Blogs and Commentary

posted 03.21.2013 at 3.55 p.m. by Neil Stevens

NLL Week 12: Four Teams Take a Breather

There are only three NLL games in Week 12 as four clubs get breathers to prepare for the schedule's last month. The only place to see the three games is at


EDMONTON (6-5) AT BUFFALO (5-6), 7:30 p.m. ET

This is the only meeting this year. The last time they met, Edmonton won 11-8 at home last April 14.

Edmonton extended its winning streak to three with an 11-9 win at Rochester last Saturday. The Rush have won five of their last six.

''That was a big win for us,'' GM-coach Derek Keenan said during the NLL's weekly coaches' conference call Wednesday. ''We managed to get the job done. It was another big road win for us.''

''The camaraderie is really coming together,'' said Rush goalie Aaron Bold.

Buffalo lost its third in a row 16-13 at Colorado last Saturday.

''We took far too many penalties,'' said assistant coach Rich Kilgour.

These are two teams going in different directions the last three weeks.

''We've got our work cut out for us,'' said Kilgour. ''We're looking to turn things around and they're looking to keep it going.''

COLORADO (4-7) AT CALGARY (6-5), 9 p.m. ET

This is the third and final meeting. Colorado won 13-12 in Calgary on Jan. 19 and Calgary won 19-12 in Denver on Jan. 25. So, this will be the tiebreaker if these teams finish tied in the standings at season's end.

''I think our guys realize the importance of this game,'' said Roughnecks head coach Curt Malawsky.

Colorado beat Buffalo 16-13 at home last weekend when Casey Powell made his debut with the Mammoth.

''Bringing in Casey last week was huge just to have another veteran presence,'' said Mammoth forward John Grant. ''And we're getting a steady presence in goal. We're starting to play better lacrosse and hopefully that will continue.''

Colorado captain Gavin Prout missed the last two games after getting banged up in Toronto. Also, Mammoth defender John Gallant is going on injured reserve after suffering two broken ribs thanks to a pick by Buffalo's Chad Culp in the last game.

Calgary had a bye last weekend after a 19-15 home win over Minnesota on March 8.

''We had some guys nicked up and banged up,'' said Malawsky. ''It was a good time to have that break to recharge the batteries. We've got a lot to prove going down the stretch.''

Getting a weekend off after a win is much preferable to stewing after a loss, said goaltender Mike Poulin.

''The timing on the bye week was great,'' said Poulin.



This is the second and final meeting. Toronto won 10-9 in Edmonton back on Jan. 13 and won both of its games against Edmonton last year.

''They've been the hottest and best club in the West the last few weeks,'' said Rock GM Terry Sanderson.

Toronto is coming off a 13-8 win in Philadelphia. The Rock have won three of their last four games.

''There are still things we have to shore up a little bit,'' said Sanderson. ''We're still striving to get better in a couple of areas.''

Kasey Beirnes and his Rock teammates are well aware that Edmonton's recent success means a real battle Sunday.

''We know nothing in this league comes easy,'' said Beirnes.

Edmonton is 0-6 all-time in Toronto.

''We've had opportunities there but just haven't played a complete game,'' said Keenan. ''It's usually second quarters that have hurt us.''

But Buffalo comes first.

''In these back to backs it's always tough to talk about the second one,'' said Keenan. ''We'll need to make a quick turnaround and be ready to go Sunday afternoon.''