Check out the top performers from the busy six-game weekend that was NLL Week 3 with the Three Stars by Stephen Stamp on IL Indoor. Preview who made this week’s list below and follow the link to Inside Lacrosse for the full rundown.
“Week 3 presents the IL Indoor National Lacrosse League Three Stars with the first instalment of the annual challenge that is choosing between performances in one game versus two games,” Stamp writes. “Is one spectacular game better than two excellent ones? How do you treat someone who has one great game and one pedestrian game? It’s always a challenge and it doesn’t really get any easier as you get more experience doing it.”
This week we see the single-game brilliance of Adam Jones versus the back to back excellence of Cody Jamieson. The one great game/one not so hot game weekend of Shawn Evans. We also run into another conundrum, as if we needed another. How do you compare two goalies who both played very well in two games? How much weight do you put on the defence in front of them? Scroll down to see how it all plays out.
Adam Jones, Colorado Mammoth
6 goals, 2 assists
This week, I decided on the one-game performance to top the charts. In fact, Jones was simply off the charts in the first half of Colorado’s eventual overtime win over Buffalo. He had 5 goals and an assist before the intermission. I don’t buy the line of thinking that goals later in the game are so much more important than goals earlier. Sure, Mike Burke’s overtime winner was critical. But without Jones’ performance in the first half, Colorado isn’t even in the game in the second half. His play was enough to lift him from third star last week to top of the heap this week.
Cody Jamieson, Rochester Knighthawks
5 goals, 13 assists
Jamieson was the NLL Most Valuable Player two years ago and he is Jones’ primary competition for the early-season lead in this year’s MVP watch. He told me after the Knighthawks’ win in Toronto that he knew he had to get serious about fitness to come back from tearing his Achilles last season. He’s been working with a personal trainer and said he is the lightest he’s been in his career. The weight loss hasn’t hurt his ability to bull his way through defenders but it has helped him play as well as ever in his first games back from the injury. Because he’s always been so good and now just looks a lot like he usually has, it would be easy to overlook how remarkable that is. Joe Walters tweeted that a lot of people had doubted Jamieson. Well, the reality is that he shouldn’t be this good already. I never doubted that Jammer would return to form, but it’s an incredible achievement that he is already there.
Matt Vinc (Rochester): 76/88, .864 save percentage. I was this close to breaking 3 Stars protocol and going with a tie for the third star. Vinc was about equally as impressive as Kirk. I just felt like Kirk did his thing in front of a defence where many of the players are still learning to play with each other while Vinc’s D unit has more continuity. Still an amazing weekend for Vinc…Corey Small (Vancouver): 5g, 1a. His four straight goals in the third and fourth quarters were the difference in allowing Vancouver to overcome a terrible first game and beat the defending champs. In a lot of weeks he’d have been in the top three…Dhane Smith (Buffalo): 3g, 5a. I use the previous week’s column as a template for each new edition of the 3 Stars. This week that is making things pretty easy as there are so many players making back to back appearances. I can just put in their new numbers and new comment. For Smith, he’s back because he just keeps dominating offensively for the Bandits…Callum Crawford (Colorado): 9a Another returnee, Crawford has already confirmed the belief that he was the top free-agent signing of the off-season. Boy, he’s gotten comfortable with his new teammates quickly…Nick Weiss (Buffalo): 1g, 10LB, 4CTO. Summer success doesn’t always translate to the NLL, but Weiss’ breakout MSL campaign with the Peterborough Lakers has carried over seamlessly to Buffalo. His confidence is sky high and he’s establishing himself as a force in both leagues…Frankie Scigliano (Calgary): 35/43, .814 save percentage. Eerie how similar Scigs’ stats are to those of Brodie MacDonald’s from this spot last week. He made the same number of saves while facing one more shot. Any time you lead your team to a win over the Rush and their potent offence and transition game these days, you’ve done something worth noting…Dan Dawson (Rochester): 7g, 3a. Just lethal in the back half of the home and home with Toronto, scoring five times in Rochester…Rob Hellyer (Toronto): 4g, 4a. About the only Toronto forward producing consistently…Shawn Evans (New England): 6g, 3a. Held in check as New England fell to his former team in Calgary, Evans was back to his usual dominant self as the Black Wolves moved to 2-1 to sit in an early tie for first in the East Division. By the way, one note about last week’s discussion of whether Evans was being disrespectful last week when he stretched while waiting to pick up a loose ball late in the game (a minority view but one that was expressed). We can assert an unequivocal no at this point. I learned that Evans was cramping and actually had to struggle to the bench after playing the ball…Mark Steenhuis (Buffalo): 4g, 1a. Such a quick release when he gets some space and it paid off four times Saturday…Ryan Dilks (Saskatchewan): 3a, 4LB, 7CTO. Had almost half of his team’s total forced turnovers all by himself and helped in the transition game that kept the Rush in it on a night when the offence wasn’t clicking the way we’ve come to expect it to…John Grant Jr. (Colorado): 3g, 3a. Still one of the best passers and one of the best shooters in lacrosse…Chris Corbeil (Saskatchewan): 3g, 6LB, 2CTO. Any time a defender gets three goals including an Air Corbeil dunk, he’s getting in here…Joey Cupido (Colorado): 1g, 1a, 4LB, 3CTO. Cupido didn’t look like the guy who was named the NLL’s transition player of the year last season in the Mammoth’s first two games this year, but…