Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Peaks and Valleys- A Weekly Look at NLL Trends

Peaks and Valleys

Your weekly look at the trends in the NLL

After the first full week of games, it’s time to look at some early items that pop out in the stats.

Peak- Calgary’s finishing touch

If you watched the first quarter of the season opener in Toronto, you would have thought Calgary was a men’s league team. They looked disorganized and sloppy. What changed? Well they got their transition game in order and started generating multiple shots on a possession and worked their way back into the game.

More strikingly, they have outscored their opponents 18-8 in the second half of games. Since those games have been against Toronto and Washington, Finalists for the past 2 seasons, you can’t complain about the strength of their opponent. Should this trend keep up throughout the season, look for Calgary to make a push for top seed.

Valley- Toronto Rock offence

The defending champs are 0-2 and looking decidedly old. Both Buffalo and Calgary exposed their transition game to generate several chances.

One can debate the current whereabouts of Stephan Leblanc but it’s a failure of the whole unit that stands out. Against Buffalo in the first quarter they generated 1 second chance opportunity. Buffalo had one sequence where Steinhaus got a rebound and was stoned by Roik, only to have Culp pick up the second rebound work it around a bit and then get it back before firing a goal past Roik to tie it at 3-3. Doyle, Billings, Sanderson and Carey have a combined 8 Looseballs over the first two games. If not for Kasey Beirnes with 11 LB’s vs Buffalo it would look even uglier.

In order to get their offence on track, they need to get their big guns doing more of the dirty work and generating more LB Plus and more second chances. Buffalo and Calgary used that formula to achieve success against Toronto.

Peak- Vintage Mike Accursi

Mike Accursi had a fantastic game at Philadelphia. 10 points is good. 16 total shots is solid. 10 looseballs is fantastic. His stat line looked like it was 2002 when he had 56 points and 98 LB’s for Buffalo. I expect his stats to normalize over the season but it’s nice to see a great player turn back the clock from time to time.

Valley- Philadelphia Defence

They gave up 22 goals. Gave up 7 PP Goals in 11 chances and generally looked awful in their home opener. They look like a two player team up from with Dawson and Crowley pulling the load.

However what really stands out is a lowly 3 forced turnovers. In 60 minutes of action it takes true ineptitude to only force 3 turnovers. Granted the game devolved into a penalty-filled punchfest but unless Philly gets better on D it looks like a long year is ahead in the City of Brotherly Love.


Further to our post last week on LB Plus, we have done some work with Dan Shirley of the NLLBlog to develop game logs for each NLL game this week. We will track every possession in a game as a way to further develop the field of statistics in Lacrosse. Look for more details as we advance through the season and work out the kinks.

I am also now questioning the recording of Turnovers and Forced Turnovers on the NLL website. In each game there are a larger number of TOs when compared to FTs. It would seem reasonable to state that to have a Turnover. Now with game logs we can hash out exactly how to balance turnovers and forced turnovers to make them match up.

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