Archive for February, 2012


State of the Union Address with NLL Commissioner George Daniel

George Daniel
George Daniel

This week for the Off the Crosse-bar Podcast we head to the league offices in New York and catch up with the man in charge of everything, George Daniel. Daniel took over for former commissioner Jim Jennigs on January 10th, 2009 but has been involved with the National Lacrosse League for over a decade. From 2000-2006 he was the Deputy Commisionser as well as General Counsel before taking some time off to become president of the New York Titans. But now back in the big chair, Daniel is working toward bringing stability to a league that has been losing teams seemingly every year since he’s taken over. With the talks of expansion on everyone’s mind we go one-on-one with the Commander in Chief of the world’s top indoor lacrosse league to see how he feels about the state of the league. All that and more on this week’s Off the Crosse-Bar Podcast. READ MORE »


A fitter Daryl Veltman finds his shooting touch with Roughnecks and it’s paying off

Daryl Veltman
Daryl Veltman

You know how you make a statement in the NLL? Score more goals than the winning team in the All-Star Game on the same weekend, that’s how. The Calgary Roughnecks shocked a lot of folks by absolutely destroying the previously undefeated Colorado Mammoth 21-10 Friday night. Some 24 hours later, the West side downed the East contingent 20-18 in Buffalo. Not surprisingly, my ILIndoor colleague Brian Shanahan has the Riggers No. 1 in his NLL Power Rankings this week. What makes Calgary’s season-high offensive outburst all the more impressive is they did it without their No. 1 offensive player Dane Dobbie, who continues to sit out nursing an undisclosed injury. READ MORE »


Stealth without Richards, Duch in Toronto

The Stealth offense has struggled all season and now it'll be without Rhys Duch this weekend. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
The Stealth offense has struggled all season and now it'll be without Rhys Duch this weekend. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

The Washington Stealth are trying to dig out of a 1-6 hole and now they’ll have to do it without 2 of their biggest players this weekend in Toronto. In the rematch of the last 2 National Lacrosse League championship games, Washington Stealth coach Chris Hall said goalie Tyler Richards and forward Rhys Duch will not play in Saturday night’s road game against the Rock as they rest injuries suffered 2 weekends ago in Rochester against the Knighthawks. “Tyler Richards is definitely out this weekend and most likely Duch, too,” said Hall. “He’s probably going to need another week. So we’re looking at neither of those guys. Richards won’t make the trip and it looks like Duch won’t either. So I would suspect neither would play.” Hall did say that forward Jeff Zywicki should return from injury so that’ll help the offense. Who starts in goal is between rookie Chris Seidel and veteran Matt King, who was signed by the team last week as a free agent.


Ups and downs of an NLL goalkeeper

Statistics don't tell half the story for goalies, as Matt Roik showed us with Chicago in 2008. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
Statistics don't tell half the story for goalies, as Matt Roik showed us with Chicago in 2008. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

Everywhere you turn these days the story line is about goaltenders in the National Lacrosse league. Mike Thompson or Anthony Cosmo? Bob Watson’s retired number ceremony and Dallas Eliuk’s coming. Matt Roik is getting it done and the rookies Tyler Carlson and Evan Kirk have made the Minnesota faithful forget Nick Patterson in short work. I ventured down to Washington state last Friday night to watch the Swarm silence the Stealth 15-7. Arriving at the game I wondered aloud who was the 3rd Stealth goalie in the net that night? I was watching first warm ups and thought it looked a lot like Matt King. Sure enough, it was. I had not been watching when the news broke about him being signed or Tyler Richards being hurt. Consider that when King entered the game late in the 2nd quarter he had been sitting idle for the best part of seven months and hadn’t seen NLL rubber since last April. No training camp, no nothing for at least seven months. READ MORE »


CLax Power Rankings and Stars of Week 8

This picture is like one of those puzzles where they remove the ball and you have to figure out where it is. In this case, just follow goalie Jeff Powless' eyes: they're right on the ball in Pat Saunders stick. (Photo: Tim Prothero, VintageLax)
This picture is like one of those puzzles where they remove the ball and you have to figure out where it is. In this case, just follow goalie Jeff Powless' eyes: they're right on the ball in Pat Saunders stick. (Photo: Tim Prothero, VintageLax)

Try to put yourself in their situation. You’ve lost four of your last five Canadian Lacrosse League games. You fall behind Oshawa 12-5 on a short-handed goal when you let a player run straight down the slot untouched to take a pass and score. After that goal, your leading scorer gets kicked out of the game for constantly complaining to the officials. Then you give up a power play goal six minutes later to fall behind by eight. Ready to hang your head and start thinking of ways to play better in your next game? Understandable. But the Brampton Inferno somehow sucked it up, scored the next 10 goals and secured a signature win that, if they can build on it, they’ll look back on as a turning point in their season. It also pulls them back into the top half of the IL Indoor Clax Power Rankings. READ MORE »


Swarm foster a family feeling, plus the links

Ryan Benesch, right, says chemistry has a lot to do with the success of the Swarm this season. (Photo: Alex Carroll)
Ryan Benesch, right, says chemistry has a lot to do with the success of the Swarm this season. (Photo: Alex Carroll)

If you’re wondering how the Minnesota Swarm, a team with so much youth, has bonded and built its winning chemistry so early on in the process, consider this: Nine Swarm members living in 3 apartment units. Yeah, that’ll do it. “We’re with each other all day almost every day. We’ve learned a lot about each other,” veteran forward Ryan Benesch tells Fox Sports North. “We know what makes each other happy, what makes each other mad. It’s good. We have fun.” Of course it’s more fun when you’re winning and the Swarm are doing that this season despite preseason prognosticators not giving the young squad too much of a chance. Proving people like that wrong is a great motivator as well but no matter how it’s getting done, it’s getting done and the Swarm are having a ton of fun doing it. READ MORE »


Stewart’s ILIndoor mailbag continues …

An extremely busy father in the last couple weeks, Paul Stewart is back with another edition of the IL Indoor Mailbag.
An extremely busy father in the last couple weeks, Paul Stewart is back with another edition of the IL Indoor Mailbag.

Welcome back to the mailbag. First of all, thank you to all of you who sent get well wishes to my 4-year-old son, Trent. As a parent I could not be more proud of how he has reacted to his injury. Despite having a fracture that spans almost half the vertical length of his shin, if not for the hip-to-toe red cast, you would never know he was hurt.

In the meantime we have had lots going on in the National Lacrosse League. Trades, holdouts, shady dealings, and an All-Star Game. More importantly, we have started to get some good buzz on Twitter for the mailbag. I have always said that one of my loves of lacrosse is the ease of interaction between all of its people. From having a drink with players after a game to the forums, interaction is great in our sport. Our next few questions are perfect examples. After some rather fun banter exchanged between myself and Jonathan Turner, he came back at me with two questions, which I am happy to take a crack at. The first one starts after the jump. READ MORE »


Whipper Watson and Shawn Williams, plus Ty Pilson on Boxla Beat today


Bob Watson had his number retired in an emotional ceremony at the Air Canada Centre last Friday. Tonight on Boxla Beat you can hear him talk about his career with the Rock, going into the Hall of Fame and what it feels like to be watching from the stands this year. Another legend will be on the show as Knighthawks’ great and current Edmonton Rush Shawn Williams will also appear. Plus, a look back at the first half of the season and ahead to the race to the Champions Cup with IL Indoor contributor Ty Pilson, all hosted by IL Indoor editor Stephen Stamp. Listen live.


NLL Three Stars of Week 8

Daryl Veltman flew high for the Roughnecks, scoring 3 goals and 6 assists. How high will that take him in the 3 Star rankings? (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
Daryl Veltman flew high for the Roughnecks, scoring 3 goals and 6 assists. How high will that take him in the 3 Star rankings? (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

Calgary ended the Mammoth’s run of perfection and pulled within a game of Colorado in the West standings. The Toronto Rock continued their up and down season with a big up in a win over Rochester. Edmonton won a tight game with the Wings to pull ahead of the Stealth in the race for the last playoff spot. Minnesota scored 8 special teams goals (5 PP, 3 SH) as they beat Washington 15-7. IL Indoor’s Three Stars takes a look at the top performers for the weekend. And no, we won’t be taking what happened at the All-Star Game into account. This is all about the real games. Don’t worry, as you’ll see after the jump there were plenty of players worthy of accolades. READ MORE »


Video: Chris Hall’s NLL All-Star experience

Washington Stealth coach Chris Hall is back on the bench following his ordeal with throat cancer and even though his team lost Friday night against Minnesota, he had fun Saturday in Buffalo coaching the West Division All-Stars to a 20-18 win over the East. Part of the fun was throwing the challenge flag, something he was selective about. “Chris Levis wanted me to throw it on JT there in the first half but I wasn’t going to throw it. I’d get booed for the rest of my career in this building. I wasn’t about to go there with that.”