January 7, 2011

NLL Floor Pass: Week 1 Previews, Audio

by Corey McLaughlin | Lacrosse Magazine Online Staff

Edmonton Rush captain Brodie Merrill has mixed feelings about playing against his brother, Pat, on Saturday when Edmonton visits Toronto.

The 25th National Lacrosse League season gets underway this weekend with five games Saturday, including a meeting between the defending league champion Washington Stealth and a retooled Colorado Mammoth club that now includes John Grant. One Sunday game is also on the docket.

Here's your floor pass to the 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.

Edmonton Rush at Toronto Rock, Saturday 7 p.m. Eastern

The weekend's only All-Canadian team matchup pits brothers Brodie and Pat Merrill against each other. Brodie, the two-time league transition player of the year, has been elevated to the Rush's captain. He was previously an alternate. Pat, a defenseman, returned this offseason to Toronto, where he played five seasons before spending three years with the Titans organization. The Rock brought Pat in as part of their plan to boost their "grit," general manager and assistant coach Terry Sanderson said.

"It's a little bit awkward, actually," Brodie said of facing his brother. "We're really close and he's my best friend... I really want to see him do well back in Toronto, so it's going to be strange."

Listen to Edmonton coach Derek Keenan talk about the Merrill brothers matchup, as well as the Rush's offseason moves.

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