2014 preview: Calgary Roughnecks

RoughnecksThe success the Calgary Roughnecks has seen over the life of the franchise is surprising, in a couple of ways. In their twelve seasons, they have only missed the playoffs once, and that was in their first year. They’ve only had two seasons under .500. They’ve finished with more goals scored than allowed every season but their first. They’ve finished first in their division five times (2013, 2012, 2011, 2009, 2005). And yet with all that regular season success, they’ve only made it to the Championship game twice, winning both of them.

2013 season summary

Record 9-7 (Tied for 1st in West, seeded 1st)
Home 3-5
Away 6-2
Goals for 222
Goals against 211
Top scorer Shawn Evans (112 points)
Playoffs Division semi-finals: Beat Colorado 15-10
Division Finals: Lost to Washington 14-13

Roster changes

Only the Knighthawks made fewer off-season moves than the Roughnecks. In fact, if it weren’t for injuries, there might only have been one – and that one wasn’t even made by the team: defender Nolan Heavenor announced his retirement. Heavenor was one of those fly-under-the-radar kind of defensemen – no glory (not that defenders ever get much glory) but lots of respect from teammates and opponents alike.

Notable names missing from the announced roster include Travis Cornwall, Scott Ranger, and Pete McFetridge, all of whom are on the PUP list, and Scott Carnegie, assigned to the practice squad. Also missing from last year are Joe Resetarits who was traded to Buffalo, and Aaron Pascas who was released. Additions to the roster include Tor Reinholdt and Karsen Leung, both Mann Cup finalists with the Langley Thunder, and a third goaltender – Peter Dubenski, who will play behind Mike Poulin and Frankie Scigliano.

Ranger is a big part of the Roughnecks offense whose absence will be very much noticed, so I find it odd that they didn’t go with another forward on the roster instead of a third goaltender. Their forwards include the likes of Dobbie, Dickson, Shattler, Veltman, and Shawn Evans, so perhaps they’ve decided that they’re fine on offense, but the only other forward on their roster is Matthew Dinsdale, who only got 7 points in 13 games last year. They can’t be sending out 5 of these 6 guys on every offensive shift, so presumably some of the transition guys (Leung, Reinholdt, and Geoff Snider) will be pulled forward for some shifts until Ranger returns.

Burning question

Which Mike Poulin will the Roughnecks see – the 2012 version (Goaltender of the Year, 10.27 GAA, 78.9 Save%), or the 2013 version (12.82 GAA, 74.2 Save%)?

Look out for

Curtis Dickson. Widely regarded as one of the best offensive players anyway, I can see this 50-60 point guy climbing into the 80-90 range. And not just because there are two more games.

Prediction

First in the west.

Haiku

Roughnecks score a lot
Evans was the MVP
But there’s no Ranger

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One thought on “2014 preview: Calgary Roughnecks

  1. Pingback: 2014 NLL Predictions | NLL Chatter

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