Archive for December, 2008


NLL Insider Top 50: Gavin Prout #8

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With the Colorado Mammoth not exactly having a banner year last season, dropping three W’s from 2007’s impressive regular season and then getting dumped in the opening round of the playoffs, captain Gavin Prout’s 2008 seemed to go slightly unnoticed likely due to that fact.

Prout finished with 92 points, knotting him up with Lewis Ratcliff and John Grant for second behind Athan Iannucci in the scoring race.

His 67 helpers easily ranked him first in the NLL last winter and was the sixth highest single season total in league history. READ MORE »


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Tutka’s 2009 NLL Eastern Division Rankings and Preview

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With the NLL season about to drop, in addition to some of the bits and pieces we’ve pulled outta Inside Lacrosse’s NLL Preivew issue and made available online, NLL Insider Managing Editor, Paul Tutka, is also breaking down both the Eastern and Western Divisions over the next couple days, with the East available right after the jump below.

Over the last few weeks, NLL Insider has also checked in with about 100 NLL players, asking them who they felt the four teams from both the East and West would be to make it to this year’s post-season. Teams are ranked based on the player’s votes, with the percentage of how many players voted for each individual team also included.

So after the jump, check-out how the East might play out this year and who to keep your eye on heading into 2009. The West will go live on Friday. READ MORE »


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Titans confident Powell will play

New York Titans coach Ed Comeau says his boys are tired of beating up on each other in practice, so they’re eager to get down to business in Saturday night’s season opener against the Toronto Rock in Florida.

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But will the Titans being taking care of business without Casey Powell? No. 22 has yet to sign with the team for this season, but Comeau says he’s confident a deal will get done. “It’s all part of a process,” Comeau said on Wednesday. “I don’t think either party wanted it to come down to being this late, but we’re working on having him in our lineup on opening night.” Powell’s already in Florida, working his Holiday Lacrosse Experience camp in West Palm Beach. Powell led the Titans with 86 points (32 goals, 54 assists) last season and was a vital cog in the fast-paced transition game that helped carry New York to the East Division final, where it lost to eventual champion Buffalo.

“It’s just a matter of dotting the Is and crossing the Ts,” Comeau said. “But we’re pretty confident that both sides will come to an agreement.”


NLL Insider Top 50: Bob Watson #9

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Some had him as their MVP last year and pretty much everyone had him as the best tender in 08.

That of course being Toronto Rock starting keep, Bob Watson, who at the age of 38, had maybe his best ever season in the NLL.

Watson’s performance last winter was also a great example of why you can’t always just judge keepers in this sport based on their stats alone.

They’re nice to have, but what stat registered the amount of momentum shifting (or stalling) saves Watson routinely made last year when he was hung out to dry? READ MORE »


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NLLInsider Weekly Podcast: 2009 Season Preview Edition

Just before New Year’s Day — and the upcoming opening weekend of NLL action (including the big game in Florida), we want to introduce our new podcast, NLLInsider Weekly, where, as the name suggests, we’ll bring you the latest from around the league every week.

This week: Paul Tutka gives his take on how the 2009 season will go down. Plus, he and I take a stab at predicting this weekend’s set of games.

Click Below for the Audio (a new window will open):

NLLInsider Weekly: 2009 Season Preview Podcast

If you want all InsideLacrosse.com’s interviews and podcasts, subscribe on iTunes: Inside Lacrosse’s iTunes page

If you already have iTunes, click here to subscribe directly.


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Last call for Savilla’s Hope Foundation bids

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With a Happy New Year coming up quick, just a quick note that you may want to add one more item onto your to-do list for today underneath drink too much, act too stupid, and pretend you can still focus on the TV when the ball drops: email in your last minute bids for the first round of the Savilla’s Hope Foundation silent auction. The deadline is 12:00 tonight, EST.

Send an email to info@savillashopefoundation.org with the word auction somewhere in the subject line. In the email, let them know what item you’re bidding on and what your bid is. Winners will be notified with payment options. Proceeds will go towards reimbursing Savilla’s kidney donor Stephen for the wages he will lose during his difficult recovery period. Best wishes to Savilla Eliuk and donor Stephen on their January 5th surgery.

  • Corey Small named MVP of ‘08 Ontario Jr. A St. Catharines Athletics: St. Catharines Standard
  • You will never guess what pun is in this headline about the Rock preparing to make their way to a playoff berth: Toronto Sun
  • An overview of the league: Toronto Sun
  • Cayle Ratcliff, Matt Flindell and the Victoria Jr. Shamrocks highlight the city’s summer in sports: BC Local News

NLL Insider 2009 Team-By-Team Preview: No. 3 Minnesota Swarm

Ryan Ward is a big-time leader for Minnesota (Martin Allinson)
Ryan Ward is a big-time leader for Minnesota (Martin Allinson)

The Minnesota Swarm find themselves in the NLL’s Western Division after a bit of realignment by the league, but still play a pretty East heavy schedule that arguably gives them the toughest regular season road of any team in their division.

Can they makeup the 76 points lost with Andy Secore shipped off to Edmonton via the Dispersal Draft? Can Dean Hill comeback to the dominating force he was in his rookie year after an injury/illness plagued 2008? Will Craig Point fall into that dreaded sophomore slump after his phenomenal rookie season? How big an impact will rookies Andrew Watt, Kevin Buchanan and Joe Cinosky have on the team this year?

Find out the answer to those questions and more after the jump. READ MORE »


NLL Insider Top 50: Brodie Merrill #10

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The Brodie Merrill headshot to the left was lifted off of Inside Lacrosse’s January 2007 cover, when the mag anointed the Portland Lumberjax’s cornerstone as the best player on the planet.

Is Merrill the best in the game now two years after IL first made the claim?

It depends what your definition of “the best” is.

In a league that usually names the best offensive player their MVP (outside of Jim Veltman finally snapping that trend in 2004, Steve Dietrich in 2006), players that play the kinda game that Merrill does very rarely get the public recognition they deserve. READ MORE »


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Lewis Ratcliff in IL’s FanZone

It’s been a busy week for Lewis Ratcliff.

The Toronto Rock star is in the final stages of getting ready for the 2009 NLL season (and a trip to Florida for the opener on January 3rd against New York), was just named No. 12 in NLL Insider’s top 50 players list and now he’s this month’s guest in the Fan Zone for Inside Lacrosse Magazine.

To submit your questions, Follow this link to read the bio and submit your query. Ratcliff certainly has a tough act to follow, after the pinnacle of silliness that was San Jose forward Frank Resetarits’ FanZone interview:

Q: I can’t thank you enough for everything you have given me. It is a real pleasure to watch you gracefully glide across the carpet in SJ. How did you get such great calf definition? Is it true that you can shave your beard into a fu manchu while doing one handed push ups? Lastly, I love you!

A: Well Paul I’m glad that I could have such an affect on someone as famous as you. My calf definition is just a blessing from great genes, I guess. My parents met while at the best calves in America contest. While neither won, it still probably plays a role in that. I used to shave my Fu Manchu while doing one handed push-ups, but now I just stare at my beard in the mirror until my facial hair just falls out in the proper shape.

Think you can top that? Send in your questions today!


NLL Insider Top 50: Ryan Cousins #11

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We were laughed at by readers last year when we continuously included Minnesota Swarm captain Ryan Cousins in our Top 20 Player Ranking, but after being named the NLL’s first back-to-back Defender of the Year last season, who’s laughing now?

Cousins might not be the most technically perfect pure D guy out there (although he’s up there and recovers better than most), but he brings more intangibles to his game than maybe any other defender available today and is one of the NLL’s most important non-offensive players in a league that often fails to recognize past its O Gods. READ MORE »