Thursday, June 7

[NLL MASH-UP] Our NLL Analysis Continues



Can we really be surprised that Rochester & Saskatchewan are going to a game 3 in the NLL Finals. They have combined for five of the last six Championships in the NLL. The RUSH have been heavy favorites all season, while the KNIGHTHAWKS have proven they can more than hold their own as they have won 3 of the 4 meetings between the two teams in 2018. All of that won’t matter in the winner take all game 3, Saturday in SASKATCHEWAN.

When I made my preseason picks I had ROCHESTER picked last in the EAST. That didn’t work out too well!
 In 2017 they finished 7-11 and were dead last in goal scoring. CODY JAMIESON missed the entire year with a knee injury. There were big questions coming in about the future HOFer and his health coming into the 2018 season.

JAMIESON was in the opening night lineup. He has responded mightily finishing 8th in NLL in scoring 26/63 89 points.  Looking back you have to give the man credit for such a great rebound.

He has led his young offensive group that is a lot different the squad that won 3 in a row between 2012-2014. The likes of AUSTIN SHANKS, KYLE JACKSON and JOSH CURRIER have stepped up in a big way. JOE RESETARITS has also contributed. None of these guys were on the roster the last time ROCHESTER took home the title.

Back then they were rolling with KEOGH, DAWSON, POWLESS and POINT (what a wicked shot he had). CORY VITARELLI is a holdover.

YYL DEFENSIVE PLAYER of the YEAR, GREAME HOSSACK and YYL GOALIE of the YEAR MATT VINC are leading the way for the KNIGHTHAWKS in the back. They can reclaim the title if they can come up with another big effort against the RUSH. They seemed to make the RUSH offense uncomfortable as they were settling for outside shots that VINC easily took care of.

HOSSACK was on fire in game two scoring 2g/1a and picking up a game high 16 GBs and as always was all over the field.

When I asked an anonymous NLL insider he was confident ROCHESTER would have a good chance if VINC could be the proverbial hot goalie, he was just that in game two making 47 saves

On the other hand SASK was my preseason pick coming into 2018. As the season has gone on, the KNIGHTHAWKS are the only team that has had success beating the RUSH.

In the NHL playoffs it is often said your star players need to play like stars in the postseason. Well in game 2 that didn’t happen for the RUSH as MARK MATTHEWS was held goalless shooting 0/11 with 4a and ROBERT CHURCH (1/8 shooting, 2a) and BEN McINTOSH (1-13 with 3a) were held in check by the physical ROCHESTER defense. If those three shoot 2/33 again things won’t turn out well.

I was a little surprised by the lack of compete level by the RUSH as well in game 2. They didn’t seem willing to take the extra step to get inside.
The RUSH have been the best team all season and I will stay with my original selection, but ROCHESTER may have something to say about that!

What the NLL needs?

As the season is coming to a close and the excitement of SAN DIEGO & PHILLY coming into the NLL here are some more things I would love to see happen in the league.

GAMING/DFS.  With the recent Supreme Court decision that opens legal gambling this could be a great way to gain more exposure.  Gambling laws are to be determined by the state. The NLL needs to get on board and be a part of all of the gaming that is coming.

At the very least DAILY FANTASY SPORTS needs to happen ASAP. Getting on the DRAFTKINGS and FANDUEL platforms would lead to more interest in the NLL without question.  Maybe I could make a little side cash too!

The league is in a unique position with one of its teams that calls a casino home.  Lacrosse at all levels need to engage the non lax person into the sport.  Gaming is one way to do so.

Long Island. Long term the N.Y. market is a must in my view.  The NASSAU COLISEUM has been renovated and lacks a full time tenant.  Wouldn’t the NLL be perfect for them?  Not to mention the great local talent base on the ISLAND.  Hopefully they will be in the next round of expansion.  With SD and PHILLY coming on board that leaves us with eleven.  Twelve would be a perfect number of teams.

American Players.  Quite simply there needs to be more Americans on NLL rosters, the new teams will give more opportunity to the AMERICAN player. But, the teams run predominately by CANANDIANS and they must also need to be willing to give AMERICAN players the chance. 

 Two guys off the top of my head I would love to see in the box are DYLAN MOLLOY and MATT RAMBO.  With there skill sets they would cause problems for NLL defenders, playing NLL would without question elevate their field games and give them more experience. 

At the end of the year when our world top 10 comes out most players will have NLL experience.  Well now we can look forward to the draft as SD has won the right to make the first pick in the entry draft.  PHILLY will have to settle for the first pick in the expansion draft.  The league is going to look a lot different next season!

Thanks for the time as always, interact with me on TWITTER, @bernasconirich.

Also keep connected with @YUMYUMLAX for the best links and the most unique coverage!
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Tuesday, May 29

[Lax Linkage] Tuesday Links - Ready. Set. Go.

"NCAA 2018 Men's Lacrosse Tournament Highlights" [youtube: Lacrosse Analytics]
  • VIDEO: "2018 NCAA college lacrosse championshipYALE takes down DUKE for program's first national title" []
  • VIDEO: "CALVERT HALL Lacrosse 2018 Championship | Let's Hunt" [youtube]
  • VIDEO: "DARIEN Lacrosse | SidelineSwap Visits: Episode 2" [youtube]
  • VIDEO: "Lacrosse 101" [vimeo] ... A short video that may help explain the rules of lacrosse to your friends who don't get it. 
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Thursday, May 24

[Lax Linkage] MLL, NLL, NCAA plus how to break your oppenents ankles!

 MLL Top 10 Plays - Week 5 [youtube: MLL | Major Lacrosse League]
  • VIDEO: "NLL Finals -  The Saskatchewan Rush Fan Base" [youtube: NLL | National Lacrosse League]
  • VIDEO: "JOSH BYRNE and DHANE SMITH" [youtube: Buffalo Bandits] ... Interview.
  • VIDEO: "WESLEYAN vs RIT | 2018 NCAA D3 Semi Finals | 2018 Highlights" [youtube: LaxDotComTV]
  • VIDEO: "#1 Lacrosse Dodging Tip to Break Your Defender’s Ankles" [youtube: I Love Lacrosse TV]
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Monday, May 21

[LAX LINKAGE] Start your week off with some hand-picked lacrosse links

"Syracuse's Air Gait: The play that changed college lacrosse - In 1988, SYRACUSE University men's lacrosse star GARY GAIT scored from behind the net in an NCAA Final Four game against PENN at the Carrier Dome in a famous play now known as the "Air Gait."'s Brent Axe takes a look at the impact of the play 30 years later. Video features commentary with Gary Gait, Roy Simmons Jr., Kyle Fetterly, John Desko and Greg Burns." [youtube:]
  • VIDEO: "Freshman sensation Tehoka Naticoke first half hat-trick - Albany's freshman sensation Tehoka Nanticoke had a first-half hat-trick in the Great Danes win over Denver in the Lacrosse Quarterfinals. " []
  • VIDEO: "The Hunt-  JORDAN WOLF Ep. 1 Presented by Maverik Lacrosse. In Part 1 of The Hunt with Maverik ahtlete Jordan Wolf, we see what a day in his life is like, trying to stay fit and stay sharp as he looks to win another MLL championship with the Dallas Rattlers and prepare to lead the U.S. National Team this July at the FIL World Championship in Israel. The first in a four-part video series following Wolf as he plays through his MLL season, moves his life from New York to Durham, N.C., and prepares to head overseas to Netanya, Israel for this summer's World Games" [youtube: Maverik Lacrosse]
  • VIDEO: TAFT (CT) vs AVON OLD FARMS (CT) | 2018. [youtube: laxdotcomtv]
  • ARTICLE: "Native American lacrosse teams leagueless in South Dakota" []
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Friday, May 18


"TREVOR BAPTISTE & GREG GURENLIAN // Under The Helmet presented by Cascade - Before Greg Gurenlian formally passes the torch to Trevor Baptiste, the grizzled veteran and the hotshot rookie will team up for Team USA. Go Under The Helmet presented by Cascade." [youtube: US Lacrosse]
  • VIDEO: "Team ENGLAND Lacrosse Trip to ISRAEL | World Lacrosse Championship 2018" [vimeo: knockoutpr]
  • VIDEO: "NASSAU COMMUNITY vs ONONDAGA COMMUNITY | 2018 NJCAA National Title" [youtube: LaxDotComTV]
  • VIDEO: "Coach MESSERE's retirementWEST GENESEE lacrosse players share stories" [youtube:]
  • VIDEO: "ESPN Lacrosse Analyst PAUL CARCATERRA Talks Matchup with DENVER on Big Board Sports" [youtube: 104.5 The Team]
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Wednesday, May 16

[LAX LINKAGE] You want links? We got links.

HARVARD Lacrosse Locker Room Tour. [youtube: STX Men's Lacrosse]
    • VIDEO: "The Season 2018 - Chapter 8: Moments of Truth - OHIO STATE takes on The Team Up North to keep their Big Ten hopes alive, then Nick Myers decompresses with his sons. Syracuse sticks a dagger into NORTH CAROLINA's postseason prospects and secures the ACC No. 1 seed, and Ohio State tops MARYLAND to take another step forward. The ACC Tournament was an unwelcome trip to Charlottesville for DUKE and ’CUSE, but OSU's Senior Day win over RUTGERS puts them in the Big Ten Tournament." [youtube: The Season 2018]
    • VIDEO: "HIGHLIGHTS - BRUNSWICK School (CT) vs The SALISBURY School (CT)" [youtube: LaxDotComTV] ... New England Division 1 West.
    • ARTICLE: "Most accomplished high school coach ever? These numbers make a case for WEST GENESEE's MIKE MESSERE" []
    • VIDEO: OLA JR A Lacrosse -  WHITBY WARRIORS vs Orangeville Northmen. [youtube: WarriorsJrA]
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    Monday, May 14



    It’s a PLAYOFF EDITION of the mashup as the season continues to roll on. First let’s look at the YumYumLax All-NLL squad. We don’t mess with 2nd team, honorable mention etc. 

    RF KEVIN CROWLEY, NEW ENGLAND - The BIG CAT carried the BLACKWOLVES offense all season long while being the only 50 goal scorer this season in the NLL. Also added 25 assists.

RF JOE RESETARITS, ROCHESTER: Broke the scoring record by an American player the an even 100 points (37g, 63a). His game made huge strides this season as he edges out SASKATCHEWAN’s CHURCH, 47g 60a and McINTOSH 46g, 34a for ALL NLL honors.

    Got off to a bit of a slow start, but is there a hotter player in the league right now than LYLE? Finished with 46g, 40a. The goals were good enough for 4th in the league. Also led all forwards in LBs (123) and CT (21).  A legit candidate to repeat as MVP.

LF MARK MATTHEWS, SASK: The big lefty makes it look so easy for the RUSH. The leagues number one point producer with 32g, 84a for 116 points. Deadly on the leagues number one power play unit that led the NLL with 68%.

LF DANE DOBBIE, CALGARY: Let’s face it this guy deserves this spot. Had a great season in CALGARY leading his NECKS into the west finals. He had 36g and 49a for 85 points. He is one of the best off ball players in the league.  He has all the shots too, BTBs, around the world, twisters, you name it.

    D/T CHALLEN ROGERS, TORONTO: Put up huge points 15g, 14a out of the back door despite missing the first couple of games coming back from injury. Also scooped up 86 LBs and caused 15 TOs.

D/T ZACH CURRIER, CALGARY: The ROY Candidate came as advertised as he led the NLL in LBs with 200. Also, chipped in with 9g, 13a on the offensive end

D GREAME HOSSACK, ROCHESTER: Every time I saw ROCHESTER play this season this guy was a standout. A very tough cover man who can run the floor. Finished 3rd in the league with 163 LBs.

D ROBERT HOPE, COLORADO: The classic stay at home Defenseman was 4th in the league with 151 LBs. Not much on offense putting up 1g, 12a. But from strictly a defensive point of view the big man is rock solid.

G MATT VINC, ROCHESTER: Had the least goals allowed for the season as a team in the tough Eastern Conference. VINC was a huge part of this as he made saves at clip of 78.2%.


    I picked MATTHEWS at the start of the year and I will stick with him. With the season the RUSH had combined with his overwhelming numbers he narrowly edged CROWLEY and THOMPSON.

ROOKIE of the YEAR: 

    JOSH BYRNE, BUFFALO. This was also a very close race with ZACH CURRIER and JAKE WITHERS of ROCHESTER who led the league with 67%  FO.  For me personally I valued the offensive game more than transition play and face offs.  BYRNE led all rookie scorers with 26g, 37a and had some highlight reel goals in the process.


    HOSSACK is the guy for me. He was a major factor for ROCHESTER all season long.  Scored 7g and dished out 7a, also had 163 LBs and 34 CT.

GOALIE of the YEAR: 

    VINC. Narrowly edged out DILLON WARD who had a great season as well.  Also have to mention STONE COLD AARON BOLD who led the league in saves with 712.

COACH of the YEAR: 

    MIKE HASSAN. I picked ROCHESTER to finish last this year at the start of the season. But the KNIGHTHAWKS were a big surprise. He added a number of rookies to the offensive lineup and were consistent all year in the tough EASTERN CONFERENCE.

    The Picks:

    We were 2-0 last week as both winners were selected. I felt bad for NEW ENGLAND as they were tasked with beating the same team four times in one season. CALGARY is playing very well and had a little too much offense for the MAMMOTH to handle.  For the season we stand at 51-32 for 61.4%.

GEORGIA is hot at the right time, their roster is set with players back from injury and absence. They have won six in a row as they look to defend their title.

    When talking about the SWARM it obviously starts with LYLE, but the offense is so balanced and has so many weapons they will be tough to beat. 

The NECKS are hot right now and bring a loaded offense led by DICKSON and DOBBIE. But I can’t bring myself to go against the RUSH. If CALGARY is to win they must stay out of the box and keep the lethal RUSH PP off the floor and CHRISTIAN DEL BIANCO has to be the better goalie. The 20 year old led the league with a 10.50 GAA and .793 save PCTSASK swept the season series 3-0.

So, if am correct after a topsy turvy season it will come down to the same two teams as last season. As things are winding down they are the two best teams out there. Would I be shocked if there is an upset? Of course not, but I see the cream rising to the top.  GEORGIA, SASK in a rematch!

    Thanks for the time!, follow on TWITTER @bernasconirich

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