Week 14 picks

I went 2-2 last weekend, getting the west games right (Edmonton, Calgary) and the east games wrong (Toronto, Buffalo). Since Tyler only went 1-3, we’re now tied at 39-16, one game better than the top IL Indoor prognosticator, Bob Chavez.

Record: 39-16 (.709)

Game
Comments
Pick
EDM @ ROC Toughest test yet for the Rush. Of course, I thought the Bandits would be a tough test for the Rush and they handled them like they were the 2013 Bandits. Looking forward to this one. Rush4333
MIN @ CAL Last week’s Swarm victory over the Bandits (and their OT loss to the Rock the week before) gave the Swarm some confidence but it’ll take more than confidence to get past Mike Poulin and keep from getting swamped by the Calgary powerhouse offense. Imagine how good they’d be with Scott Ranger in the lineup every day. Roughnecks5
PHI @ COL Adam Jones returns alongside Casey Powell, John Grant, and Drew Westervelt. Oh and Sean Pollock, Athan Iannucci, and Joel Dalgarno. Obviously Jones’ injury hurt and Powell and Iannucci have only played 5 games each, but this team should really be in the top few in goals scored per game rather than 8th. Still, they have the firepower to get by Philly as long as Mr. Crowley doesn’t have another one of those outbursts like last weekend. Mammoth
BUF @ VAN Buffalo’s street cred took a bit of a beating last weekend, getting blown out by the best team in the league and then losing to the worst team in the league. But I think they’re still a good enough team to beat the floundering Stealth. Bandits433
EDM @ TOR I’m bringing my dad to this game so hopefully the Rock puts on a good show. If the Rock from the early part of the season – who lost to the Rush by 1, beat the Roughnecks handily, and demolished the Wings – shows up we’re in good shape. At least they’ll put up a good fight. If the more recent Rock, losers of four of the last five, show up, we’re in trouble. Either way, I think the Rush take this one. Rush4333

The NLL Pronunciation Guide 2014

There I am, just sitting at my computer watching the Swarm play the Bandits… when it happens. I’m not shocked, but a little startled. A week later, the Rock are playing the Swarm and it happens again, more than once. Again, not shocking but my anxiety level starts to rise. Then it happens again this past weekend (I was so distraught I don’t even remember which game it was), and I lose it. I snap. I resolve right then and there to write yet another name pronunciation guide (here’s last year’s and the original from 2011) in the hopes that the NLL announcers will read it and start pronouncing the players’ names right, even if only for a change of pace. I may have to start doing one of these every year to cover the rookies.

A couple of times recently I’ve even heard announcers getting names entirely wrong. If you see “Aaron Wilson” and decide “Aaron” is pronounced “COLL-in”, well I can’t help you. I’m doing my best by writing this article but I’m no miracle worker.

Note that not all NLL announcers are in need of this list. Guys like Dave Walls and Jake Elliott know the league and the players and while they might get a rookie’s name wrong in his first game, they’re not going to mess up Kelusky or Steenhuis. But not all of the announcers are as familiar with the players, so this article is for them.

I’ve organized the names alphabetically within their teams starting with the East division.

 

Buffalo

Ryan Benesch – buh-NESH

Kevin Brownell – brow-NELL

Steve Priolo – pree-O-lo

Joe Resetarits – res-uh-TARE-its

Dhane Smith – DANE

Mark Steenhuis – STAIN-house

John Tavares – tuh-VAR-es

Jay Thorimbert – THOR-im-burt

Kurtis Wagar – WAY-ger

 

Minnesota

Callum Crawford – CAL-um. Not CAY-lum.

Alex Crepinsek – CREP-in-seck

Kiel Matisz – KYLE muh-TEEZ

Logan Schuss – SHUSS (rhymes with BUS). Confirmed by Logan himself.

Corbyn Tao – COR-bin TOW (TOW rhymes with COW)

Philadelphia

CJ Costabile – COST-a-bull

Kevin Crowley – CROW-lee where CROW also rhymes with COW, not like the bird CROW

Tracey Kelusky – kuh-LUH-skee. Not kuh-LOO-skee

Garrett Thul – THOOL

Chad Wiedmaier – WEED-myer

 

Rochester

Mike Accursi – uh-KER-see

Stephen Keogh – KEY-o

Matt Vinc – like the name VINCE. Not VINK

Cory Vitarelli – vit-uh-REL-ee

 

Toronto

Kasey Beirnes – BEERns. Not BEER-ness

Nick Diachenko – dya-CHENG-ko.

Billy Hostrawser – HO-straw-zer. I got this wrong last year.

Stephen Leblanc – STEFF-in luh-BLONK. Not luh-BLANK.

 

Calgary

Dane Dobbie – DOUGH-bee. Not like Dobby.

Karsen Leung – lee-UNG

Tor Reinholdt – RINE-holt

Frankie Scigliano – shill-ee-ANN-o

Geoff Snider – SNY-der. One of my pet peeves is when he’s called SHNY-der.

 

Colorado

Tye Belanger – buh-LON-zhay

Joey Cupido – koo-PEE-do

Athan Iannucci – eye-uh-NOOCH-ee

Chet Koneczny – kon-EZ-nee

Creighton Reid – CRAY-ton

Bob Snider – SNY-der

Drew Westervelt – WEST-er-velt

 

Edmonton

Nik Bilic – Technically BIL-ich but most people say BIL-ik

Chris Corbeil – cor-BEEL

Riley Loewen – LOW-en where LOW does not rhyme with COW.

Brett Mydske – MID-skee

Adrian Sorichetti – sore-i-KET-ee

Kyle Rubisch – ROO-bish. My Scottish relatives might say it like “rubbish” but he’s not.

 

Vancouver

Rhys Duch – REES DUTCH

Ilija Gajic – ILL-ee-ya GUY-ch

Justin Pychel – PITCH-el

Nick Weiss – WEES. I know, right? Looks like WYSS! But it’s not! The hell, man?

 

Non-players

Steve Bermel – BERM-ull. Rhymes with “thermal”. IL Indoor Bandits writer.

Melissa Dafni – DAF-nee. One of my co-hosts on Addicted to Lacrosse.

Jamie Dawick – DOW-ick. DOW rhymes with, you guessed it, COW. Owner of the Rock.

Tyler Fitch – TY-ler FITCH. My other co-host on Addicted to Lacrosse. Easy name to pronounce but I didn’t want to leave him out.

Marisa Ingemi – muh-RISS-a in-JEMM-ee. In Lacrosse We Trust writer.

Darris Kilgour – DARE-iss KILL-gore. Former Bandits coach/GM.

Curt Malawsky – muh-LOW-skee. Had to get another COW rhyme in there. Roughnecks head coach.

Graeme Perrow – GRAY-um PAIR-o. Yours truly.

Craig Rybczynski – rib-CHIN-skee. Knighthawks broadcaster.

Grant Spies – SPEEZ. NLL ref.

Week 13 picks

In case you think I forgot to post this article before this week’s games started, you’re absolutely wrong. I forgot to write this article before this week’s games started. Luckily I announced my picks, as I always do, on the Addicted to Lacrosse show on Monday, so there’s no question of my making my picks after one game is over (Edmonton beat Buffalo earlier tonight) and the other is half finished (Calgary is up 8-2 on Vancouver at the half as I type this).

I went 5-0 last weekend and I’m now 11-1 in the last three weeks. Actually 12-1 since the Rush have already won this weekend.

Record: 37-14 (.725)

Game
Comments
Pick
BUF @ EDM I keep saying this. “If anyone can beat the Rush, it’s Rochester”. “If anyone can beat the Rush, it’s Calgary”. “If anyone can beat the Rush, it’s Buffalo”. Well, they’ve all tried and failed. Pretty soon it might be “If anyone can beat the Rush, it must be 2015.” Rush433
CAL @ VAN This pick was somewhat of a no-brainer for me, though both Tyler and Melissa picked Vancouver. Perhaps I’ve lost all confidence in the Stealth or have too much confidence in the Roughnecks, but I spent very little time thinking about this one. Roughnecks
TOR @ PHI This one I thought more about. The last two Rock games have featured great first halves and lousy second halves. But they’ve done a bit of a rebuild mid-way through the season, bringing in Brandon Miller, Kevin Ross, Jimmy Purves and out of retirement, Cam Woods. Meanwhile, the Wings have lost six straight. Rock5
BUF @ MIN Top team in the east vs. bottom team in the league – another no-brainer. Could the Swarm pull off the upset? Sure, but I’m not betting on it. Bandits43

Game report: Rochester 17 @ Toronto 12

If anyone knows what John Lovell said to the Toronto Rock at halftime of Saturday night’s game, please don’t tell me. If I hear it, I might just lay down and have a nap, ignoring whatever task I’m in the middle of.

The Rock started strong, scoring six goals on their first seven shots and chasing Matt Vinc from the Knighthawks net early in the second quarter. I know, right? They chased Matt Vinc! Doyle had a hat-trick, Billings and Hellyer had a couple each, and Leblanc had one – and this is only 4½ minutes into the second quarter. Rochester had their chances as well, but Nick Rose was solid in the first half – better than solid, actually, he was really good. The Knighthawks scattered five goals throughout the first half, while the Rock scored eight on Vinc, though they only scored one after backup Angus Goodleaf was brought in. Toronto was definitely in control at the half, leading 9-5.

And then came The Speech. Maybe it was something like “Well, this game’s over boys, we don’t need to try so hard in the second half” and everybody on the Rock’s veteran-laden team bought that. Maybe it was something like “I feel sorry for those poor Knighthawks. Maybe we should let them back in the game to make them feel better!” Or perhaps it was an early April Fool’s joke and the two teams switched uniforms.

Whatever happened, it was bad. The second half of this game might have been the worst half of lacrosse the team has played all season. Rochester had scored the last goal of the second quarter and then scored the next seven goals to turn a 9-4 Rock lead into a 12-9 Knighthawks lead. Finally Garrett Billings scored, 16 minutes after the Rock’s last goal, to break the streak but the Hawks just started a new one, scoring the next five and putting the game out of reach. In the end, Rochester outscored the Rock 12-3 in the second half. The Nick Rose from the first half was nowhere to be seen, which led to a couple of goalie changes, with Steve Fryer making his Rock debut. Rose was brought back in later, but then was pulled a second time. The offense couldn’t get anything going, and they seemed to go from “Hey, we should really start scoring a few here or we’ll run out of time for the comeback” to full-on panic “Shoot as soon as you get the ball and maybe we’ll get lucky and it’ll go in!” mode in no time flat. The second half collapse wasn’t entirely the fault of goaltending though, there were a number of defensive breakdowns that resulted in some Knighthawk player by himself with the ball on the edge of the crease and a few seconds to decide where to put it. Regardless of who the goalie is or how he’s playing, the majority of those are going in.

Just two days after the @NLLFactOfTheDay was about Angus Goodleaf, he came in and played an outstanding game. When he came out to start the third and fourth quarters, I was a little surprised that they didn’t go back to Vinc, but the way Goodleaf was playing there was really no point in putting Vinc back in. When you can keep the Rock offense to four goals in forty minutes, I don’t care how many Goalie of the Year awards the other guy has, you are staying in the net. FYI Goodleaf is no longer the league’s GAA leader – that would be Brodie MacDonald with 5.37, while Goodleaf has 5.41. Goodleaf is still the league’s save % leader at 87.2%. He’s also played over 55 minutes this season, over ten times what he played last year.

Other game notes:

  • Jesse Gamble and Scott Self were in a “fight” in the first quarter. I put “fight” in quotes because it took them long enough to get each other’s helmets off so that they could fight, it looked like they were too tired to continue. I’m not sure Self actually threw any punches, and Gamble might have thrown a couple.
  • Just look at this Colin Doyle spin-o-rama goal. Just look at it. This is the last goal that Vinc allowed.
  • Cody Jamieson gets credit for this goal but just watch the play that birthday boy Johnny Powless makes to set it up. Powless has played 2½ seasons and has won two Championships and he just turned 21.
  • Near the end of the game, some clearly drunk Rock fan (in a Chicago Shamrox jersey) started chirping to the Knighthawks players in the penalty box and then started making rude gestures to them, even grabbing the plexiglass between him and them and almost pulling it down. He was thrown out but as he left, he started waving to the fans and they cheered him. Why? Why does this idiot deserve cheering? Why aren’t we embarrassed?
  • No announcement was made at the game, but Dan Dawson netted his 1000th career point in this game. Congrats to one of the best scorers in league history and a slam-dunk Hall of Famer once he retires. He’s still playing at an awfully high level though, so retirement could still be (and hopefully will be) many years away.
  • I asked on twitter whether the momentum had shifted in the second half, but got conflicting answers:

Momentum Shift

Week 12 picks

I was 3-1 last week, only missing the Calgary-Colorado game. Some tough ones this week, and I picked a few based solely on my gut and not on anything I can explain.

Record: 32-14 (.696)

Game
Comments
Pick
EDM @ CAL If anybody can beat the Rush, it’s Calgary. But I have to play the odds and go with Edmonton. Rush43
ROC @ TOR Once again, I find it hard to pick against Matt Vinc, even when it’s the Rock facing him. Despite going 0-2 the other weekend, the Rock didn’t play all that bad other than the first quarter of the Calgary game. I imagine the week off will help get everyone healthy again, but I’m still going with the Hawks. Knighthawks533
COL @ BUF Colorado played really well against the Roughnecks last weekend, but I still think the Bandits are the best team in the East, and best in the league outside of Edmonton. Bandits4
ROC @ PHI Rochester had a little bit of trouble with the Wings last weekend, other than the fourth quarter when they pulled away. Don’t see it going any differently this week. Knighthawks533
TOR @ MIN Minnesota’s confidence is rising, even if they haven’t beaten anyone but the Wings. They played strong against the Bandits last week, but I’m still picking the Rock in this one. Rock

Week 11 picks

The good news: 3-0 last week! The bad news: The Rock 0-2 weekend that I predicted came true. Was kinda hoping I’d be wrong on one of those.

All three members of the Addicted to Lacrosse team made the same picks for this weekend.

Record: 29-13 (.690)

Game
Comments
Pick
MIN @ BUF Buffalo hasn’t played in a couple of weeks, but their confidence is still running high, though Minnesota’s is probably not bad either after beating the Wings and a close loss to Toronto. Still gotta go with the Bandits. Bandits
PHI @ ROC Philly’s lost four in a row, and they’re facing Matt Vinc. I don’t see the upset here. Knighthawks53
CAL @ COL Calgary’s offense was clicking big-time last weekend, and against the Colorado defense (and three rookie coaches), they might just have another field day. Roughnecks5
VAN @ EDM As I said on the A2L show: Vancouver minus Sorensen against the Rush? No-brainer. (Of course I hate saying “no-brainer” with NLL picks since teams like to prove me wrong.) Rush4