Thursday, March 1

[NLL MASH-UP] WEEK 12!


NLL MASH UP WEEK 12
 
It was a light schedule this past week with only three games - But as usual, there were plenty of surprises and great performances ...

ROCHESTER 17 BUFFALO 10

It was alumni night in BANDITLAND, and the current BANDITS didn’t start on time and were blown-out by the KNIGHTHAWKS.  Was BUFFALO was reading too many press clippings after their resurgence to first place coming off a bye week?

The game started out very slowly before the KNIGHTHAWKS scored three times to end the period.  The lead would increase to 7-0 before BUFFALO finally broke the ice.  

The KNIGHTHAWKS held an 11 - 4 halftime lead, and the BANDITS were never in it.  They do remain in 1st place with a 6 - 4 record.  


With the win, ROCHESTER takes the season series versus BUFFALO 2 - 1.  In recent weeks we have touched on ROCHESTER’S poor record versus the East and the troubles they may have in tiebreakers.  This could prove to be a big win down the line.


JOE RESATARITS had a career night with (3g, 11a).  He's making a strong case as the top AMERICAN in the NLL.


CODY JAMIESON continued his hot streak with (2g, 7a)KYLE JACKSON also with a career night tallying (5g, 4a) on the left side.

One thing that really stands out for me is the physical play of their defense.  The likes of PAUL DAWSON, BILLY DEE SMITH and IAN LLORD may not put up many stats -- after seeing them up close and online they are one of the tougher groups to play against.



SASKATCHEWAN 10 CALGARY 6

This was a hard fought game with a playoff atmosphere.  SASK never trailed in the game and tallied four power play goals.  MARK MATTHEWS led the balanced attack with (3g, 4a).

CALGARY showed they can compete with the RUSH, they just need to keep out of the penalty box.  The RUSH punished the ROUGHNECKS 5 power play goals.


ZACH CURRIER was once again all over the place for CALGARY picking up 16 loose balls.

NEW ENGLAND 12 VANCOUVER 11 OT

In the late game things weren’t looking that great for the BLACKWOLVES as they trailed  
4 - 0 midway thru the second quarter.  But, they chipped away during the course of the game and avoided a 4th consecutive loss.  In fact, the only time they led was in OT!

One encouraging thing for BLACKWOLVES was that they won despite producing only one goal out of their dynamic duo KEVIN CROWLEY (1g, 2a) & SHAWN EVANS (3a).  When this is the case, it is more than likely that they'll come up on the losing end.

STEPHAN LEBLANC played his best game as a BLACKWOLF going off for (4g, 1a).  We talked about the lack of lefty punch in their lineup since the preseason.  GM RICH LISK went out and acquired LEBLANC a few weeks back which has paid dividends.  To me, he is clearly their best lefty.  


Even with the LEBLANC acquisition they have still struggled from the left side as a whole. So LISK went ahead and plucked JOHNNY POWLESS from GEORGIA last week.  He had been struggling this season only putting up (3g, 11a) in seven games with the SWARM.  In fact, he had been a healthy scratch in recent weeks.


However, in his BLACKWOLF debut he added (2g, 1a).  If he can work well with LEBLANC that may a key acquisition down the stretch.  Despite being in his 8th season POWLESS is still only 25 years of age.


Seeing him up close this season with the SWARM he looked a bit out of shape.  If he can get his fitness level up, the BLACKWOLVES may have gotten a steal.  One thing that can’t be questioned is his skill level.


The play of COLTON WATKINSON has to be mentioned as well.  Earlier in the season the BLACKWOLVES were a menace in transition.  Over the previous two games, not one goal came from their D/T crew.


That changed in VANCOUVER as WATKINSON (2g, 7lb) came up huge.  In my opinion that the best game the rookie has played.
 

DANGEROUS DAN TO SASK

Over the last couple of weeks ROCHESTER has gone to a youth movement which has seen DAN DAWSON as a healthy scratch.  CURTIS KNIGHT was placed on the IR in SASK.   So…. The RUSH make the call and acquire the veteran for the playoff run for a couple of draft picks.  Although past his prime, DAWSON still will have plenty to offer to the SASK right side.  Despite being scratched the last couple games DAWSON does have decent numbers in 2018 with (9g, 17a) in eight games.

An interesting tid-bit to come out of the trade is SASK will be the 7th team he has suited up for.  Of the previous six teams only ROCHESTER still exists.  He has had stints with (COLUMBUS LANDSHARKS, ARIZONA STING, PORTLAND LUMBERJAX, BOSTON BLAZERS & the  old PHILLY WINGS).  He is sitting on 1297 points in his career.  



TWO OUT OF THREE AIN’T BAD

We went 2 - 1 in our picks last week, only BUFFALO let us down.  For that season we stand at 27 - 16, 63%.

This week GEORGIA & COLORADO both have back to backs.  NEW ENGLAND & ROCHESTER have byes.  Here is how we see things unfolding this week.


GEORGIA OVER COLORADO, LYLE THOMPSON is set for a breakout game.


GEORGIA OVER TORONTO, The ROCK will struggle with out SCHRIEBER.

 
SASK OVER VANCOUVER, enough said ...


BUFFALO OVER COLORADO, I see BUFFALO getting back on track on the road.

QUICK STICKS

Apologies to RYAN BENESCH, we gave him kudos for 200 career assists last week.  Well that was a typo, he actually has 500!

SASK has a 75% power play percentage….WOW.  ROCHESTER is next with 55%.
 

I'm on TWITTER as @bernasconirich


   

 

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