Week 16 picks

5-1 last week, only missing the one game I hoped to get wrong, the Rock’s defeat of the Stealth. There are only 15 games left this year, so the worst I can finish is 47-34. Then again, I could also finish at 62-19. That might be optimistic though.

Record: 47-19 (.712)

Game
Comments
Pick
EDM @ COL If the mighty Roughnecks and Knighthawks couldn’t take the Rush down, I can’t see the Mammoth doing it. Then again, the Rush only beat the Mammoth by one last week and have already clinched everything they can clinch in the regular season. The Mammoth are at home and are still in a playoff race. But I’m still picking Edmonton. Rush
PHI @ TOR Homer pick? Perhaps but the Rock played a really good game last week, missing Garrett Billings for more than half of it. The question is whether they can adapt their offence for a full game without him. Will they ride Brandon Miller while he’s playing well, or go back to Nick Rose? Rock
VAN @ ROC Which Stealth team shows up? If it’s the one from last week, the Knighthawks should have no problem with them. If it’s not, and we end up with a good ol’ fashioned Vinc vs. Richards matchup, it’ll be a great game. Knighthawks
BUF @ MIN I imagine the Bandits are angry with their performance last weekend. Any time you get compared with a team that missed the playoffs (the 2013 Bandits), you need to step your game up and I think Troy will get that out of his team this weekend. That said, the Swarm have been playing pretty well over the last few weeks but still have managed to be on the losing end of most of them. I can see an upset here. Bandits
EDM @ CAL The Rush have had their way with the Roughnecks this season, beating them 15-8 and 15-7. Even if they lose to the Mammoth, I think the Rush will take this one. Rush43338

Week 15 picks

I went 3-2 last week, missing the Vancouver defeat of the Bandits and Philly’s win over Colorado. This week I see Calgary and Rochester each going 2-0.

Record: 42-18 (.700)

Game
Comments
Pick
CAL @PHI I think Philly is a better team than their record indicates. But I think Calgary is still a better team. Roughnecks53
ROC @MIN First place team in the east against the last place team in the east. We could have an upset, and if there is one it’s probably this one in Minnesota as opposed to the next one in Rochester, but I still have to go with the champs. Knighthawks
CAL @ BUF Buffalo started the year really impressing me but not so much in the last few games. They looked like the 2013 Bandits last week – shaky offense and undisciplined. If they pull themselves together, this could be a great game. Roughnecks53
MIN @ ROC As above. Knighthawks
COL @ EDM Can’t bet against the Rush at this point. Rush43338
TOR @ VAN The Stealth looked pretty good last weekend against the Bandits, or was it the Bandits that didn’t look so good? Lewis Ratcliff didn’t like being a healthy scratch and has been playing well since his return. The Rock have been good for 30 minutes and not-so-good for 30 minutes in each of the last few games. Stealth

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

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

Week 10 picks

My streak of no more than one incorrect pick per week ends at 4, and my streak of .500 or better weeks ends at 7. I was 1-2 last week as Calgary and Minnesota pulled off the comeback victories. If the games ended at halftime, I’d have been 3-3.

Record: 26-13 (.667)

Game
Comments
Pick
TOR @ EDM I keep asking this question, but can anybody beat the Rush? Well sure, in this league anyone could. I doubt the Rush will finish the season 18-0, so somebody’s going to beat them. Could it be Toronto? Maybe, but I’m not betting on it. Looking forward to watching this game on TV though. Rush
TOR @ CAL If there’s one thing I hate doing, it’s picking against my favourite team. If there’s one thing I hate doing more than that, it’s picking my team to lose twice in one weekend. But if I’m going to be non-homer-ific, I have to admit that Toronto’s inconsistent play recently is not likely to get them by a surging Roughnecks team in Calgary. Roughnecks
ROC @ COL Calgary was able to come back against Matt Vinc and the Knighthawks but I don’t see Colorado pulling it off. They have the firepower up front, but they don’t have the defense and goaltending is still up in the air. Knighthawks5

Week 8 picks

OK, this is really getting weird. Another 4-1 week, and I’ve now got more than twice as many correct picks as incorrect ones. I’m tied with Brian Shanahan and two games ahead of anyone else on the IL Indoor team. I’m totally not used to this, and I’m assuming I’ve got some 0-fer weeks coming up. The really weird thing is that if I missed every pick in the next three weeks, I’d still be at .500. But I’ll try not to let it go to my head.

Read on for this week’s winners. Guaranteed, or your money back. Unfortunately, I didn’t get this article out early enough to put in my regular analysis, but I did give some when I gave my picks on this week’s Addicted to Lacrosse show.

Record: 21-10 (.677)

Game
Comments
Pick
VAN @ COL Rhys Duch and Kyle Sorensen are back, which will give the Stealth a boost. Will it be enough to get past Grant/Westervelt/Powell without Adam Jones? I must have thought so on Monday when I did my picks though I have to say I’m less than 100% sure of this now. But I’m not sure I actually want to change it either. Stealth
EDM @ MIN Can anyone beat Edmonton? Yes, at some point this season someone will. But at this point, it ain’t gonna be Minnesota. Rush43_thumb33
ROC @ TOR Probably a homer pick. Tyler mentioned a good point in the show – that it’s hard to pick Rose over Vinc. But the Rock have been scoring way more than the Knighthawks, so I’m going with the home team. Rock53
PHI @ BUF Philly has already beat the Bandits, but Buffalo is playing far better now. Bandits43_thumb33
VAN @ CAL Given how they’ve been playing, it’s hard to pick Vancouver to win once, let alone twice in the same weekend. Roughnecks5

Week 7 picks… and more!

Another good week – 4-1! I’ve only had one week under .500, and that was 1-2 in week 1. In four of the other five weeks, I’ve only gotten one wrong. WTF? This is certainly different from the last two years where I finished under .500.

This is a two-in-one article, since you get my picks and as an added FREE bonus, some thoughts on the Rock roster moves this week.

Record: 17-9 (.654)

Game
Comments
Pick
PHI @ TOR Toronto is undefeated at home, but the Wings are on a 2-game win streak and are 2-1 on the road. Should be a good game, and I’m predicting the Rock’s home winning streak to continue. Rock5
EDM @ PHI I think I said this last week. Until the Rush does something to convince me that they’re not the best team in the league, I’m probably just going to keep picking them. Rush43_thumb3
BUF @ ROC Similar to the Rush, the Bandits are playing great right now and I’ll probably keep picking them too, until they play Edmonton. Then I have no idea. Bandits43_thumb3
CAL @ MIN Calgary’s not having their greatest season ever, but it’s better than the Swarm’s so far. Logan Schuss is playing well but thus far isn’t the offensive star he was projected to be, and the production from Matisz and Jackson is way down. Roughnecks
COL @ VAN The Stealth are on a 4-game losing streak and confidence has to be pretty low – and they’ll be without Rhys Duch who’s serving a suspension. They’ve already beaten the Mammoth this season, but that was with Duch and the Mammoth were without Casey Powell. Mammoth4

I never managed to write an entire article on my thought about the Rock moves this week, acquiring Billy Hostrawser from the Stealth and releasing Stephen Hoar, so I’ll just put a couple of thoughts here. First off, I have no problem with acquiring Hostrawser for draft picks – unless they’re in the first round, draft picks are always a crapshoot anyway so giving them up for an actual warm body who can play now is fine. And he’s a young defender who can fight – just ask Mike Lum-Walker, his new teammate and sparring partner in last week’s Rock/Stealth game. He’s even scored a goal and has a few assists.

I am a little puzzled by Hoar’s release, though. In a number of interviews, both Terry Sanderson and John Lovell have mentioned that they are looking forward to the return of Patrick Merrill and Chris White (and Bill Greer, while he was out) because they bring some veteran leadership to the defense. They said that the young players (Lum-Walker, O’Connor, Dunn, England) are doing fine but more veterans on the back end would not only help the team but would help the kids to learn as well. And then they release Hoar, who is a veteran defender, and replace him with a guy with all of 15 games of NLL experience.

Hoar is also their only face-off guy who’s not injured. So I hope Patrick Merrill is back tonight, since 13 Rock face-offs this year have not been taken by Hoar, and they’ve only won 5 of them. Hostrawser has never taken one in the NLL, so no help there. That said, it’s not like Hoar is Geoff Snider either. He has a sub-.500 career faceoff percentage and was only at 35.7% this season. The Rock have never had a really strong face-off guy, since Merrill is under .500 over his career as well.