Archive for the ‘IL Indoor’ Category


Dirty Dozen: Projecting JT’s goals, awkward debut in Edmonton and ‘O’ woes in Buffalo

How many goals would John Tavares, right, have if he had a 16-game schedule for his entire career? (Photo: Dan Brodie)
How many goals would John Tavares, right, have if he had a 16-game schedule for his entire career? (Photo: Dan Brodie)

Ever since John Tavares scored his 800th National Lacrosse League goal on April 5, the obvious question has been floating around: How many goals would Tavares have if the NLL had a 16-game schedule for each of the 23 seasons he’s played? It’s an interesting question and a fun one, because it’s based on speculation, of course. And since we’re not one to back down from a challenge, we put on our thinking caps and came up with what we think could be an answer. We took it a step further and took a look at the league’s current Top 5 in career goals to project where they’d be as well if they’d all had 16-game seasons for the duration of their careers. READ MORE »


NLL announces new format for season awards with Aug. 31 ceremony in Toronto

Will Edmonton's Kyle Rubisch win another Defender of the Year award? We'll find out Aug. 31. (Photo: Dale MacMillan)
Will Edmonton's Kyle Rubisch win another Defender of the Year award? We'll find out Aug. 31. (Photo: Dale MacMillan)

The National Lacrosse League has announced a new format for the 2014 NLL Season Awards. For the first time, three finalists for each award will be named after the playoffs before the winners are announced at the first-ever NLL Season Awards Ceremony scheduled to take place in Toronto on Sunday, August 31. The announcement of the three finalists for each award begins on Tuesday, June 3 and continues throughout the course of the month while more details on the 2014 NLL Season Awards Ceremony are forthcoming. The 2014 NLL Season Awards are determined by a vote of the league’s Board of Governors, General Managers and Head Coaches. The Executive of the Year Award is awarded by a vote of the league’s Board of Governors. The Tom Borrelli Media Person of the Year Award is determined by the league’s Board of Governors and the NLL’s covering media.


IL Indoor Roundtable: Mammoth lurk as dangerous playoff foe, and who are the top rookies?

As the top draft choice, Logan Schuss was automatically one of the favourites for Rookie of the Year. How does he rate in the class now? (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
As the top draft choice, Logan Schuss was automatically one of the favourites for Rookie of the Year. How does he rate in the class now? (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

The Colorado Mammoth played a lot of games early in the National Lacrosse League season and lost most of them, coming out of the gates at 1-5. Since then, they’re a .500 team that has looked its best in the last couple of games against league-leading Edmonton, including handing the Rush their first loss of the season. Now rookie Dillon Ward is looking like a veteran goalie and the defence has got its act together, literally, playing the best it has as unit all season. So just how dangerous can this team be if, as is by far the most likely scenario, they get into the playoffs as the third seed in the West Division? Speaking of Ward, he has thrust himself firmly into the discussion for Rookie of the Year in the NLL. Has he or anyone else done enough to make themself a favourite, or is the field still wide open among five–or even six–contenders? Make the jump to hear what the IL Indoor panel of Stephen Stamp, Ty Pilson, Bob Chavez, Marty O’Neill and Teddy Jenner have to say. READ MORE »


Bandits, Rock ready for clash that could settle some playoff questions, plus the links

Buffalo and Toronto play each other tonight for a third time this season and there is plenty at stake. (Photo: Bill Wippert)
Buffalo and Toronto play each other tonight for a third time this season and there is plenty at stake. (Photo: Bill Wippert)

The Buffalo Bandits and Toronto Rock will be playoff opponents, this much we know. The when and the where is yet to be determined, but tonight’s National Lacrosse League game between these teams in Toronto could determine these mysteries. But that’s not the only issue at hand. While the Toronto Rock have been searching for consistency all season, winning their last 2 games may have them on track. The Bandits, meanwhile, have lost 5 straight and continue to search for that track. “Concern is the right word to use, I wouldn’t say panic or overreaction,” Buffalo defenseman Derek Suddons told Bandits.com. “We are glad it has happened now. It’s better to have a bit of a rut this time in the season and reassess what we can improve on and what we can do better.” READ MORE »


John Tavares: ‘Writing is on the wall that you can’t go on too much farther’

Bandits forward John Tavares, at age 45, says retirement has crossed his mind. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
Bandits forward John Tavares, at age 45, says retirement has crossed his mind. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

As graceful as he is during lacrosse games, John Tavares is just as smooth in avoiding direct answers whenever the topic of retirement comes up. And when you’re 45 years old and old enough to be the father of some teammates, it comes up often. But last week, Tavares was a healthy scratch and he came out of the week off with some perspective. “It puts a question in my mind,” Tavares told the Buffalo News. “It hits you in your confidence. At 45, the writing is on the wall that you can’t go on too much farther.” Injuries in the past couple of seasons have slowed Tavares and while not playing last summer helped him heal, he felt behind the game when he reported to Bandits camp last fall. He went so far as to say he feels he’s in the way at times. But even with these thoughts going through his head, Tavares said he’s got to keep focused on helping the Bandits end their 5-game losing streak. “The last five games, I’ve struggled and the team has struggled. … I feel like I’m at the same pace the team is. I’m part of the problem.”


Who Ya Got? NLL Week 17 Fan Poll

They'll meet Friday and again in the playoffs, but will that be in Buffalo or Toronto? A Bandits W this weekend secures a home playoff berth. (Photo: Bill Wippert)
They'll meet Friday and again in the playoffs, but will that be in Buffalo or Toronto? A Bandits W this weekend secures a home playoff berth. (Photo: Bill Wippert)

Will it be the Stealth or Mammoth? Only one spot remains in the NLL playoffs.

Competing in a close game two weeks ago, the Colorado Mammoth did the (seemingly) unimaginable last Friday by handing the Edmonton Rush their first loss of the season. Trading goals for most of the game, the Toronto Rock netted the game winner early in the fourth quarter against Philadelphia on Saturday to secure the third and final East Division playoff berth and eliminate the Wings from contention. It wasn’t an OT winner like in week 13, but it was the second 10-9 W for the Minnesota Swarm over the Buffalo Bandits this season.
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Winners and Losers: Ward and Mammoth come on strong, not so for Stealth, Bandits

Justin Pychel, left, and the Vancouver Stealth needed a win, but didn't get it. (Photo: Ward Laforme Jr.)
Justin Pychel, left, and the Vancouver Stealth needed a win, but didn't get it. (Photo: Ward Laforme Jr.)

Sometimes, you have to think long and hard when it comes to winners and/or losers for the most recent week of National Lacrosse League action. And sometimes, you do not. The latter seems to be the case this week as we look back and see the Toronto Rock clinching a playoff berth and the Buffalo Bandits losing their fifth straight game after an 8-2 start. And if you saw the Colorado Mammoth’s win over the Edmonton Rush last weekend, you know that Colorado goalie Dillon Ward is getting a lot of deserved love. So who else is the target of admiration or otherwise? Check it out after the jump a ILIndoor takes a look. READ MORE »


Cosmo closing in on saves mark, and other Record Pursuit updates

Anthony Cosmo will soon be the single season saves king. (Photo: Bill Wippert)
Anthony Cosmo will soon be the single season saves king. (Photo: Bill Wippert)

With seven of the nine teams in the National Lacrosse League having played 16 games, we have a very good idea of which single-season records will fall in the same number of games as the teams played before this year. Kyle Rubisch has already annihilated his old record for forced turnovers. Anthony Cosmo is almost a sure thing to break the saves record. Some other records could still fall in the final two weeks of the now 18-game season, though. We’ve been tracking the players chasing the records with an initial story two weeks ago and an update last week. This week we’ll take another look at all the categories we’ve been tracking and add one more, in which exactly the person you’d expect to be threatening a record is. Make the jump for all the details. READ MORE »


Vancouver Stealth face long odds in pursuit of NLL’s final playoff berth

Defenseman Chris O'Dougherty has been one of a few key injuries for the Stealth this season. (Photo: Dan Brodie)
Defenseman Chris O'Dougherty has been one of a few key injuries for the Stealth this season. (Photo: Dan Brodie)

It was Jan. 25 of this National Lacrosse League season when the Vancouver Stealth lost to the Edmonton Rush. The result dropped the Stealth’s record to 2-3 and coach Chris Hall remembers it well. And considering the Stealth had a 7-2 lead at halftime, how could he not? Edmonton came out in the second half and outscored Vancouver 7-1 for the 9-8 win. “I remember walking off the floor with one of our assistant coaches and saying, ‘Man, I really hope that isn’t a season-defining loss for us,’ ” Hall told the Langley Advance. Vancouver is 2-8 since that Jan. 25 loss and faces a mighty challenge to qualify for the NLL playoffs. Essentially, the Stealth have to win their final 3 games and have the Colorado Mammoth lose their final 2. “It doesn’t take much for games to go either way on you,” said Hall as the Stealth prepare for Saturday’s home game against Philadelphia. “With guys missing from our lineup, it’s one of those things that got going and continued to snowball. We’re able to get one piece back and then another piece disappears. It’s been frustrating, a long struggle, and even now we can’t get ourselves out of the hole.”


NLL Week 17 Team Reports: ‘There’s always something on the line when you play Buffalo,’ Rochester coach Mike Hasen

Tempers run hot when the Knighthawks and Bandits get together, which happens on Saturday. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
Tempers run hot when the Knighthawks and Bandits get together, which happens on Saturday. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

This weekend is the first weekend of extra lacrosse in the regular season of the National Lacrosse League and as luck would have it, there are a couple of big games to keep your eyes on. The Toronto Rock edged Philadelphia by a goal last week to clinch a playoff berth, and now the Rock are searching for a win at home against Buffalo to determine some playoff positions in the East Division. A win won’t clinch anything for the Rock, but it will keep the Bandits from clinching home field for the first round. Out West, the Colorado Mammoth and Vancouver Stealth aren’t playing against each other, but the are battling for the league’s final playoff berth. The Mammoth have the inside track on that spot and if you continue with your reading, you can get the lowdown for all the team this weekend as well as the playoff pictures for all. READ MORE »