NLL Week 2 Floor Pass: Previews, Audio
by Corey McLaughlin | Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff
Jeff Shattler and the Calgary Roughnecks, off to a surprise 2-0 start, host the Colorado Mammoth on Saturday.
© Cory Shannon
This week's National Lacrosse League Floor Pass includes injury updates, discussion about Cody Jamieson's debut in Rochester and some candid comments from Calgary coach Dave Pym, who feels his team might be a little disrespected by the whole concept of being an underdog.
Here's a look at this weekend's five 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 sound bytes from around the NLL.
Minnesota Swarm (0-1) at Washington Stealth (1-1) – Friday 8 p.m. Pacific
Washington split its opening weekend, beating Colorado on the road Saturday, but losing to Calgary at home Sunday. Stealth all-star forward Jeff Zywicki missed Sunday's game with what was termed a "lower body issue" by coach Chris Hall, and Zywicki was placed on the injured reserve list this week. Hall said Zywicki could be back in six weeks, and the team signed Craig Conn to fill the goal-scoring need created by Zywicki's injury.
Minnesota returns to the Comcast Arena at Everett for the first time since losing in the first round of the playoffs last May. Washington defeated the Swarm, 14-10, and went on to win the NLL title.
Listen to Minnesota coach Mike Lines talk about Minnesota's season-opening loss to Rochester in overtime.
Listen to Washington coach Chris Hall talk about opening weekend, Zywicki's injury and whether the team may have been distracted Sunday by its 2010 championship banner-raising pregame ceremony.
Edmonton Rush (0-1) at Boston Blazers (1-0) – Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Eastern
The Miami Heat comparisons just won't go away. Boston's offense wasn't clicking to start week one in a 10-6 win over Philadelphia, much like LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh got off to slow start in the NBA season. But look at them now. The Blazers' Big Three of Casey Powell, Dan Dawson and Josh Sanderson have that type of potential for success. "Their weapons are high-end, to put it mildly, with those three as well as a good supporting cast," Edmonton coach Derek Keenan said.
Listen to Boston coach Matt Sawyer talk about the Blazers' slow start to their first win.
Listen to Edmonton coach Derek Keenan talk about the task of facing the Boston offense.
Buffalo Bandits (0-1) at Philadelphia Wings (0-1) – Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Eastern
The only matchup of winless teams after Week 1 -- and nobody wants to start 0-2. "We're looking at this game, and if we drop this game, we're 0-2 and then we face Toronto back-to-back," Bandits assistant coach Derek Graham said with a tone suggesting he would like to see otherwise. Philadelphia is in the same boat, though the teams lost their opening games in different ways. Hear both coaches talk about it.
Listen to Buffalo assistant coach Derek Graham talk about the Bandits' opener.
Listen to Philadelphia coach John Tucker talk about the Wings' opener and Athan Iannucci's return from injury.
Toronto Rock (1-0) at Rochester Knighthawks (1-0) – Saturday, 7:35 p.m. Eastern
Cody Jamieson makes his much anticipated debut in Rochester, where team owner and Jamieson's uncle, Curt Styres, will surely be proud. It's the first home game for the Knighthawks since Grant was traded to Colorado, so it will be interesting to gauge the fan reaction. Does Jamieson give them enough reasons to forget Grant or leave them wondering why they traded the 10-year Knighthawk? "They'll warm up to him soon enough," Rochester coach Mike Hasen said about Jamieson in a phone interview a few days after the trade. "There's mixed feelings right now, but it will only take a couple shifts for Rochester to see who he is."
Listen to Toronto general manager and assistant coach Terry Sanderson talk about the matchup with Rochester and Cody Jamieson.
Listen to Rochester assistant coach Paul Day talk about expectations for Jamieson.
Colorado Mammoth (0-1) at Calgary Roughnecks (2-0) – Saturday, 6:30 p.m. Pacific
Does young, new-look Calgary have a chip on its shoulder? Seems that way by the sound of coach Dave Pym, referencing that perhaps his team wasn't getting credit for going 2-0 opening weekend. "Considering everybody else seemed to have played like ----, we I guess got fortunate," Pym said to start his portion of the conference call. "We're satisfied we got a couple wins when, obviously, people think that we shouldn't be doing that so early in the season. I guess we've managed to put enough smoke and mirrors up to do it. So, good for our guys."
Calgary did get some recognition, however, with the league office naming forward Scott Ranger offensive player of week one. Ranger had five goals in the 10-9 win over Buffalo and scored the game-winning goals and added three assists in the 13-11 win at Washington.
The Roughnecks face a Colorado team eager for a win after dropping the season-opener at home to Washington in front of a home Mammoth crowd of about 17,000 fans.
Listen for Colorado coach Bob Hamley's thoughts on the Mammoth's opening loss to Washington and what it's like having John Grant on the floor and the bench.
Listen to Calgary coach Dave Pym talk about his team's attitude, as well as Curtis Dickson's rookie debut (three goals in two games), and the, um, lower body injury Dickson sustained against the Stealth.