Blogs and Commentary

 
posted 01.17.2013 at 10.55 a.m. by Neil Stevens

Toronto, Washington Bid to Remain Undefeated

Toronto and Washington will be trying to improve to 3-0 while four other teams will be looking for their first win of the new NLL season this weekend. Minnesota is the only team among the nine that will be idle.

Saturday

Philadelphia (1-0) at Toronto (2-0), 7 p.m. ET

Last season: Feb. 2 Toronto 15 at Philadelphia 6; Feb. 18 Philadelphia 14 at Toronto 8; March 9 Philadelphia 12 at Toronto 10.

Rock goalie Nick Rose made 89 saves to enable his team to come out on top 13-11 in Calgary and 10-9 in Edmonton last weekend . . . Kasey Beirnes has a team-best five goals for Toronto . . . Rock captain Colin Doyle has yet to score a goal but has 10 assists . . . Toronto D Damon Edwards suffered a leg injury in Calgary, missed the game in Edmonton and is iffy for Saturday . . . Kevin Crowley scored four goals to help Philadelphia win its opener 13-8 over Buffalo.

Wings transition player Brett Manney on facing the Rock: ''They always play well in front of their home crowd. We're going to have our hands full. It's a good ball club from top to bottom. I'm looking forward to the challenge.''

TV: ESPN3 in U.S., Comcast Sportsnet in Philadelphia region, TSN2 in Canada, NLL on YouTube outside North America.

Buffalo (1-1) at Rochester (0-1), 7:30 p.m. ET

Last season: Jan. 21 Buffalo 12 at Rochester 9; March 10 Buffalo 10 at Rochester 13; April 21 Rochester 9 at Buffalo 14.

The 2012 championship banner will be raised in Blue Cross Arena . . . Rochester coach Mike Hasen says Casey Powell ''is good to go'' in his comeback after a year away from the NLL. The all-time leading American scorer in NLL history is five points shy of 600 . . . Rochester is 9-9 all-time in home openers . . . No. 1 Bandits goalie Anthony Cosmo was pulled in both his team's games and backup Kurtis Wagar got credit for a 13-12 home win over Minnesota . . . Rookie F Dhane Smith and veteran F Chad Culp each scored three goals in that one . . . Buffalo D Billy Dee Smith was suspended for the opener and now is out indefinitely with a high ankle sprain . . . The Knighthawks have been off since Jan. 5 when they lost 13-12 in Everett, Wash.

Rochester defenseman Mike Kirk on clash with Bandits: ''It's been a long two weeks to think about our mistakes but we're really looking forward to getting back at it against a tough Buffalo team.''

TV: NLL on YouTube

Colorado (0-1) at Calgary (0-1), 9 p.m. ET

Last season: Jan. 21 Colorado 13 at Calgary 12; Feb. 24 Calgary 21 at Colorado 10.

Calgary F Dane Dobbie is expected back in the lineup after sitting out the opener while under league suspension . . . Colorado star John Grant Jr. got six points (3-3) but his team lost its opener 17-13 at home against Washington . . . Calgary lost its opener 13-11 at home against Toronto. F Shawn Evans scored three goals . . . Coach Curt Malawsky on that loss: ''If it wasn't for Mike Poulin, the score would have been a lot worse.'' . . . After some suspect goaltending in the opener, Colorado coach Bob Hamley says he'll wait till Saturday to name his starter.

Calgary forward Shawn Evans on playing the Mammoth: ''They're going to come at us with everything they've got because they lost their first game, too. We've got to be ready, focused, and run the game plan coach Malawsky prepares for us.''

TV: NLL on YouTube

SUNDAY

Edmonton (0-1) at Washington (2-0), 6 p.m. ET

Last season: Jan. 28 Edmonton 16 at Washington 5; March 24 Washington 9 at Edmonton 10.

Washington F Cliff Smith enters weekend play leading the league in goals, 7, and in points, 15. He got seven (4-3) of them in the 17-13 win in Denver . . Edmonton rookies Mark Matthews and Curtis Knight each scored three goals in a 10-9 loss to Toronto last Sunday . . . Rush goalie Aaron Bold was satisfied with the play of his defense but would love more goals from the offense, which petered out in the late going against Toronto. Zack Greer is due to break loose . . . Stealth coach Chris Hall had five rookies in his lineup last weekend. ''We just felt we had to change the mix in our supporting cast,'' he explains.

Cliff Smith on his hot start: ''We're moving the ball a lot better than we were last year. It's easier to build when things are going right rather than trying to right the ship which was the case last year.''

TV: NLL on YouTube