Minnesota Swarm transition player Jordan MacIntosh helped key their mid-season turnaround after taking on a larger role. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
The Minnesota Swarm’s recent hot stretch has guaranteed them a playoff berth with one week to play in the regular season and transition player Jordan MacIntosh has played a large role in their success.
After scoring more than three goals in a game just once through Minnesota’s first 11 outings, MacIntosh, who has collected four NLL Transition Player of the Week awards this season, has scored at least four goals in three of his last four games and has collected 22 points (14+8) over that span.
“I’ve just been shooting better,” MacIntosh said. “I’ve been getting opportunities all season, it’s just not burying the ball. It’s honestly just shooting better and picking my spots. I think watching a little more film on opposing goalies has helped.”
MacIntosh was frustrated with his early-season performance.
“10 games into the year, I was definitely not at the pace I was last year,” he said. “That upset me because I felt like I was playing better than I was last year. I just wasn’t putting up the production I would have liked.”
Swarm forward Callum Crawford’s late-season tear has opened room in the offense, MacIntosh said. Crawford’s contributed eight or more points in each of his last six games.
“Callum’s playing out of his mind right now,” MacIntosh said. “He’s putting up insane numbers and he’s been the catalyst.”
MacIntosh has also played a key role in the resurrection of Minnesota’s power play, a unit which struggled early in the year but now ranks fourth in the league. He has three power play goals in the Swarm’s last three games.
“The biggest thing on the power play is capitalizing on the attention that other guys get,” he said. “The four guys on the power play with me, they’re our four leading scorers, so for the four defenders, I’m kind of their last thought.”
MacIntosh’s recent success with faceoffs has proven just as crucial as his goal scoring. He’s converted on over 71 percent of his opportunities in the circle in his last two games, bringing his season average to over 54 percent.
MacIntosh has worked tirelessly to improve that part of his game, which has grown in importance since Swarm captain Andrew Suitor’s season-ending ACL injury.
“All summer that was my focus,” he said. “That was my goal this season, over 50 (percent). I did a lot of work in the offseason to make sure I could do that.”
As Minnesota moves toward the playoffs, MacIntosh looks to provide a scoring threat in any potential clutch situations.
“If we need a goal late in the game, I think we have a lot of options to give the ball to, but I hope I’m in the running for that.