2023 NLL Week 9

A very busy week in the NLL. We are fresh out of undefeated teams now, as the Thunderbirds rebounded from an 0-2 skid to deliver the Knighthawks a 10-goal trouncing. Meanwhile the Bandits went 2-0 on the weekend, the Rock gave up a 6-goal lead and allowed Calgary to tie the game late but then pulled out the win in OT, the Desert Dogs kept pace with the Rush for all but 6½ minutes in the second quarter where the Rush scored seven. In the most lopsided game of the season, Panther City did some trouncing of their own, beating the Warriors by thirteen in Vancouver.

I was only able to watch the Toronto/Calgary game so I don’t have a lot to say about most of the others.


Panther City

The stats from this game are insane. Will Malcom and Jonathan Donville became the first teammates to each have 12+ points in one game. Malcom had 5+8 and Donville had 4+8, but the Panther City scoring doesn’t stop there. Patrick Dodds had 3+5, Callum Crawford 2+5 in his PCLC debut, and Nate Grenon had 3+2. Newcomer Jake Fox was either held scoreless or was a scratch (there’s no way to know from the scoresheet – NOT AWESOME).

The goalies were awesome too – Nick Damude played most of the game and ended up with a GAA of 7.26 while Cam MacLeod finished things off and only allowed one goal in over 10 minutes, giving him a GAA of 5.78. Both goalies had a save percentage over 85%. Vancouver had a 3-0 lead after less than four minutes, but then allowed a PCLC run of nine over the next 13 minutes or so. The Warriors picked up three more in the second quarter but allowed eight, and then only scored once in the final 33 minutes of the game.

Photo credit: Dylan Nadwodny Photography

Will Malcom

I said this about Panther City last year too – they might not make the playoffs but they’re always going to be a tough team to play. But they just missed the playoffs last year, and they are in a playoff spot right now. And they’ve given up FORTY fewer goals than the Warriors in the same number of games.

Dane Dobbie hit 1000 points

Rhys Duch did it just a couple of weeks ago, and now Dane Dobbie has become the 13th player in NLL history to reach the 1000 career points plateau. With 488 goals, Dobbie should also hit the 500 goal mark later this year, becoming only the sixth or seventh player to do that (depending on whether Ryan Benesch, who’s at 493, gets there first). I’ve always enjoyed watching Dobbie. He’s always struck me as one of those guys who hates losing even more than he loves winning – and boy does he love winning. He can have a bit of a mean streak and takes some penalties now and then that he probably shouldn’t, but there’s no denying the man’s talent and work ethic. If you had to pick one player to get that game-tying goal with one possession left in the game, Dobbie would be right up there with Duch. Congrats to Dane Dobbie on this accomplishment.

Calgary never gives up

I’m sure this is true for many, if not most, NLL teams but I’ve just noticed it about the Roughnecks. Regardless of whether they’re up by 8 or down by 8, they will play just as hard in the last five minutes of a game as the first five. In this case, they were down 10-7 with under three minutes remaining. It’s not like they were out of the game and the comeback was near impossible, but they had scored only two goals in the previous 27 minutes or so. We all know that no lead is safe in the NLL, and even though the Rock had dominated most of the game, it didn’t surprise me at all that the Roughnecks were able to come back. The Rock managed to grab the OT victory but it could easily have gone the other way. It still shows up in the standings as a loss but kudos to the Roughnecks for not giving up.

Not Awesome

Vancouver Warriors

I don’t want to beat a dead horse but the Warriors have just been really bad this year. Yes, they have two very young goaltenders so giving up lots of goals is to be expected but with the offensive players they have, they shouldn’t be twelfth in the league in goals scored per game. And we’re getting out of “small sample size” territory as well; with seven games played, their season is almost half over. It seems that the team has been in rebuilding mode since they moved from Washington but I’m starting to agree with Pat Gregoire’s hot take from last week – it might not be much longer before we see guys like Mitch Jones or Keegan Bal traded for draft picks.

Update: This article was written on Monday, and I scheduled it to be published around 5:45 (Eastern) on Tuesday. Early on Tuesday, I started hearing rumours that Logan Schuss will miss the rest of the season, thus making the Warriors’ offensive problems even worse. At 4:30 on Tuesday, the Warriors announced that Mitch Jones had been traded to Philadelphia for Steph Charbonneau, a 2023 first, and a 2024 second, and it looks like Justin Salt has been released. It begins.


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