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NLL Takeaways, Week 8

Jeff Teat is a game wrecker

It’s not easy to go into Buffalo and win. It’s especially difficult without your captain and one of your top defensive players in Damon Edwards`, but that’s just what New York did. They went into Banditland and came away with a 15-13 win. A 7-0 run in the second quarter took it from 3-3 to a 10-3 Riptide lead. In that run, Teat factored in on five of the goals, scoring three of them. He finished the game with 10 points. He assisted the goal that tied the game at two, and the goal that gave New York a 3-2 lead. He assisted the goal that snapped a 4-0 Buffalo run. He scored the goal that put New York up 14-13 with 1:47 left, ultimately the game winner. In every big moment, Teat was conspicuously great. This surprises no one, but it is fun to watch every weekend. 

There aren’t safe leads in the NLL

New York was up 10-3, and still needed a goal with less than two minutes left to go up 14-13 and win. Saskatchewan was up 9-5 to start the fourth quarter, and ended up getting shut out in the final frame, losing to Vancouver 11-9. Georgia took a lead into the 4th quarter, and lost 12-9. In three of the five games we saw big comebacks, two of which resulted in a grabbing of victory in the 4th quarter. In four games, the underdog on DraftKings won the game outright; Toronto was the only favorite to win that actually did the job. You can simply never turn these games off. 

And then there was one

The ranks of the undefeated lost a team this weekend as Albany finally took a loss. Now, only Toronto remains lossless. While it was easy to say early that they hadn’t played a tough schedule (their first three opponents were Philly, PCLC, and New York), the Rock now have wins over Halifax and Georgia.  The schedule stays difficult, with Buffalo next, but the Rock defense looks ready to take on all comers. Nick Rose is playing goalie like he has Spidey Senses and can sense when and where shots are happening before they do. His GAA is now a tidy 8.60, and he’s over 82.7% save percentage, both tops in the NLL among regular starters. Until teams can solve this defense and Nick Rose, the Rock will be a very difficult out. They’ll have to manage without TD Ierlan until he’s back from IR, but it wasn’t ultimately a factor against Georgia.

Milestones galore, but one stands out

Plenty of players have hit major marks this season. Last week, Jay Thorimbert won his 3,000th faceoff, the most in NLL history. Lyle Thompson scored his 300th career goal with a gorgeous swim move by his defender into a leaping twister over the shoulder of Nick Rose; a true Thompson level goal. But the milestone this year that’s made my jaw drop most was notched by Matt Vinc. He made his 10,000th career save. Ten. Thousand. Saves. Vinc became a regular starter in 2007 for New York. As in the New York Titans. He’s had three seasons of 700+ saves. A good season for a pro goalie these days means somewhere in the mid 600s for saves. Over 700 is exceptional; Christian Del Bianco won MVP last year with 712. A goalie would have to average 650 saves a year for 15+ seasons to make 10,000 saves. Assuming a player starts their pro career around age 22-23, a goalie would have to be a day one starter as a rookie, and regular starter all the way until nearly 40 years old, to make the 10,000 saves that Vinc has made. This isn’t just longevity, this is defying aging altogether. 

Socrates was right

Socrates famously said, “I know that I know nothing.” When I sit down to the power rankings for this week, I’ll put Toronto at one, and then throw up my hands and say “who the hell knows” for 2-15. Buffalo loses to New York. Albany blown up by a San Diego team that lost to Vegas a week ago. Vancouver rattling off a 6-0 game winning run. Colorado figuring it out and winning against a Calgary team that had been crushing the weaker competition. IL’s Chris Rosenthal (who should follow if you don’t), loves to share the “Whoopin’ of the Week” from DraftKings. The game with the heaviest favorite. This week it was New York, so of course they won outright. WotW teams have fared pretty well this year, and that’s a fairly perfect encapsulation of trying to figure out what’s going to happen any given weekend.


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