 club has a start that may not be matched for a long time to come.

With this type of history being made Mr. Mike Wilson and myself once asked, what's the complete opposite of a start like this? Many moons ago I touched on them briefly in an article for the blog, but the team that would be the anti 2014 Rush,would have to be the 1996 Charlotte Cobras.

0-10. That was how Charlotte finished their only season in the MILL. They were all kinds of awful and reached depths so low that I don't think any other team in the NLL could ever reach even if they tried.

Just how bad were the Cobras? Well let me show you some numbers....

-They scored only 85 goals, while giving up 186. Meaning that they on average lost by about 10 goals a game. No other team in the MILL that year scored less than 125 or even came close to allowing 180 goals.

-Pat McCready who would go on to a have a long and very successful MILL/NLL career led the team in scoring as a rookie. How many points did he have? 25. That's not a joke. No other player on the team would get to 20 points.

-Charlotte gave up 20 or more goals 4 times in a game, with the worst example being a 28-6 loss to the Buffalo Bandits.

-Speaking of Buffalo, John Tavares in 1996 had 81 points, his assist totals alone would have led the Cobras in scoring (40 assists).

Looking at these stats it wouldn't have shocked me if they found a way to have played inter-squad games where both teams lost.

There was one claim to fame that was not entirely negative, the Cobras once held the distinction of being the southermost franchise in league history (a mark now held by the now defunct Orlando Titans).

Without a doubt the Cobras were the furthest thing from this year's Rush, although maybe the NLL just for fun should hold an exhibition game between the two sqauds to see what the score would be.

My guess? 25-3 Edmonton. At halftime. The Rexall Place scoreboard would not be able to handle what the final score may be.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Edmonton Rush are 9-0 and it's spectacular

 By Avry Lewis-McDougall

Last night we saw the Edmonton Rush make NLL history by starting a season at
9-0 with their 10-9 win over the Vancouver Stealth.

It's a great time to be a fan of this club as they are truly the top dogs in the league.

I also decided to truly express myself and chew the fat on it via YouTube.


Monday, February 24, 2014

NLL Point Per Game Stats Week 10

With NLL scheduling imbalances, it's hard to really judge the scoring leaders as they have all played a varying amount of games. This post is up as a quick reference to me and other fans who want a quick look at a stat (Points per game) that is somehow not available on the NLL website.

 Name Team                 GP                  G                 A               PTS             PPG
Garrett Billings TOR 8 16 42 58 7.3
Shawn Evans CGY 8 10 41 51 6.4
Cody Jamieson ROC 8 19 28 47 5.9
Rhys Duch VAN 9 22 28 50 5.6
Stephan Leblanc TOR 8 22 22 44 5.5
John Grant Jr. COL 10 22 31 53 5.3
Dane Dobbie CGY 8 26 16 42 5.3
Dan Dawson ROC 8 8 33 41 5.1
Ryan Benesch BUF 8 13 27 40 5
Jordan Hall PHI 8 19 21 40 5
Jeff Shattler CGY 8 17 23 40 5
Adam Jones COL 8 25 15 40 5
Kyle Buchanan PHI 10 16 32 48 4.8
Mark Matthews EDM 7 14 19 33 4.7
Callum Crawford MIN 9 14 27 41 4.6
Ryan Ward PHI 9 9 30 39 4.3
Colin Doyle TOR 8 16 18 34 4.3
Dhane Smith BUF 8 10 23 33 4.1
Josh Sanderson TOR 8 11 22 33 4.1
Drew Westervelt COL 9 19 18 37 4.1
Jordan MacIntosh MIN 9 16 20 36 4
Mark Steenhuis BUF 8 16 16 32 4
John Tavares BUF 7 14 14 28 4
Kevin Crowley PHI 10 14 24 38 3.8
Tyler Digby VAN 10 16 19 35 3.5
Logan Schuss MIN 9 16 15 31 3.4
Cliff Smith VAN 10 14 19 33 3.3
Sean Pollock COL 9 14 15 29 3.2
Tracey Kelusky PHI 10 17 13 30 3
Lewis Ratcliff VAN 10 12 18 30 3

Thursday, February 21, 2013

John Grant Jr Is A Magic Man

By Avry Lewis-McDougall

One of the NLL's best is at it again, and he's joined the craze of making trick shot videos.

Colorado's John Grant Jr made a trick shot video that he recorded with team GM Steve Govett and well let's just say it's something that could blow the wispy hair off of Donald Trump's head, check it out....

 After I watched it for the first time these thoughts were running through my head....

-The skeet shooting with the frisbees, I bet John could do with one arm tied behind his back.

-Even with a helmet I wouldn't let JGJ fire a ball at my cranium...Govitt is all kinds of wild.

-Scoring from the stands and press box is actually Jr showing off a new rule addition that will come into play in the 2014 season...I can't wait!

-Shooting pucks while playing lacrosse is pure overdose of Canadiana I was shocked I didn't explode into a pile of maple syrup and Bryan Adams CD's while watching it.

- The camera didn't capture everyone fleeing from the falling banner which would have covered the entire state of Colorado if this happened at Mile High Stadium.

-If I tried to fire a ball through the camera lens hole I'd smash the glass and be forced to repair it for some unknown reason.

It's a fantastic video and a great way for the Mammoth and the NLL as a whole to get some mainstream exposure in the sports world, who knows maybe some other players across the league could challenge him and do trick shot videos of their own.

Lastly, with the distance that John got from tossing his stick into the stands he instantly became Peyton Manning's backup on the Broncos.

Friday, January 4, 2013

2013 Season Predictions



  1. Calgary
  2. Colorado
  3. Minnesota 
  4. Edmonton
  5. Washington


  1. Rochester
  2. Toronto
  3. Buffalo
  4. Philadelphia 
MVP: Cody Jamieson
Rookie Of The Year: Mark Matthews
Transition Player Of The Year: Jordan MacIntosh
Defender Of The Year: Kyle Rubisch
Goaltender Of The Year: Matt Vinc



  1. Calgary
  2. Colorado
  3. Edmonton
  4. Minnesota 
  5. Washington


  1. Rochester
  2. Toronto
  3. Buffalo
  4. Philadelphia
MVP: Garrett Billings
Rookie Of The Year: Mark Matthews
Transition Player Of The Year: Andrew Suitor
Defender Of The Year: Kyle Rubisch
Goaltender Of The Year: Mike Poulin

9 Teams In 9 Days: Edmonton Rush

Pictured: The Middle Of Nowhere
It's not often that a team that makes it to the Champions Cup final and has the first overall pick in their repertoire, but that was the case with the Edmonton Rush last season. After losing to the Knighthawks in the final, the Rush were able to pick Mark Matthews first overall in the October draft.

Matthews comes with the hype of being the best lacrosse player to be drafted since John Grant Jr. His resume includes two Minto Cups, and the title of All-Time leading scorer at Denver University. He's also not a stranger to pro lacrosse as he played this Summer with the MLL's Denver Outlaws.

Matthews will become the first player the Rush have been able to market to the fan,s as in past years, the team had a lack of star-power and with it a lack of success. At this point in the city, it's home playoff date or bust, but in the competitive West division, making the playoff will take all they have.

Matthews will be the franchise's first legitimate offensive quarterback and will be heavily relied upon in his rookie season. The Rush turned on the jets in the playoffs last year, but in the regular season they finished last in the league in goals for, only scoring 167 times.

They lose their leading scorer from last season in Shawn Williams, as well as Scott Evans and Aaron Wilson. Williams and Wilson were both part of trades, while Evans was released after Head Coach Derek Keenan thought he was not in the right shape or state of mind to stay with the team. Evans was missed 4 games in the regular season and finished the year benched during the playoffs.

Sticking around is Zack Greer, who had a breakout season leading the team with 31 goals, Corey Small, who lead the team in scoring in 2011, and Ryan Ward who had a less than stellar regular season but turned up production to average 7.5 points per game in the playoffs.

As well as Mark Matthews, rookies Curtis Knight and Mike Burke made the team on offense while Mitch Bannister will play transition.

Last season playing transition by committee didn't really work out, so Jarrett Davis and Jeremy Thompson have been brought in to help.

The Rush have one of the top defenses in the league, last year putting them second in goals against. Their back end features Kyle Rubisch, Chris Corbeil, and Brett Mydske, all three of which have been NLL All-Stars in the last couple years. Rubisch is also the leagues reigning Defender Of The Year.

Finally, in goal is Aaron Bold who was given his first starting job last year and took it by the horns. Bold finished third in Save% for starting goaltenders stopping 77.5% of the shots he faced. He was a big part in the Rush making the playoffs and should be up for another great season.

Will the Rush be able to score enough goals? That seems to be the big question. As mentioned above, Matthews will be leaned upon to lead this offense in just his first season. He has the skills and surrounding pieces, and use of available talent should get them into the playoffs.