Some crazy weird stuff happened in week 12, and we also have two brand-new lacrosse stats web sites, one of which is mine. Let’s jump right in.
San Diego play-by-play man Cooper Perkins has created this new web site, laxmetrics.com, which contains a crazy amount of data and analysis on the NLL. This isn’t the type of stats analysis that I have done for years, this is a whole ‘nother level of stats geekdom, and it’s awesome. I have a more detailed article coming out this week so I won’t say much more here. I will say that there’s a lot of information there and how the numbers are obtained is described in detail. You can read all of that if you want, but you don’t have to in order to gain some insight on teams and players.
Bandits vs. FireWolves
You always hear that lacrosse is a game of runs – this one was nothing but. Buffalo pulled out the come-from-behind win to maintain their hold on first place overall, but the interesting thing about this game wasn’t so much how the goals were scored. It was when and to some extent where. Albany scored once in the first, Buffalo six times in the second, then Albany seven times in the third, and then Buffalo seven times in the fourth. Four runs, two for each team, and that’s the game. Buffalo went scoreless in the first and third quarters, Albany in the second and fourth. This is the first game since records have been kept (2005) that both teams in a game were held scoreless in multiple quarters. The fact that the teams alternated scoreless quarters means that every goal in the game was scored into the same net, also a league first. I’m not sure how meaningful it is, but it’s a wild coincidence.
Roughnecks vs. Warriors
No Mitch Jones, Alex Buque, or Tyrell Hamer-Jackson, but the Warriors get it done anyway. Keegan Bal has become the Robert Church to Mitch Jones’s Mark Matthews, Steve Fryer played a great game, and the Warriors got some help from the back end as well, as Barker and Stuart both scored. Calgary led for about five minutes in the first but never again, though they tied the game four times and were never out of it by any stretch.
The last few minutes of this game were intense, as each team had multiple scoring chances but all three goalies came up big. Yes, all three – Del Bianco and Fryer were both excellent, and at one point when Del Bianco was on the bench during the last minute of the game, the Warriors were stopped by a big save from Jesse King, who now has the lowest career GAA (0.00) and highest career save percentage (100%) in league history.
Team social media chirps
A number of teams have had a solid social media presence for years (Halifax comes to mind), but a few are stepping up their game this year. The Vancouver Warriors, for one. They posted a video of Kyle Killen scoring, with the caption “Kyle Killen and scoring big goals. Name a more iconic duo”. Their opponent on Friday night, the Calgary Roughnecks, responded “the warriors and not making the playoffs”. Shots fired. While the Roughnecks are arguably correct, the Warriors didn’t back down: “Can’t hear you from that low in the standings”. I love it.
Back in January, someone pointed me at NFL Scorigami and I had a look. It lists each final score from every NFL game ever (going back 100+ years), how often each score has happened, the first and most recent time each one has happened, and so on. Because of the weird scoring in the NFL, some scores are far more common than others (there have been 117 games with a 20-10 final score, and none with 20-11), so the results are interesting.
Since each goal in the NLL is worth one point, the scores are less “patchy” and so I thought it might not be that interesting, but it looked like a fun project so I started looking at it. The result: nllscorigami.com. I added a few features, like the ability to choose a specific team, and choosing whether to include or exclude regular season games, playoff games, and minigames.
The numbers are what you might expect – close games happen more often than blowouts, scores between 10 and 14 are the most common, things like that. There are a few oddities; for example there has only been one 13-5 game in NLL history, but all the scores around it (12-6, 13-6, 12-5, 14-5, etc.) have all happened several times.
Other than determining exactly where to place the popup when you click on a square, I wrote all the code myself, and I’ll update the score data every week. Take a look around and let me know if you find any bugs.
Panther City announcers
I only watched the second half of the PCLC / Calgary game, but I heard a few mistakes. Through twitter, I heard about a few more. At one point, they pronounced “Herreweyers” correctly (HAIR-wires), but later in the game they started saying “HAY-wires”, which is wrong. I admit that I did list that name as HAY-wires on the pronunciation guide a few years ago, but have corrected it in recent versions including this year’s. But they changed pronunciations midway through the game. They said Nick Damude’s name wrong (they said duh-MOOD – should be DAY-mood) all game. Early in the game, they mentioned that Curtis Dickson had been quiet in the first quarter. This was because he wasn’t playing so as Dickson himself pointed out, technically they were correct. But seriously, broadcasters: please use the pronunciation guide and make sure you know who’s actually playing in the game.
I talked about this last week. Same applies, and we’re still not at panic time yet. However every game they lose is increasing the anxiety level of everyone involved and brings us closer to panic time. I saw a tweet about firing Jeff McComb, and I’m not sure that’s necessary. The guy’s only eight games into his head coaching career so I’d give him a little more time. Maybe he’s made some changes to their systems and it’s taking longer for the team to adapt than they’d like, but remember that he was given the job by Derek Keenan, one of the top lacrosse minds in the game. If Keenan thought he was a good fit for this job, I’m not gonna argue. Not that Keenan can’t be wrong, but he ain’t wrong much.