Blogs and Commentary

posted 04.11.2012 at 2.30 p.m. by Neil Stevens

NLL Weekend Preview, Injury Updates


Calgary (11-3) at Rochester (5-8)

Calgary has won its last six, while Rochester has lost three in a row. They played last Friday in Calgary and the Roughnecks withstood a torrid late rally by the Knighthawks to escape with a 15-14 win.

''It was a great learning experience for our guys,'' Calgary coach Dave Pym said during the NLL's weekly coaches' conference call Wednesday. ''It showed some areas where we need to get better.''

The early deficit was a big handicap for the 'Hawks in Calgary.

''We just have to make sure we are better this week,'' said Rochester head coach Mike Hasen.

Washington (4-9) at Minnesota (6-7)

Previous meetings: Minnesota 15 at Washington 7 on Feb. 18; and Minnesota 13 at Washington 20 on March 25. The Swarm were missing top scorer Ryan Benesch in the previous meeting.

''I'm expecting this game to be a lot closer than the last time we played them,'' said Washington coach Chris Hall.

Washington is coming off a bye week. Untimely and undisciplined penalties have hurt the cause, says Hall. But having a full lineup for a change should boost Stealth chances of a win.

Minnesota is coming off a 13-9 win in Philadelphia that ended a four-game losing streak.

''It was pretty uplifting to win in Philly,'' said assistant coach Aime Caines. ''It kind of put everything back to where we need it to be.''

The availability of Benesch, out three games with a concussion, remains questionable.

''No word on Benesch yet,'' said Caines. ''We're just taking it day by day.''

Washington has knocked Minnesota out of the playoffs the last two years so, as far as the Swarm players are concerned, it is payback time as they look to clinch a playoff spot.

''The guys are going to be fired up,'' says Caines. ''They know the importance of this game.''

Buffalo (5-8) at Edmonton (4-8)

Buffalo is coming off a 17-7 home win over Philadelphia and Edmonton is recovering from a 12-8 loss in Toronto as the only meeting of the season looms.

Tracey Kelusky sat out Buffalo's previous two games.

''Tracey practiced last night and he'll be a game-time decision,'' associate GM Derek Graham said during the conference call.

Edmonton's main deficiency remains the same.

''I can't complain about our defense but on offense we've struggled to find consistency,'' said Rush coach Derek Keenan.

Toronto (7-6) at Colorado (10-3)

It's the only meeting this season.

Toronto is coming off a 12-8 home win over Edmonton -- a third straight win, with opponents held under double digits each time.

''Defensively, we have been playing better, but most of the credit has to go to our offense,'' said GM Terry Sanderson. ''The guys seem to have found that chemistry we've been looking for and have really been getting it done.''

Dan Carey, who sat out last weekend after taking a high hit the previous game, is unlikely to play. A concussion interrupted Carey's career when he played for Colorado so this is an unwelcome development.

A Rock win and a Buffalo loss guarantees the Rock a home playoff date.

Colorado, coming off a bye week, has already earned a home playoff game. A hot Toronto club presents a big challenge.

''It wasn't long ago a lot of people were writing Toronto off but we knew all along that come April and May they'd be right there,'' said Colorado coach Bob Hamley. ''We're just going to have to limit their chances as much as possible and Chris Levis will have to continue playing as well as he has this season.

''Heading into the playoffs, this is a real good test for us.''