January 28, 2011

NLL Week 4 Floor Pass: Previews, Audio

by Corey McLaughlin | Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff

John Grant Jr. and the Colorado Mammoth can avenge last week's loss when they visit Philadelphia on Saturday.

© Michael Martin

Several rematches dot the National Lacrosse League schedule – Philadelphia and Colorado played last week and face each other again. The same goes for Buffalo and Toronto, and Boston and Rochester. And many eyes will again be on Boston, where Ryan Powell this week was added to the Blazers' talent-loaded lineup. Then there's the Battle of Alberta with Calgary and Edmonton taking part in a home-and-home series Friday and Saturday.

Here's a look at this weekend's seven games, including several sound bytes from Wednesday's conference call with coaches. Check back to laxmagazine.com each week for game-by-game breakdowns and more audio from around the NLL. (All game times are local.)

Philadelphia Wings (1-2) at Boston Blazers (2-2), Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Boston's Big Three are now the Big Four, as the Blazers signed Ryan Powell to a one-year deal Tuesday, adding him to a lineup that includes Ryan's brother, Casey, Dan Dawson and Josh Sanderson.

"Ryan is a competitor, and he's going to bring some leadership and he feels like he's got something to prove, which is a statement itself. He's had quite a lacrosse career," Boston coach Matt Sawyer said. "He's going to bring instant chemistry with Casey, and he's played with Dan in Portland. He's another veteran presence for us. He's going to be a weapon and a threat, which is what you need in this league."

Philadelphia is coming off its first win of the season, an 11-10 comeback win over Colorado. Boston lost both of its games last weekend -- to Toronto and Rochester. These two teams met on opening night with Boston winning, 10-6, at Philadelphia.

Listen to Boston coach Matt Sawyer talk about Ryan Powell, other Blazers transactions and John Orsen, who is out for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Listen to Philadelphia coach John Tucker talk about the Wings' first win of the season, the rematch with Boston, Ryan McFadyen's move to injured reserve (broken nose from a fight) and Max Seibald's position switch.

Calgary Roughnecks (2-2) at Edmonton Rush (0-3), Friday, 7 p.m.
Edmonton Rush (0-3) at Calgary Roughnecks (1-2), Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

The winless Rush host their first home game of the season in the Battle of Alberta home-and-home series. Edmonton has scored only 22 goals in their first three games, and will look to jumpstart its offense against a Calgary team that allowed 19 goals last Saturday to Washington.

"We know that this is a bitter rivalry, and they take great pride in being able to beat us," Calgary coach Dave Pym said.

Listen to Calgary coach Dave Pym talk about the Roughnecks' defensive performance against Washington and the offense, which scored 14 goals.

Listen to Edmonton coach Derek Keenan talk about what the offense needs to do better and the importance of this game.

Colorado Mammoth (1-2) at Philadelphia Wings (1-2), Saturday, 7 p.m.

Philadelphia trailed 7-3 at halftime at Colorado last week and came back to win, 11-10, Saturday. So the Mammoth will surely look for some redemption.

"It was a tale of two games," Colorado assistant coach Ed Comeau said. "We played very well and controlled the game in the first half and I thought Philly did the same to us in the second half. We did some things well, but we know in this league, when you have a lead and you're playing at home, you have to find a way somehow to get the job done. It was a disappointing loss ... but we're ready to go this weekend in Philly."

"They'll come back and look for revenge," Wings coach John Tucker said.

Listen to Colorado assistant coach Ed Comeau talk about the loss to Philadelphia and the rematch and the return of Dan Carey to the active roster after dealing with head injuries.

Listen to Wings coach John Tucker talk about playing Colorado again and the addition of Dan Hardy to the active roster, and Philadelphia's defense and goaltending.

Buffalo Bandits (2-1) at Toronto Rock (3-1), Saturday, 7 p.m.

Toronto won 15-14 in overtime at home against Boston on Friday and losing 15-14 in OT at Buffalo on Saturday, and they take on Buffalo again. Rock assistant coach Terry Sanderson said his team didn't respect the opponent enough Saturday at Buffalo.

"We'd be sugarcoating it by thinking we were in that game," Sanderson said.

Buffalo coach Darris Kilgour had other thoughts.

"We were pretty lucky," he said. "They moved the ball well. ... They took our defense apart."

Listen to Toronto assistant coach Terry Sanderson talk about last weekend's close games, playing Buffalo again, the reasons for acquiring Ryan Sharp via trade and how important this game is in the division.

Listen to Buffalo coach Darris Kilgour talk about the last game against Toronto, this Saturday's game, and what disappointed him the most from his defense last week.

Boston Blazers (2-2) at Rochester Knighthawks (2-1), Saturday, 7:35 p.m.

This will be the second half of a back-to-back weekend for Boston, its second straight two-game weekend. Boston coach Matt Sawyer said he isn't concerned.

"The more games we play, the better for us," he said. Rochester has grinded wins out, with both of theirs coming in overtime. "We're bending, but not quite breaking," Knighthawks coach Mike Hasen said.

Listen to Boston coach Matt Sawyer talk about facing back-to-back games.

Listen to Rochester coach Mike Hasen talk about Rochester's 2-1 start and if he's concerned the two wins have come in overtime.

Washington Stealth (2-2) at Minnesota Swarm (2-1), Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Washington coach Chris Hall said many players were standing around watching Rhys Duch and Lewis Ratcliff do all the scoring in the early season.

"Our secondary scoring had been terrible," he said. And the loss of Jeff Zywicki to injury threw a wrench in the offense. But in a 19-14 win over Calgary last week, other scorers stepped up and tallied 13 of the 19 goals, Hall said. "A lot less standing around," he said.

This is the second of four straight road games for the Stealth. Minnesota beat Washington by eight goals at home a few weeks ago.

Listen to Washington coach Chris Hall talk about the 19-goal performance last week, trying to be better against Minnesota this time around, Tyler Richards return in goaland the defense.

A representative from Minnesota was not available on this week's conference call.

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