Saturday, March 3, 2012

GDB: The Injury Bowl (Rock v. Stealth)

Before you get on me, this isn't a Rush preview, it is a Stealth/Rock preview. This isn't the Rush Blog as much as I has seemed to make it so. It's the NLL Blog so I'm going to do another game this week. GET OFF MY BACK! The Rush also don't play this week soooo...

Oh boy am I excited to see Colin Doyle in action this week! Oh? he's not playing? Well at least I get to see Blaine Manning! Hometown kid! He's out too? Huh. Well maybe this is a good time for Rhys "Clutch" Duch and the boys to get their second win! What? You're kidding. Tyler Richards? Damn. Why am I previewing this game? Oh right because it's going to be on TV*. Right. OK let's go!

On Saturday night the Washington Stealth will travel out east to face the Toronto Rock in a Champions Cup rematch. The Rock currently lead the Eastern Division with a 4-3 record, while the Stealth sit at the bottom of the West and the league with a 1-6 record.

Even with their highly skilled offensive personnel, Washington still scores the least amount of goals per game at 9.29. On the other side of the floor things don't get much better as they also give up a league worst 13 goals per game. Tyler Richards, now injured as mentioned above, wasn't the problem, sporting a respectable .775 Save Percentage. Matt King and Chris Seidel are both well below .7 in relief. Seidel has been moved to the practice roster and former Rush/Swarm goaltender Kevin Croswell has been brought in. Defense has never been a strength of the Stealth, usually the offence is there to bail it out, but not this year.

Athan Iannucci was brought in to help out the offence, and so far has been able to put up 2 goals and 4 assists in 2 games. Not flying high.

Kyle Sorensen is will back in the lineup so there's some good news.

The Washington Stealth: Making the Edmonton Rush  look good since 2012
Interesting stat from Graeme Perrow from NLL Chatter:
"The Rock with Colin Doyle for a full game are 0-3. The Rock with Doyle for less then half the game (or not at all) are 4-0." 
The Rock got out to a slow start this season but seem to be getting their legs back underneath them. Because I picked him as my MVP, Stephan Leblanc isn't playing up to expectations, but is still chipping in with 7 goals and 24 points so far.

Stepping up huge for Toronto in Doyle and Manning's absence has been Garrett Billings who leads the team with 42 points, which is good for 4th in the league.

Both teams have had a tough time with injuries so far, so the playing field is leveled.

Prediction: The combination of the Rock being good, the Stealth not being good, and the fact that Washington has to travel across the continent to play, doesn't play well for the bombers.

Toronto wins 15-9

*On TSN2 in Canada, ESPN3 in The USA, and and will be shown on tape delay on ROOT Sports Northwest at 9:30pm PT on Saturday and at 12:30am Sunday.

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