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NLL Takeaways, Week 7

Ryan Terefenko, Cyborg 2.0

The weekend got started with a big matchup between Toronto and Halifax. The Thunderbirds have a loaded roster, but whenever I watch, nobody stands out quite like Ryan Terefenko. He has a gear in transition that not many have. He always seems to be around the ball, being disruptive and applying pressure. He never runs out of gas. There is nobody in the league more "all gas, no brakes" than Scary Terry (or as some from his home town have called him to me, Tere-Freako). He put up two goals and an assist, on just three shots, plus nine loose balls against the best team in the league. The only player on Halifax with more loose balls is Jake Withers, the only players with more CTs are Withers and Graeme Hossack, and Terry has added six points this year. He has played his way to having his name mentioned with the best transition players in the league. 

San Diego somehow played their games in reverse

You’d think when a team plays a back to back, they look sharp and clean in game one, and then things fall off a bit in game two. The Seals somehow did it all backwards. With a game Friday night in Vegas then Saturday night in Colorado, they had the tall task of two games in two days. Against Vegas, the Seals did not look good. Midway through the third quarter they were somehow still stuck on three goals. With just over two minutes left, they trailed 9-6. A late power play goal from Wes Berg and a buzzer beater from Kyle Jackson made it 10-8, but make no mistake, the Seals should not be dropping games to Vegas. Things were better against Colorado. Austin Staats took over, notching a natural hat trick in the first quarter. Seals were comfortably ahead in the 2nd quarter, and protected their lead down the stretch. Chris Origlieri had a very good weekend in goal (he did let a couple bad ones in early against Vegas, but from then on he was sharp), and he’ll only get better as the year goes on. San Diego needs to put together consistent performances. They beat Rochester, but lose to Vegas. Beat Colorado, but lose to Vegas. Teams that consider themselves title contenders should be taking care of business against weaker clubs. 

Tough weekend for some goalies

It was a bit of an adventure for the netminders. Case and point is the first half of the Rochester/Buffalo matchup, which saw a whopping 20 goals get scored. Both goalies played the full 60 minutes. Matt Vinc finished that game with 52 saves and a save percentage of 80%, turning things around in a second half where he allowed just three goals. Riley Hutchcraft made 48 saves for Rochester. A game billed as a shootout among all others lived up to it. Elsewhere, Albany managed to chase Brett Dobson early in the second half, peppering him with 31 shots in just 35 minutes of play, his worst outing of the year. For Vancouver, Aaron Bold started, was replaced by Aden Walsh, then came back into the game to replace Walsh who didn’t fare much better. Calgary finished with 16 goals on 46 shots on net, and Tanner Cook shot just under 50%. Goals were bountiful in week seven.

Here come the Roughnecks

Calgary dropped two close games to start the year against Rochester and San Diego; not exactly lightweights. They then had 21 days between game two and game three, their home opener. They trounced Vegas in that game, and smashed Vancouver over the weekend. The upcoming schedule is Colorado and New York, and the Roughnecks should be favored in both, particularly against the Riptide at home. Win both of those, and it’s a tour game winning streak heading into a home and home with Toronto. Calgary looked like their old selves against Vancouver. Christian Del Bianco stopped 87% of shots. Jesse King continued his offensive tear to start the year. They were dominant despite a faceoff disadvantage. Calgary righting the ship against some down teams could have them take the floor against Toronto confident and in good form. 

Unexpected week off, good news or bad news?

Saskatchewan and Philly didn’t take the floor on Saturday. The NLL postponed the game because of extreme weather in Saskatchewan. If you follow the Rush on social media you saw them posting temperatures right around -40 celsius with a high for the day of -31 so, yeah, postponing is a good move. Emergency vehicles have a hard time getting through that, let alone commercial flights for the team. I think the Rush would have liked to play and keep their good thing going. Their last two games saw them thrash Vegas and take Albany to overtime, and they were a moneyline favorite against Philadelphia. For the Wings, the’ve lost three of their last four, the exception being a win over Halifax. The challenge for them now is, they don’t have a game scheduled until January 27 against San Diego. That’s a three week break. How will they handle the extended time off? It was great for Calgary, can it be great for Philly?


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