Saturday, June 25, 2011

NLL offseason to-do lists

By Graeme Perrow

Down Goes Brown recently managed to get his hands on the to-do lists for a number of NHL teams, and wrote an article summarizing them. I was sure that the various NLL teams had similar lists, so I contacted my sources and lo and behold, I managed to get hold the aforementioned lists.

Boston Blazers – We need more former MVPs. Figure out a way to get Jeff Shattler down here.

Buffalo Bandits – JT says he's almost out of that Fountain of Youth water. Someone needs to head down to Tortuga to find that guy who knows where to get more.

Calgary Roughnecks – Ignore phone calls from the Boston Blazers.

Colorado Mammoth – Turns out the fans do like to see the Mammoth win at home. Fire that guy who said winning didn't matter. Don't remember his name, but he used to work for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Edmonton Rush – We won 2 of 3 against Washington last year and destroyed Toronto in the last game, so let's try to schedule lots of games against those losers next season. Avoid Calgary.

Minnesota Swarm – The "Dress in 1890's men's bathing suits" promotion was a big hit last year, so this year we're going to shake it up again and have Lady Gaga design the jerseys.

Philadelphia Wings – We're an American team, we should have American players! Say goodbye to those Canadians, like Miller, Wray, Iannucci, and Dawson, and say hello to the playoffs!

Rochester Knighthawks – Likin' all the individual awards we picked up at the end of last year, but I have a feeling there's a big team one we didn't really come close to getting. Can't... quite... remember... Plus, nobody named Gait has been hired, fired, signed, or retired in months. Must get on that.

Toronto Rock – I seem to remember something about a veteran player retiring, but I talked to Colin Doyle yesterday and he's definitely coming back. Looks like we're good to go!

Washington Stealth – Come up with creative ways to bring the fans in. Two finals appearances and one championship in two seasons is obviously not enough – this "have a successful team" idea might have been good on paper, but it just isn't working.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What are the Knighthawks up to?

The National Lacrosse League off-season doesn't necessarily mean it's vacation time for the Rochester Knighthawks. In fact, many Knighthawk players are still playing in various summer leagues right now. Several even play in multiple leagues simultaneously! Here is a brief list of where some of the Rochester Knighthawks are currently playing:

Shawn Williams and Aaron Bold are part of the Brooklin Redmen of Major Series Lacrosse. Bold is the starting goalie for Brooklin and currently boasts an impressive 8.43 goals against average with a .810 save percentage. Shawn Williams currently leads the league in overall scoring with 69 points (19+50) in just 8 games.
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Cory Vitarelli, Shawn Evans, Kyle Laverty, and Kevin Fines are playing for the Peterbourough Lakers of Major Series Lacrosse. Evans leads the Lakers with 41 PIM.

Cody Jamieson, Matt Vinc, Craig Point, Sid Smith, and Rory Glaves play for the Six Nations Chiefs of Major Series Lacrosse.

Jordan Hall, Cody Jamieson, Joe Walters, Jarrett Davis, Matt Vinc, Sid Smith, and Tyler Burton play for the Hamilton Nationals of Major League Lacrosse (an outdoor league). Hall leads the team with 9 points (5+4) while Jamieson leads the team in scoring with 6 goals (+1 assist).

(Originally published on Examiner.com)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

John Grant, A Rising Playmaker

By Mike Wilson

A few months ago we told you about John Grant Jr., a youngster without a name a name for himself who turned heads at the end of the season with the Mammoth.

Now as he plays in the MLL, he is continuing to grow as a attackman with the Long Island Lizards, more specifically, as a playmaker.

Grant started the MLL season with the Hamilton Nationals  and was the Quarterback of the offense, distributing the ball to the rest of the attackers with precise timing, and speed.

Last week, he was traded to the Long Island Lizards for a second round pick, a reasonable trade, though in the long run it may benefit the Lizards more as Grant continues to grow and learn the league.

In his debut with the Lizards, he helped his team defeat the Chesapeake Bayhawks by collecting 2 assists. This now adds to his point total of 9 (2 goals 9 assists.)

If there have been any criticisms, it’s that he doesn’t shoot the ball enough. He only took a single shot in his Long island debut and has only recorded 7 on the season, though as mentioned before, he has 2 goals.

Grant has a laser of a shot and if used, it can put a lot of points on the board. If he can find away to work his shot into the offense as well with his brilliant passing, he can be a star in both the MLL, and the NLL.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Stealing From InLax: Washington Stealth Season Recap


Stolen from the desk of Marisa Ingemi
Since moving from California to Washington,. the Stealth have seen their share of success. After defeating the Toronto Rock in the Champions Cup last season, they found themselves in the position to repeat.
Instead, they fell to the Rock in the championship. But to call this season a disappointment would be hard. They did finish at 8-8 after a championship, but turned it on late to find themselves back in the Cup.
Lewis Ratcliff and Rhys Duch saw themselves as legit MVP candidates and Tyler Richards may have been the best goalie in the playoffs.
Let's recap their season and look to the future.
Star-divide
The Stats
Lewis Ratcliff finished second in the league in scoring, behind only the Swarm's Ryan Benesch, and Duch found himself two points behind Ratcliff. Despite their great offensive production, they finished second worst in the league in goals against. Now, this has to do with how awful Matt Roik was to start the season, but that stat should still be a concern.
The Stealth finished with the best power play in the league at 49%, 4% more than the second place Calgary Roughnecks. And this was an offense that was without Jeff Zywicki for most of the season.
Pros
Well, they went to the Cup and most of their players should be back. That has to be a pro. Zywicki should come back healthy and Paul Rabil is just growing as a player in the indoor game. Ratcliff and Duch had MVP years, so the offense seems all good for the future.
Tyler Richards also got better in net as the season went on, so that is a good sign as well.
Cons
The goaltending and defense could be an issue. Richards did improved but the 198 GA is a problem. Like I said though, most of those goals came from Matt Roik early on. There is an interesting rumor around of Matt Roik begin traded. He might not like playing second fiddle in Washington, so if that is the case the Stealth will need a solid backup goaltender. Maybe a guy like Brandon Atherton.

Now on to the future of the Stealth. It looks bright with a young and solid nucleus. With Ratcliff, Duch and Zywicki leading the way and Rabil soon to enter that mix, the Stealth could very well become the next NLL dynasty. If their defense and goaltending is improved they can dominate the west next season.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bet you can't read this article!!

Mike Wilson

Well you sure showed me! Now that I have your attention, I suggest you take 45 mins out of your busy work day and listen to Lax Live Radio!

Ted Jenner, Stephan Stamps and Andy McNamara are this weeks guests!

We also debut the Quizalator and I make blind MLL picks!

It will be more fun then being dumped into a pit full of snakes!

(BTW the Show is at 4pm MT and located here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/laxlive)