Week 5 is now in the books, and it wasn’t nearly as crazy as Week 4. Only a single one one-goal game instead of three and no Team 22 Money Baller records were broken. But this being the National Lacrosse League, that doesn’t mean it was uneventful. We had three games go down to the wire, one of the lowest-scoring games ever, an unusual Illegal Equipment penalty, and a couple of penalty shots. If that weren’t enough, we now have a tie between teammates for the Team 22 Money Baller lead.
The NLL is now fresh out of winless teams. The Rochester Knighthawks finally got into the win column, defeating the Stealth 7-6. In the history of the NLL, only three games have had fewer goals scored, though this one is tied with nine other 13-goal games. Johnny Powless’ game winner early in the 4th quarter gave him 4 MB points on the night to lead the game. For the Stealth the leader in both scoring and MB points was Mike Grimes. No really, it was. I checked it twice.
The Toronto Rock remain undefeated on the road, after hanging on to beat the Bandits 14-12. Whenever these two teams face off, it seems that penalties play a major role and this game was no exception. Toronto had 4 power play goals while the Bandits had 3, and each team scored two shorthanded goals, all four of which came in the fourth quarter. Colin Doyle scored three of his four goals in the fourth, including both of Toronto’s two SHGs and the game winner. Doyle led the game with 4.5 MB points. Dhane Smith led the Bandits with 1.5.
John Grant had a strong game in Colorado, even by his standards, scoring 5 (one on a penalty shot) and assisting on 6 more as the Mammoth beat the Swarm 15-9. Each team scored in bunches – Minnesota scored three in a row twice, while the Mammoth had runs of 3, 4, and 5. Despite his high point total, Grant only picked up 2 MB points, one less than teammate Sean Pollock who led the game with 3. Pollock only scored one goal (the winner) and added 3 assists, proving that in the Money Ballers world it’s less about how often you score as when. Rookie Kiel Matisz picked up 2 MB points to lead the Swarm. One of the interesting stories of this game was goaltending, as Matt Roik was tossed for using illegal equipment, Dan Lewis played his first minutes this year after being signed last week, and Minnesota’s dynamic duo of Evan Kirk and Tyler Carlson both played minutes in the same game for the first time this year.
To say that goaltending was not the story in Edmonton would be a bit of an understatement, as the Rush and Roughnecks combined for 33 goals – 20 in the first half alone. Actually, I suppose that could mean that goaltending was the story. But the scoring was surprisingly even, as the game was tied nine times and Curtis Dickson’s game-winner didn’t come until midway through the fourth. Dickson also had a penalty shot attempt, and actually beat Brodie Macdonald with his shot but the ball hit the crossbar, bounced off Macdonald’s back, and rolled wide. Dickson tallied 5 MB points but Dane Dobbie led the game and the week with 5.5. Ryan Ward led the Rush with 7 points, and he and Jeremy Thompson tied with 3 MB points each.
Looking at the list below, you will see that four of the top five Money Baller players are on the Rock, while there are no players from Calgary in the top 15 (the top Roughneck is Curtis Dickson at 21st). But both teams have five players in the top 20 on the scoring list, so why the difference? Obviously the Rock have two more wins than the Roughnecks, so that’s two more game-winners and associated assists. Calgary as a team has 42.5 MB points. Two more game-tying and game-winning goals in the fourth with 2 assists each would add 24 points, giving them 66.5. But Toronto has 85.5. If their records were the same, Calgary would still be behind Toronto by 19 points. (Yes, I know that’s a simplistic assumption. The point is that Toronto has way more MB points than Calgary and the difference is more than just two wins.) Even if you didn’t know the records of each team, the difference in MB points tells us that Toronto has had a lot more opportunities to score game-tying and go-ahead goals, which means that their games have been closer than Calgary’s.
Indeed, that’s how the season has played out so far. In two of Calgary’s three wins, they took the lead early and kept the lead until the end of the game, winning by at least seven. That kind of dominance does not lead to a lot of MB points. But all five of the Rock’s game-winning goals have come in the fourth quarter, and only one of their six games has finished with more than a two-goal differential. One could argue that despite their better record, Toronto hasn’t been as dominant this year as Calgary.
We have a tie at the top of the Money Baller leaderboard as Kasey Beirnes and Colin Doyle both have 15 points. Here are the Money Baller standings after five weeks. The number in brackets after a player’s name is their ranking in the scoring race.
|As of Week 5||First||Fourth||OT|
|1||Kasey Beirnes (T14)||TOR||1||3||2||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||1||0||0||15.0|
|Colin Doyle (3)||TOR||0||4||1||5||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||2||0||0||15.0|
|3||Garrett Billings (2)||TOR||1||3||0||3||0||0||1||0||0||0||1||2||0||0||14.0|
|Shawn Williams (6)||BUF||0||3||2||5||0||0||1||2||0||1||0||1||0||0||14.0|
|5||Stephan Leblanc (T14)||TOR||2||0||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||1||1||0||0||13.0|
|6||Lewis Ratcliff (T14)||WAS||2||0||3||1||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||11.0|
|Stephen Keogh (T55)||ROC||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||1||0||0||11.0|
|Cliff Smith (T7)||WAS||2||3||1||2||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||2||0||0||11.0|
|9||Sean Pollock (T32)||COL||1||0||1||2||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||10.5|
|Johnny Powless (T55)||ROC||2||0||1||2||0||0||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||10.5|
|11||Dhane Smith (T27)||BUF||2||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||0||0||10.0|
|Ryan Benesch (T11)||MIN||1||2||2||0||0||0||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||10.0|
|Chad Culp (T32)||BUF||0||0||1||1||0||0||2||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||10.0|
|Rhys Duch (5)||WAS||1||2||3||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||10.0|
|15||Drew Westervelt (T48)||PHI||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||9.0|
|John Tavares (T40)||BUF||0||1||1||2||0||0||0||1||1||0||0||1||0||0||9.0|
|Weekly leader||Overall leader|
|Week 1||Cliff Smith||Cliff Smith|
|Week 2||Kasey Beirnes||Kasey Beirnes|
|Week 3||Stephen Keogh
|Week 4||Garrett Billings||Kasey Beirnes|
|Week 5||Dane Dobbie||Kasey Beirnes
Rate This Story: