Weirdest. Season. Ever.
I know it’s only two weeks in and things can certainly change but I think I can safely say that nobody would have predicted many of the things happening so far this season. Give yourself a pat on the back if you saw any of these things coming:
- The New England Black Wolves start the year 2-0 with a convincing win against the Bandits and a blowout against the Knighthawks
- Rochester starts the year 0-2, averaging <10 goals per game
- Edmonton starts 0-2
- Calgary starts 0-2 despite averaging 15 goals per game
- Matt Vinc, Tyler Richards, and Mike Poulin all have GAAs above 15
- Dillon Ward’s GAA is over 14 and he’s 2-0.
- The Toronto Rock replaces Colin Doyle and Garrett Billings with Brett Hickey and NOBODY ELSE (on offense) and still averages >16 goals per game
- Josh Sanderson is averaging over 10 points per game
- Johnny Powless has 1 goal and 5 assists in 2 games. Transition player Ilija Gajic has more points for the Stealth than Powless.
On the other hand, there are definitely things that we did see (or could have seen) coming:
- Miles Thompson and Ben McIntosh have both been impactful in their first couple of NLL games
- Evan Kirk is looking like a Goaltender of the Year candidate. Kirk was outstanding in his rookie year of 2012 but after a dismal sophomore year, he came back a little last year in Philly and has been lights-out so far this season in New England.
- The top of the scoring leader list contains names like Sanderson, Grant, Evans, Duch, Jones, Jamieson, Crawford.
- Anthony Cosmo’s GAA and save % are both among the league leaders
- Colorado beat Calgary in overtime – their fourth straight OT game
Like I said though, all of these unusual things can and probably will change. Powless will get hot. The goalies mentioned will undoubtedly get better. The undefeated teams will lose and the winless teams will win. The Rock scoring average will probably drop, though how far is anyone’s guess.
But the unexpected is one reason why I love the NLL.